Saturday, February 04, 2017

higher chinese

Last year, Jo was recommended to take up Higher Chinese.

Day wasn’t recommended to take it, so I never had cause to think about it. I don't think Lu would be recommended either, so this would be one-off, only for Jo!

I've said this before. Jo, unlike her siblings, clicks with Chinese. For all the talk about the home environment and families (like ours) not speaking Mandarin at home, some people are just genetically programmed to have a slightly easier time of it.

Memorizing characters, remembering them and understanding the flow of the language comes naturally to her. She still never has to study for ting xie.

These days, when I’m not sure of a word which Lu is struggling with, I consult Jo on how the word is written, and the stroke order. (she’s good at stroke orders and generally makes it a point to get them right, Lu doesn't give a hoot and draws the characters anyold-how)

Oral and composition is an entirely different matter, Jo never finds these easy, even in English. But essentially, she gets Chinese at the building block level quite easily.

We turned down the chance. She will not be taking up Higher Chinese.

Very simply put, because Jo has issues with time management, she is still learning how to get things done in a reasonable amount of time, and an extra couple of hours a week of Higher Chinese class plus the associated stress (they need to go for separate classes because it’s a different examination paper altogether) is going to put more load on her over-burdened shoulders.

As it is, she doesn’t have much time to faff around with her siblings or think about her actions (very important for her). And I don’t want to turn her life, at age 10, into one big serious grind by opting for things which will give her a competitive academic edge, but which rob her of her sleep and good humour and other life pleasures.

We may live to regret this. 

Or rather, I, who rob my competitive daughter of this competitive edge, may live to regret this.

Like at the end of 2018, if she lacks a point or two to get into a SAP secondary school of her choice (Higher Chinese will give her a bonus point or two depending on her performance), or in 2022, if she bemoans having to do Chinese in junior college (doing well in Higher Chinese up till O level would exempt the kid from this), she will look at me and say: It's your fault.

But there it is. It’s important to me that today, she has time in the day to enjoy her meals, get enough sleep and fool around a bit. She can spend the rest of the time stressing about her remaining subjects and trying to do well at all costs.

As it is, she asked that I send her for Chinese tuition for basic Chinese. She deems that unless she goes, her grades will fall. She evaluated several options and I dutifully sent her to her teacher of choice, back to the same Dragon Lady who once told me "这个不须要补习" (This one - meaning Jo - doesn't need tuition).


Hui Ming said...

this post reminds me of the recent news article which talk about a school - you need to score 98 marks or something like that to continue higher Chinese in P2...

Hui Ming

Sher said...

well then jo wld be considered lucky, to be in a school where she qualifies to do higher chinese without having to score that insanely high mark! at their school, the "selection" only happens at the end of P4.