Singapore: Parents upset over PSLE book-burning ‘celebration’

Parents upset over PSLE book-burning ‘celebration’


Tuesday, October 8, 2013 – 12:37


SINGAPORE – A photo showing parents and their kids celebrating the end of the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) by burning their textbooks has triggered an intense debate online. A reader notified the Shin Min Daily News to the photo circulating on Facebook. According to the reader, the book-burning celebration happened after the exams ended last Wednesday. The photo shows a group of 10 adults and children gathered around a raging fire contained in a metal bin. Torn pages and pieces of paper could be seen strewn around the area.A young boy standing near the bin can also be seen holding a Chinese textbook, looking like he was tearing pages from it.

The photo was shared multiple times on Facebook and debated fiercely on the forum, with many condeming the act.

According to Shin Min, a netizen saw the post circulating on Facebook with the caption: “Mothers are all very happy, fathers can finally play golf.”

Expressing dismay at the parents’ attitude, the netizen felt that parents were teaching their kids the wrong values.

A forum contributer on said “parents should teach children to take this as a learning experience and not something they should hate”.

Another parent, Madam Xu Dingqian, 40, a housewife, said parents have the wrong concept of education.

“They don’t see the Primary 6 year as a way in which children can grow and expand their knowledge, but only see it as a ritual they must get through. I’m upset by their attitude,” said Madam Xu.

Some others felt that the parents should have donated the books to charity instead of burning them.

Counsellors who were interviewed said the book-burning exercise may have been a form of release for the stressed-out parents.

But instead of destroying the books, they should have donated the books to needy students instead to send a more positive message to their children.

But not all felt it was a bad move, with one saying  the ‘ceremony’ signifies a milestone that the child has crossed and represents their moving forward to a new phase in life.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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