Singapore Parents and the Education System : A Parable (Part 2)

Read Part 1 of the Post here.

Let’s say that you were locked in a prison cell, sound asleep, then your Saviour unlocks your prison cell, as well as the cell of others. You wake up and are told by a guard that you are now free to go. You still, remain waiting there, behind the bars, inside your prison cell. You see other prisoners walking about leaving the prison cell, despite being told you are now free. You wait.

Are you still going to wait when you realize that you have new-found freedom that have released you from these chains, that have held you bondage for so long to the cruel task-master?

Think about this : In that journey that tens of thousands of Israelites took in the wilderness after they took the step to leave Egypt, it took them 40 years to get to the Promised land of ‘Milk and Honey’ Canaan. Many died in the wilderness.

As for those who went on to take the land of Canaan, it was all very promising when they saw the vast resources and food that were in Canaan. Many were focused on the Giants that resided in the land and were stumbled by that fear of facing the Giants. Only some saw the hope and went on to conquered their fear and went on to Canaan. While there were also others who died in the wilderness and failed to reach the Promise Land.

You must be thinking, “What a way to continue the post, after telling people to take the step to leave ‘Egypt!”

If you were focused on the ones that failed to get to the Promised Land, then you will be likely focused on your negative thoughts, be paralyzed by the current situation, and will be unable to make any step of change.

How about the ones that finally conquered the Promised Land?

Promiseland1Illustration from here

For those who conquered Canaan, the Promised Land. It was not a typical war of conquest, like what we read throughout human history, of violent warfare and pillage. All the Israelites have to do was to follow God’s instructions, and it did all go well in the end.

So did I tell you to fight against the system? Obviously not. All I did in the last post was to encourage you to change your mindset and think differently.

And if you are a fellow Christian, have you started to reflect on the world’s ways of telling you how to raise your children, is truly in line with God’s ways?

Do the Exodus

Some parents did the ‘Exodus’ by homeschooling. However, this is not the panacea for all. I am for one, who will not be able to take the home-schooling option and will be putting my child through a regular government school.

So how have I taken the first step to leave ‘Egypt’?

First, I made a choice to go with a ‘regular’ school vs a top choice in the neighborhood, which incidentally, hb was an alumni of the latter. If you were to compare the popular choice, i,e, a top chinese school located in Marine Parade with what I have decided to go with, the final choice will be perceived as an inferior selection. There were even places leftover that were not taken up from this school at the last day of phase 2C, so go figure.

It must be a lousy school then.

I like to see it as ordinary, not lousy, as there are still plenty of benefits of being ordinary in this situation.

As for tuition, I am not sure how long I can’t keep that away from my child. So if a need arises for additional coaching, so be it.

I will still encourage my child to put in his best effort to learn from school. If he encounters failure, it will be a good opportunity to learn from his failure and to build his resilience. There will be no burning of books or homework at the end of major exams. As it is just school and exams, there isn’t a necessity to make such a big deal out of it. And if relatives at family gatherings ask me about his results. All they are going to hear from me, will be “Okay lor…”

The Journey into the Wilderness

I have just started traipsing through the wilderness and will likely be getting to the thick of things from mid of next year.

I like to think that with this mindset change, I am taking a chance for a better life for my child and for myself, as a parent. My eyes are wide open to the false comforts and security of what the society thinks is best for my child. The picture painted for all may seem very promising, but I have stared ugliness of the world’s ways and standards in the face, and seen how she has been a harsh task-master for many children and parents.

Just like it was in the story of the Exodus, there will be some time spent in the Wilderness.

But it takes too long! You say. I would be lying if I were to tell you that you can get ‘Your Best Life Now.’. Good things will come to those who wait patiently, and persevere.

Screen Shot 2013 10 22 at 1 20 00 PM

Nobody ever said that it was easy to leave conventional mindsets and adopt a differing mindset.

It took the Israelites 40 years of wandering around the desert before they reached Promised land of Canaan. In ancient days, the trip from Egypt to Canaan would have taken them 11 days at the most, considering that they had so many people, triple that and make it 33 days.

The journey took them so long simply because they refuse to be in tune with God plans for them. They were a stubborn, disobedient, rebellious, stiff-necked people who complained incessantly and were constantly ungrateful for the good things that God did for them. In fact, one generation failed to get into the Promised Land, simply because of idolatry.

So after hearing all of this. Is it better to die with the chains around your ankles in slavery or take the step into the wilderness and believe that there is a Promised Land that can be conquered? It is a choice that each of us have to decide for ourselves and our children.

What kind of mindset are you living with today?

Is your mindset going to make you feel trapped and powerless under the bondage of not accepting failure from your child? Or are you just concerned about what people, relatives, friends think about you and your children?

When you eventually decide to take that step out of ‘Egypt’, will you have an attitude that will get you to the Promised Land in DAYS or in YEARS?

The step that will carry you into the Promised Land is that very same step that moves you out of Egypt. Are you able to take that leap to change your mind?


A note for fellow Christians :

Your feet may get weary when you are walking away from ‘Egypt’ and pressing towards the Promised land. If you are battling doubt, fear, hopelessness, insecurities, whatever it may be that will take your mind captive. Remember, just like what God has promised the Israelites through the wilderness. God will carry you safely in His arms, shower manna from the heaven and supply water for you to quench your thirst from the rock. Most of all, He has promised your freedom from that captivity.

When His son, Jesus, died on the cross, you were set free. All you need to do is to claim your freedom.

Screen Shot 2013 10 22 at 4 00 39 PMIllustration from here


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