In a commentary, Straits Times opinion editor Grace Ho said she has no plans to take no-pay leave to tutor her daughter for the Primary School Leaving Examination. She said that cutting back on one’s work hours is not always an option due to the demands of the job. While educational reforms have made exams less stressful, it is still hard for parents to stop fretting over their children’s grades.
Ms Ho said an article by NTU Associate Professor Teo You Yenn last year struck a chord with her. Prof Teo said that parents with children in primary school, particularly those in Primary 5 or 6, “talk like exhausted people in the trenches”. She also argued that Singapore’s low fertility trends, juxtaposed against its “seemingly fantastic” conditions for raising children, need to be taken seriously as a chance to understand how people are living in society, the limitations and constraints people face in forging family lives, and the inequalities that are perpetuated in the process.
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