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My Thoughts on Primary One Registration.

Well... there is still a few years before I need to worry about getting J into a primary school. The unfortunate thing is my affiliation is with a ( popular) all girls school and the man doesn't have any.

Initially, when I knew I had a boy, it did cross my mind that I must be diligent in doing all these parent volunteering and what nots due to our lack of so-called advantage.   However, with the recent discussions around the P1 registrations, I begin wonder what I would do when it's our turn.

I thought about my own education journey.

Unlike my brother who was fortunate to get a place at one of the Christian Brothers schools (which then set the stage for the 10 years that followed), I wasn't even able to secure one in an average neigbourhood school that's within 1km from where we lived.

I remembered I was standing in the school hall, hoping they will call my number during the balloting process. Nope. It wasn't called, and my mum and I left the place feeling dejected.  Ok. I probably felt nothing at that point, but I knew my mother was getting jittery. I recalled her exclaiming,  " You don't have anywhere to study."  Things were already so competitive back then, I can imagine it many times worst now.

I ended up in a new school in the neighbourhood. In actual fact, this school has a rich history, just that it changed names and moved to where it is currently situated. Thus, that's where I started my formal schooling journey.

Looking back, I enjoyed my 6 years in primary school very much. The school, and the environment made me excel in things I never thought I could.

From primary 4, I was singled out to be groomed as the head prefect in the last two years in Primary School.

In primary 3,  I was one of the 4 or 5 kids who did well in the streaming examinations, and was given the opportunity to move on to Nanyang Girls School.

I was always in the top class, and finished as the top 10 PSLE students in the school during my year.

So, it wasn't surprising how I ended up in this popular girls school. And, that's where I also felt the constant need to please others, and fighting with myself to keep up with my peers. It was a very stressful 4 years, and I think it was also where I experienced my very first burnt out.

That said, I still like the values the school instilled in all of us, and these are the same values that saw me through the more difficult parts of my adult life. And, sometimes I feel I wouldn't be where I am today without these values guiding me through.

However, values can also be learnt with proper love and guidance from my parents. I know the one person I never want to disappoint is my mother. And, because of that, I know wherever I ended up, I would have done my utmost to do the right things. Perhaps..maybe... if I was in a "not so popular" secondary school, I might have ended up a happier person, much earlier.

So, if I have to make a decision for J today, I will choose to let him excel in a place where he will be most comfortable in. Isn't it great if he can gain self confidence at his own pace, blossom when he is ready to?

My job is then to walk with him through his schooling years, provide him with opportunities when it comes, and support him when he needs.

I hope this simplicity of thought does not change 5 years later.


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