PSLE and DSA


Primary six is a dreaded year for mothers with kids in primary six. As it is, I know of at least four mothers who had resigned just prior to PSLE for the sake of their children, although two have since gone back to work. Great sacrifice?

Yesterday was ‘Meet The Principal’ Day at Aaron’s school. After attending a whole morning of parenting seminar, I was exhausted to have to sit through another two hours and a half hours of talk.

On top of PSLE time line, there is now the DSA timeline. In case you are still unfamiliar, DSA is the acronym for Direct School Admission. It has become very popular in the recent years with many students vying to secure places in top schools before PSLE. There are tonnes of things to do in preparation for this. Portfolios, personal statements by students, interviews, camps, auditions etc. I am at a loss as to what to do.

I remember writing my first testimonial for Andreas when he was in Primary six. I was quite proud of his achievements. He had a holistic childhood with music and sports being a part of his life. From his numerous certificates, I could brag about his participation in various events. When his friend rang to ask for my help to write for him as his parents were out of town, I could not write much. He did not participate in anything, not even a bronze for swimming. (My dad taught me himself, he said.)

This year, I expect to do the same thing for Aaron except now it’s in the form of portfolios for DSA. I thought I would have an easy task but not when I heard from the rest of the parents during the Q&A session with the Principal.

One mother asked, “Why isn’t my child’s High Achievement Award reflected in his report book? The trophy? It does not have his name so I can’t take a photo of it for the submission.”

Another father asked, “My child took part in numerous overseas conferences and competitions last year. I hope the school will allow him to continue going overseas this year in spite of the PSLE exams.”

Mike and I turned to look at each other with awe.

It is said that Singapore’s education is like a hurdle race. Even if you succeed in crossing one hurdle, there is another awaiting a few years ahead. This year there are two already for Aaron.

Incidentally, Michelle Kwan, Olympic Figure Skating Champion visited the school a few days ago and was asked by a student on what sacrifices she had made. Her reply? It was never a sacrifice. I wanted the medals, and it’s a trade-of. The sacrifice came from my parents. They had spent time and money but I got the medals.

Well said.

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About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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