SINGAPORE: Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education, Lim Biow Chuan, has welcomed the move to make changes to the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF).
From next year, awards will not be given out to schools taking part in the event.
Students will instead be issued certificates.
The SYF is an annual event that celebrates achievements by youths in their co—curricular activities.
And some schools take the festival very seriously.
A former school teacher said students’ training sessions typically intensify, nearing the event.
Mr Faisal said: "It can stretch up to 6 to 7:00pm every weekday. At times also, they are asked to be excused from their normal curriculum time to attend these practices. After SYF ends, we have to sometimes conduct extra lessons."
And this is an issue that hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Mr Lim said: "Many schools feel that they have to catch up, have to work very hard to make sure that the activities that students participate in, do result in awards, and I think this has added stress to the entire school system, where the teachers feel stressed, the students feel stressed, and all are chasing the awards."
The Education Ministry told Channel NewsAsia the revisions emphasise the process of learning and enjoyment of the arts, rather than just the focus on awards.
Its move garnered a range of views.
A parent, Mr Lim Iu Sheng, said: "To give lesser pressure to parents and kids — that’s for sure. But then the thing is, how will we recognise students especially those who work or play very hard to achieve very good results?"
Seventeen—year—old student Valeria, who had taken part in SYF, said: "I think I’ll be less motivated to take part in the SYF because there’s no aim to work for."
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