Truett starts Primary One next year and this whole school enrolment is supposed to be like a big deal. Alumnis! Parent volunteering! School Advisory Committees!
I feel like I should be more anxious about this but I haven’t done any volunteering and my alma mater doesn’t even exist anymore so all I have at this point is a list of all the schools within 1km of our house (C’mon, phase 2C!). There are 5 around here and none of them are the Ivy League equivalent of Primary Schools in the country. Just regular neighbourhood schools that may or may not ruin his future. Kidding!
So how important is it to get into a school with pedigree? I don’t know, I’ve never been to one.
I spent 6 years in Ping Yi Primary School. Exactly how bad was it? Back then, there were Primary 7 & 8 students who would gather and smoke outside the school gate and I’d have to walk through a cloud of smoke on the way home everyday. There was a kid in class who excreted in his pants all the time. One of my teachers had the most bizarre accent (she was really old) and I could understand like at most 30% of all the words that came out of her mouth. I guess it was so bad they decided it had to be shut down permanently.
But it was also a place where I had some really great teachers. In Primary 2, my English teacher gave me a copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and that was my introduction to the wonderful world of Roald Dahl.
I learnt most of the academic lessons I needed to learn in that school, plus a little bit more. Like how it’s down to me to work hard for what I wanted even if the conditions weren’t the most ideal. To apply myself and make the most of what I had because nobody owed me anything. Also, to identify the smell of poop in the seat next to mine and get the hell away from it as quick as I could. And after 6 years, I think I did ok.
If I could, I’d like to give my kids a shot at the very best schools available. But the odds of them getting into Raffles or Nanyang or Tao Nan is close to zero and we’re ok with that. We’ll take our chances with the 5 schools available nearby and hopefully, the kids don’t turn out as delinquents.
Balloting starts next week, wish me luck!