The recent announcement of Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah’s results surprised many, especially those with high expectations that candidates will score well based on the achievements of Standard Six pupils of previous years.
It is disappointing that some people think that only those obtaining straight As are considered successful while the rest are failures. Immature thinkers are too obsessed with firsts or being number One.
They believe that a first symbolises a special significance, importance and satisfaction. With the letter “A” being the first one in the alphabet, they feel that children should obtain the maximum number of As in exams.
There is nothing wrong in wanting to be the best but to place too much emphasis on people on top, to the point that we forget to appreciate the ones below is ridiculous and unkind.
Metaphorically speaking, a house will not stand strong and stable without the pillars supporting it.
It is bad enough that some people’s minds have been controlled by the power of firsts and even worse, they influence others to believe what they do.
What is wrong with being second? We need to stop living in the past.
It might be true that, in the previous century, it was still acceptable to measure pupils’ success based on their performance in exams, but that was yesterday’s yardstick.
We are now living in an era when it is not relevant anymore to solely focus on academic performance to recognise and determine abilities and capabilities.
There are other important elements in learning in which students need to excel to compete in this globalised world.
For example, individual skills and talents are vital to help pupils become all-rounders and extraordinary learners who can later contribute to the school and country and share their special skills and knowledge with others.
It will be a daunting task to explain and correct children’s understanding of obtaining excellent scores in exams, unless parents realise that getting As is not everything. It is not about being a winner or loser, or, how good or bad our children’s results are.
Rather, it’s about congratulating and thanking them for their efforts and willingness to learn. Every child deserves a celebration to help them feel loved and appreciated.