Friday, September 09, 2005


My niece has been groaning & moaning about school & the system. She wants to join a school that offers the more well-rounded IB program but cost is a huge factor as my nephew is already attending it. Her mum can't afford to put both kids in there, & out of her 3 kids, My niece is "the one most likely to survive the local system". Unfortunately, this will probably mean that she will end up in the local uni with its straight laced programs & parroting form of learning. Hopefully she will choose to major in something that will allow her to widen her horizons after she graduates.

I feel melancholy when I heard the phrase in bold above, not that I fault my sister at all. But I was in the same position as my niece during my schooldays. As the "brainiac" of the family, I made it into JC & then in NUS. Not so for my sis & bro. Because of their "lesser" academic abilities, they were given the chance to pursue their studies overseas & in "alternative" albeit more expensive methods. My parents could not afford to do so for all of us.

Ironically, I found myself trapped in a system that did not encourage me to explore & stretch myself, & subsequently, followed the safe & tried route of becoming a well-respected professional. I can't say that I made the wrong decision in my choice of career, as I made the best decision I could given my circumstances & what was available to me at the time. But I want & hope that my own children will be given wider choices as they develop & find themselves. Hopefully, they will end up doing what they love & have a passion for, and be able to earn a living doing so.

Hence all the sacrifices that A & I are willing to put up with, in placing them in an excellent international school with a curriculum & teachers which even the local university would envy.

I can't help but find myself wondering "what if"...if I had been given the chance that my kids have now, would I be doing something that I passionately believe in & love? I guess I will never know...

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