Saturday, September 17, 2011

Parent Volunteer (PV)

Never did I think that I will be volunteering for any of the reputable schools so that Z can gain entry to one without having to wait at the end of the queue.

But, but, I am having second thoughts now.

All because of AL, a few months ago, he informed us that a reputable neighbourhood school was accepting applications for PV, and he even printed out the application form for us. I gave him the deadpan expression, “Why do I have to do that?” And by the way, the school is also within a km from our house. Nevertheless, I filled up the form and dumped it in the car, went for my vacations and forgot about it completely. It was AL, who reminded us, to send it to the school.

Two weeks ago, AL received a letter from the school that informed them that their application did not get through, as for us, we didn’t get any respond. AL told us, we might stand a chance. My first reaction was, “The postman must be idling, although we lived in the same condo, still, mails do get lost, mysteriously.” I didn’t care much about, if-we-get-it. Days and weeks passed, still we did not hear from the school. And to speak the truth, inquisitiveness started to grow in us.

You know, it’s psychological – humans like the feeling of being superior to their peers and tend to yearn for things that others couldn’t get. And so being as human as possible, I found myself thinking, “Am I really so lucky? Or did my MIL actually passed my application to the school cleaner?” I mean, I didn’t even submit the application personally.

What is the possibility that we can get selected where there were thousands and thousands of applications and the school would shortlist only 20 odds applications? What made our application stands out? My picture? Just kidding.

So, that aside, what do I look for in a school?

  • Convenient location – Z stays with the in-law after school, and so, the school must be stone throw away from my in law’s place and reasonable distance to our place.

  • Reputable school – Do you assign your most convincing salesman to an outskirt and quiet shop, or do you assign him to the most vibrant shop in town? The answer is obvious, so I was thinking; do they allocate good teachers to reputable schools or the so-so schools? It looks like it is not a bad idea if I go for a more reputable school, isn’t it? They have an image to maintain.

  • Stress level – In my opinion, good, and reputable school usually incite a lot of pressures to the students, and it makes perfect sense to do so. But knowing that education is not everything and does not determine the future, I am actually hoping that Z can mature and develop in a less stressful environment. Of course, as compared to a school in town, a neighbourhood school will definitely be the best bet. Since apart from results, you don’t have to compare about the amount of pocket money that you give to your children or the continental car you drive to send and pick up your children.

Initially, I hoped to send Z to an international school, thinking that interaction is actually very important at a young age, and I actually prefer to develop my son’s EQ than IQ at such young age. Which is why, I don’t send him to any extra classes, except for music. Mainly for character building, and introduce cultures to him.

However, I also understand that he might have problem catching up with the MOE syllabus if we decided to switch him back to government school after that.

As for the application, regardless of whether we are accepted, Kev and I will definitely take serious considerations before committing to the PV program. However, sometimes I wonder, what is the true meaning of volunteering? Now that it comes with a motive. And it is a shame that, some people volunteer for a hidden agenda, which entire defeats the meaning of volunteering. And I have to say, I am not that kind of people, and will never tolerate that.

On the other hand, being an active volunteer in the community, I do not mind adding one more volunteering job to my already-full plate. But, I will make sure that I am volunteering for the sake of the school, and not because I need a seat in the school.

I joked with Kev, if the chance of getting selected is as slim as winning a lottery, I rather I win a million-dollar lottery. That’s how much I love my son.

Stay tuned for the outcome.

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