Despite being excellent in math, science and reading, most students in Singapore are still anxious about their academic performance, according to an international survey.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conducted an assessment involving more than 500,000 students in 72 countries. This exam aims to understand the relationship between academic achievements and the overall health and well-being of the students.
Almost 6,000 Singaporean students took the exam. Based on the results, they were significantly more anxious than the others. For example, 86 per cent of them are worried about getting poor grades – way higher than 66 per cent of the OECD. More than 76 per cent also reported feeling anxiety even if they prepared well for a test.
Trying to Meet Expectations
There’s no doubt the students in Singapore are stressed, and this feeling is driving them over the edge. Samaritans of Singapore, a non-profit organisation running a suicide prevention centre, revealed that more than 25 teens committed suicide in 2015 – the highest it has ever been over the last 15 years.
One of the primary reasons behind the significant stress is parents’ expectations. Whilst many of them are happy with the country’s education system, a 2015 poll revealed that some parents still send their children to tuition. Over 50 per cent claimed the decision stemmed from the stress of their kids failing their grades, among others.
The high expectations of parents are likewise adding more pressure and challenges to teachers. The latter are now concerned about parents who regularly checked their kids’ assignments, making sure they are marked properly.
The Solution: Give More Avenues for Kids to Relax
It is normal for parents to raise the bar of their children’s education, but it is equally important to strike balance between study and play. Studies have already shown how this balance could enhance children’s cognitive process, creativity and brain power, which all contribute to better academic performance.
Taking the children to trips occasionally likewise helps relieve stress. It does not matter if it is local or international travel. Sentosa Merlion deals, for instance, can mean big discounts for parents. This allows them to plan the important weekend break their children need to reduce stress.
Parents have an active role in keeping their little ones motivated to go to school and learn. They are likewise responsible for putting their children’s overall health and well-being first. Reducing stress and pressure could lead to better overall performance.