• Pritam Singh


So the day has arrived. As always, too soon. And too quickly. I suppose they all grow up this fast. My oldest daughter starts Primary 1 tomorrow.

I dread overcompensating her educational journey the way many loving parents do - and in doing so, unwittingly boxing her as a reflection of myself and my educational journey. But to want the best for your child is an only too human instinct.

From one perspective, my educational journey wasn’t the greatest. It wasn’t marked by good grades let alone glowing comments from teachers. But there were moments in my educational journey when learning was truly enriching and fulfilling - this was usually catalysed by a teacher who took a genuine interest, and made the effort to adjust to his/her students. Later on, it was, in equal measure, driven by a desire to make personal improvements since my destiny was always going to be in my hands and my hands alone - a realisation that was a little too sporadic until the tertiary years!

How do I balance this fear of overcompensating, to say nothing of the lived reality of the Singapore educational system? For the moment, I will try my best to let my daughter(s) learn, experience and question. I’ll keep reading to her, expose her to things outside “the system” (without resorting to those DSA crash courses and overloading her with tuition/enrichment). I would like to listen to her verbalising her thoughts, and simply being there for her.

Years later, when she opens her SingPass App and sees her grades, I hope she doesn’t see her educational journey as a bad memory, or a time of regret. It would be her unique journey - with its highs and lows - and an unfinished one at that, like everyone around her. I thank my parents for their part in my journey and am eternally grateful they took it as it came. I will remember to do the same (as best as I can!).

(P.S - The WB vid has some absolute gems. The meaning of an education must be constantly reflected over.)

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