Learning For Life

by Patrick Liew on August 20, 2011

I read in the newspaper today about how hard parents tried to place their children in ‘designer’ schools.

One parent apparently paid $3.5 million to purchase a condo just so that they can be near to a popular school. Another parent downgraded to a smaller flat.

It was interesting to read about how a celebrity and her husband volunteered 80 hours to help in their preferred school. Unfortunately they failed to get a place for their son.

According to the report, they did not even have a chance to ballot for a place in the school.

Many years ago, when  my wife and I were considering to register our eldest daughter, we went through the same pressure. Many of our well-intentioned friends advised us to place our girl in one of the popular schools.

Fortunately, I was pretty well connected. I pulled all the strings so that I could get a place for my girl in the ‘perfect’ school.

We prayed over the decision. Finally, we registered our girl in a neighborhood school – a relatively unknown school that was located near to our home.

Looking back, we are thankful to our Creator. It was the right move.

My kids had a great time in school. They did well in their studies and played an active part in co-curricular activities (CCA).

As a proud father, I have to share that both of them qualified to be in the Gifted Education Programme.

I wonder when parents endeavor to place their kids in a ‘designer school,’ are they absolving their full responsibilities for their children’s education to the schools?

I believe we need to take an active and major part in educating our children.

I was told during a Parent-Teacher Association Meeting that children of parents who get involved in their children’s education and participate actively in school activities do well in school.

The second question in my mind is, are the parents more interested to see their children get good grades or are they interested in their overall character development?

As adults, we know that grades may be able to help open the door to the right career and jobs. However, to do well in them, we need to have many other different forms of intelligence.

In 1983, Howard Gardner posited that there are multiple intelligences. Unfortunately, schools have only focused mostly on a narrow perspective of helping students develop their logical and linguistic intelligence.

The third and key question in my mind is, will kids who go to a ‘designer school’ be pressured to focus on just achieving good academic results? After all, without good results, these schools cannot have become popular.

The danger is that they will fail to see the forest from the trees. These kids will not have a wise, balanced and pragmatic education.

For example, these kids may not learn to enhance their emotional intelligence. In their battle to get good grades, they may not develop love and compassion for those who are poor, weak, and disadvantaged.

There are too many questions going through my mind.

Suffice to say, as parents, we need to take a proactive role in loving our children. We need to be an active co-partner in our children’s education.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at http://liewinspiration.wordpress.com

Visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we become better parents?


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