Selecting A School For Your Child

by Patrick Liew on December 1, 2016

Many parents are unduly concerned and become over-focus about enrolling their children into a popular school.

I read in the newspaper years ago
about how hard some 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 for the same reason.

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 that school.

Usually, for a popular school, it’ll be hard to find a “short cut” to get a place in the school.

Many years ago, my wife and I went through the same pressures.

Many of our well-intentioned friends advised us to place our girl in one of the sought-after schools.

Fortunately, I was pretty well connected. I pulled all the strings so that I could get a place for my girl in what we thought was a “perfect” school.

We prayed over the decision.

Finally, we decided to register 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 for the decision. It was the right move.

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

On reflection, if my child had gone to a popular school, there’ll be greater pressure on her and us.

She may not enjoy learning and will become over focus on being book smart and not on being wise in all the other vital areas in school and life.

I learned that regardless of grades or schools, your child can still go far in life.

Truth be told, I wonder when parents strive to enroll their kids in a “designer school,” are they absolving full responsibilities of their children’s overall development to schools?

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

There are evidence to show that children of parents who get involved in their children’s education and participate actively in school activities tend to do well in school.

The second question in my mind is, are parents more interested to see their children get good grades or in enhancing their character, developing their unique strengths, and fulfilling their preferred aspirations?

As adults, we know that grades may open a door to getting a job.

However, to do well in a career, we need to have many other forms of intelligence.

In 1983, Howard Gardner posited that there are multiple intelligences.

Unfortunately, some educators may focused mainly helping students develop their intellectual and linguistic intelligence.

It bodes well to remember that moral
intelligence is just as important as intelligence of the intellect.

Altruistic intelligence can be more important than logical intelligence.

Taking action is more important than just acquiring information.

The third and key question in my mind is, will children who go to a “designer school” be pressured to focus on just achieving good academic results?

After all, without good academic results, these schools may not have become popular in the first place.

The danger is that these children may fail to see the forest from the trees.

They may not be inclined to pursue a holistic, balanced and effective education and develop major life skills.

These life skills may be more important in helping them succeed in life.

For example, these children may focus on strengthening their emotional intelligence.

In their battle to get good grades, they may not develop love, kindness and compassion for those who are poor, weak, and disadvantaged.

More important than focusing on schools, book smart, and grades is taking a more
proactive role in loving our children.

We need to be an active coach, counsellor and cheerleader in helping our children find joy in learning and passion in learning how to learn.

Remember, the purpose of education is to raise your child to be a moral, wise, productive, and useful person.

A person who can contribute to strengthening workplaces, communities, and economy.

Address social injustice, achieve progress for society, and live a meaningful, productive and fulfilling life.

There are different pathways that your child can pursue to help him develop his potential and serve worthy causes.

Therefore, help your child to learn how to leverage on his strengths, talents and passions.

Apply multiple intelligences, and not just intellectual intelligence to fulfill his dreams and goals.

Have a purposeful, happy, and fulfilling parenting journey.


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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