Patrick Pang

Will You Allow Your Child To Fail?


Last week, I blogged about a paradigm shift to the education system. I’ve spoke to many parents, exchange my views and try to learn from them how they strike a balance for their children. But whatever that I’m doing, I’ve always asked myself, “Will I allow my children to fail?”

I had this conversation with my wife before and we had dilemmas. First, we wanted to try to stop reminding them to do their work and revision. We feel that they should start to work out a timetable for themselves and decide what they want to do and how they want to do. Then, we asked ourselves, at such young age, are they able to plan for themselves? So we just went on to plan for them.

Second, we went on and focus on their academic results. We thought to ourselves, “Maybe we should just let them fail a subject?” Then we became worried and not sure if it will affect their morale. Its double edge sword, they will either work harder to improve their results or they may just become worse.

As parents, we want the best for our children. But what’s exactly good for them? Allowing them to fail and pick up from the pieces? What if they doesn’t learn from their lessons? What’s next? Many questions are up on my mind.

Will you allow your child to fail? Leave a comment and let me know your views.

What is Passion? Will it keep you motivated?


I checked the dictionary, love aside, the other meaning for passion is “a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything”. Once, I spoke to a friend about what we want to achieve in life, my friend told me that as long as you’ve got the passion, its probably going to keep you going. If you’ve got the passion to do something, will you even think about the achievements that may or may not come?

Personally, I was puzzled. I’m puzzled because I’m not sure how long the flame of passion will be kept alive without any motivators. While I feel that you must enjoy and be happy about what you are doing (which is important), I would like to draw to the analogy of driving a car, the passion needs re-fueling from time to time. You may be passionate about something, work hard for it but faced with persistent challenges, will you give up without any motivators or will you continue to work on it?

Perhaps, someone can share with me what passion is all about and whether it will always help you to stay motivated.


A Paradigm Shift To Our Education System


I took some time to read Ag Min Ng Chee Meng COS speech, specifically on replacing the PSLE T-Score with wider scoring bands.

Rather than drilling down to the exact point in the T-Score, I thought the wider scoring band will help to ease some stress on parents like me. Then I thought, what’s next? What about Sec 1 posting? How do I decide which school to go to? While the new system will still be based on academic merit, the broader scoring band also meant that there will be more options available. It will be interesting to see how MOE will work with the schools to develop their niche programme so that parents can decide, other than academic results, how the school will better help their child to develop in the areas which they are interested in. 

Over the years since my eldest entered the formal education system, I’ve had people telling me how kiasu (afraid to lose out) I am. But up in mind, its probably to do my best to prepare my child but yet not over-stressing him. As a father, what I do these days is to keep checking with him whether he needs help. If he thinks he can cope, then I think we are ready to do without enrichment classes. I do agree that academic results may not be everything but probably as parents, we probably unknowingly put pressure on ourselves. You may want to read some of the articles which I blogged about relating to this.

This is a paradigm shift of the education system. I appalud the move but think that it will take awhile before parents of my generation embrace the new system and change our mindset.