Sunday, September 13, 2009

Only Son in a Chinese School

You hear stories that being educated in a Chinese school, the students get tons of homework, the stress that they have to endure and the physical caning in school (thinking it does not happen nowadays). That's why I was quite reluctant to send my only son to a Chinese school as I was educated under the national school system and I must say I enjoyed my years in school. But no, hubby insists that we have to send him to a Chinese school so that he has the advantage of learning an extra language.

My son started his education in a Chinese school in the year 2008 and all the above stories that I previously hear are now being faced by my son. When he first started Year 1, he was very excited to start schooling in a "big boy" school. Trouble for me started from the 2nd month onwards. Both hubby and I do not read and speak Mandarin and my son obviously speak only English with us as well as to his grandparents. So he has problems understanding instructions from his teachers. However, the teachers do not care !! He got his first hit (by using a ruler on his hand) by the teacher in the 2nd month. He was absolutely shocked (we do not practice caning at home - no cane at home either). After that day, as soon as he reaches the school compound, he vomits even before reaching his class. This went on for about a week until I decided to see the teacher as all the counselling hubby and I did was to no avail. The teacher said "Not pain, one. Must beat, cannot be so manja". But that is not the point, of course I could not scold the teacher, all I could do was to get her assistance to counsel him. It slowly got better with the occasional vomiting in the school premise and no more hits by the teacher concerned.

My son is now in Year 2 and you will think it gets better. Not exactly. The teacher he has now is constantly holding a cane in class. The kids get beaten for EVERY SINGLE MISTAKES they make, be it small or major (mainly small because what major mistakes can a 8 year old make). Of course my son did not escape her favourite tool, as which kid do not make mistakes (even us adults make mistakes all the time). There was even one time, his book was thrown at him and almost hit his face (for a minor mistake again - at least to me). My son is already a very law abiding citizen - following every rule in the house and dare not talk in school for fear of being caned (??!!!). Won't this method of teaching make the kids fearful and lack of self confidence ? Are we going to allow our kids to face this type of teaching method and not make known our opinions for fear of the teachers punishing our kids even more ? I really have no answers right now. The only thing that I can do now is not to give him any stress at all and let him enjoy his childhood as he does not get to do so in school.

Still practised in schools eventhough there are talks stating not allowed to do so.