Yesterday, the PSLE results were released and once again, we see many happy posts on Facebook. Behind Facebook, I believe there are many sad, disappointed or even demoralised emotions.

I would like to share my story …… I went to Tiong Bahru Primary School (TBPS), my PSLE result is average or below, I did not get into the secondary school of 1st choice and I went to my 3rd choice school, Tiong Bahru Secondary School (TBSS). No, there was no affiliation like ACS Primary to ACS Independent with reduced cut-off, I went to TBSS purely based on result, apparently not a desirable PSLE result. At TBSS, I tried to work hard, but it was difficult as our family background was not a good one, my parents merely wanted us to study hard.

In year 3, I met a great friend, he was with Raffles and it was his O Level year. He guided me, my results progressed rapidly, I could solve O Level maths questions at year 3. I left TBSS with good results, I opted for Singapore Polytechnic’s most demanding course then, the Electronics Diploma course, instead of remaining at Saint Andrew’s Junior College, where I was after my preliminary results (during my year, there was overwhelming application for Electronic course at SP, MOE conducted a talk to lure some qualified students back to A Level track).

After SP, I went to serve the Navy and subsequent went to NUS to do my 1st degree and Masters, both in Engineering. Lately I completed a Ph.D program with advanced enrolment based on experiences and achievements. I merely need the Ph.D for my business, it was a cheaper course that meets my lacking knowledge in running business, management, entrepreneurship, and related topics…. of course, the duration is shorter than a hardcore engineering Ph.D program. But it serves me well in my business.

CONCLUSION ….. PSLE do not fix your future, however, if you believe a poor PSLE result cannot bring you to further achievement then your poor PSLE result fixes you. When you kids do not perform well there are many reasons. One of the reasons being as parents, if you are not an achiever, you do not know how to achieve but you know how to pressurise them.

In addition, even if you are from elite school, you kids may not have the academic aptitude. Or you kids may have the aptitude but you do not how to realize it (not pure tuition….)

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