Thursday, January 19, 2017

Conversation with my Grandson about Education

Hello little boy,

You look so grown up in your new school uniform and cute school bag. You are so happy that you are now allowed to follow your Jie Jie up the school bus to go to school. Was it only a year ago when you drag your bag following your Jie Jie to the school bus and were upset because they did not allow you on? You were too young then. Now you are big enough. Grampa is very proud and happy that you are starting your formal learning which is a small part of your life-long learning. Formal learning is what you do in school. Life-long learning should be part of who you are, little one.

You have learnt much since you were a little bundle of joy. Well not too little as you were a big baby but a bundle of joy nevertheless. You are still learning. Grampa and Por Por are very impressed by you as you demonstrates new skills every time we see you. You have a long journey ahead of you in your formal schooling – nursery, kindergarten, primary, secondary, junior college, and university. All these are essential if you are to be equipped to be literate and earn a degree for employment. Big people called this schooling an education.

Big people with big titles proudly tell you that this education will teach you not to think inside a box but outside it. Grampa is not impressed with them or their boxes. What Grampa wants for you is to be able to think without a box! Why should you be limited by other big people’s narrow thinking? What Grampa hopes that in these years in school you will develop critical thinking skills and to love learning. This will be more valuable that all the degrees and professional certificates that you earn along the way. The world you grow up into will be different from the world today. Your first degree may get you into your first job. Then you will have to retrain for your next one.

Little one, learn to think critically and love to learning new things, skills and challenges. People has always asked why Grampa and Por Por did not send your Mummy and Ah Yee to be educated in Singapore. Singapore has one of the best schooling system in the world. Grampa and Por Por believed that while in Malaysian school, your Mummy and Ah Yee can learn to think and grow with more freedom. They did not turn out too badly, you will agree. Grampa is very proud of your Mummy and Ah Yee. They have turned out to be very clever people, much cleverer than your Grampa.

Little one, Grampa is boring you with this talk about thinking inside or outside the box. The only box you are interested in is a small one in which you can put in and take your toys; or a bigger one in which you can climb into and pretend you are driving a car. That works too. Grow well in your schooling. Do not let them conform you to their mould, but be transformed in your mental development by good teachers and facilities. Grampa will be helping you as long as Grampa is able.

Dear God,
Thank you the opportunity for this little one to start school. May his education be holistic and may he develop and refine his thinking skills. May he develop a love of books and of learning. May his pursue of knowledge leads to wisdom. May his questing leads to You.


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