PSLE Results: A Day of Reckoning or a Step Towards Holistic Growth?

Tomorrow, the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results shall be released. It will be a day of reckoning. It will be a day of emotion. Most of all, it will be a day of family-bonding because, dear parents and students, you will look at the grades and see your family’s hard work over the numerals and appreciate them for the past years that you have spent together in mutual support. 

From a hopeful teacher to all hopeful families out there,


Whether good or not, academic performance is but a crumb of a cookie. It does not define the child’s world. Nor should it define that of parents. Take a big unbiased step back from the perceived practicality of school grades into the hug that family is waiting to share. Whisper words of comfort, offer words of encouragement. Nothing soothes the ruffled soul better than the words, ‘Daddy and Mummy, thank you for always being here for me.’


Teachers, parents and students come and go as regularly as the moon waxes and wanes but the one notion to remain is that we are all human and still growing. Academics are but a mechanism in the massive clockwork known as human development. Healthy and holistic, it is defined by what the human loves and enjoys. Look past the grades and one may glimpse, in the making, Monet in a child who favors a paintbrush over a pen, for the spirit of tutelage touts not the importance of academic performance, but the importance of continual growth beyond the confines of pen and paper.


In the full cycle of twenty-four whole hours, people will be emotional. People will react. However, not everyone will be able to emerge from it all unscathed. Words will be uttered. In the heat of the moment, they may hurt and possibly leave scars on an innocent soul. Now, physical scars may scab and peel but emotional ones tear apart the flesh and imprint on the spirit in a way that causes widespread, irrevocable damage. As adults, we have had decades to hone our emotional processes. As adults, we fulfil our duty by helping the youth to prioritize and manage difficult emotions. Talk to heal, discuss to learn, listen to love. 

…At the end of the day, we are all human, and expected to meet people from all walks of life. We know not when, where, or the stories each of us are building, and so we give what we deserve: respect. Revel in your success but do not gloat. Share your good news but do not rub it in the faces of those who may have less to share. Encourage others from their perspectives, not yours. Put yourself in others’ shoes, not to complain about them but to respect the path they have walked.

And further we will go, hand in hand as one society and generation, because bundled chopsticks weather the storm better.

Jane Feng,
Teacher, ex-student 

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