Check out this interesting article about the experience and “privileges” of elite schools in Singapore. Also covered are the competitiveness and academic pressure in such schools. Finally, the author shares his experience of studying overseas in New York.
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My heart sank when I received my PSLE results. Falling a few points short of qualifying for Raffles Institution, 12-year-old me broke down in the school hall, my elitist dreams crushed.
Qualifying for Chinese High was the next best thing, although I hated the idea of attending a “communist” school. At least, that was my impression. You can’t blame me for believing what people told me when I was 12.
A number of us (including myself) were RI rejects. However, for some, Chinese High was their first choice for its focus on Chinese language and character education.
From the moment I entered the school, the principal and school leaders were unabashed about informing us of our elite status. The principal would do so during school assemblies, only to be echoed later by teachers in a classroom setting.
Whenever we misbehaved, as boys often do, a good chunk of each lecture revolved around how we took our place in the school for granted. Being there was a privilege, and it lay on our shoulders to continue the prestigious legacy of the school.
We were also reminded that we should be thankful for the resources and the very upscale school facilities that we had.
And so from the very beginning, we were told that we were different and maybe better. No surprise that many of us grew up believing it.