One does not go through life devoid of blame. We are often called upon to take the fall of a sub-par project, failures or unwelcome news, and that’s not bad altogether. The ability to take the blame for failure develops one’s sense of responsibility and accountability, both qualities desirable in an ideal member of society. After all, one who has blame sliding off his shoulders at every turn, only for his compatriots beside him to bathe in its pungent smell, can hardly be counted for reliability.
But then of course, who likes to bathe himself in the repugnant smell of blame? Which is hence why we point fingers at others. And it is this blame game that has been playing out in different spheres in Singapore that has me writing this article.
This is the first issue that I will write about, with the issue of “xenophobia” (I actually disagree with the term) and sports to come.
1. “Over-the-Top.” Source at TodayOnline.
MP Josephine Teo was recently struck by the decision of OCBC to allow for PSLE leave for parents who would like to help their children tide over the dreaded national examination, where, I quote, “my immediate reaction was “over-the-top””.
Certainly, Ms Teo is entitled to her opinion, and looking on the surface, one would be inclined to agree with her that a PSLE leave is excessive. Given the tender age of the exam-takers at just twelve, the institutionalising of a dedicated leave period just for parents to hawk over their precocious child’s work might be more harmful to the child’s stress levels than helpful to his/her grades. Furthermore, as Ms Teo points out, “We are quite mistaken to behave as if PSLE is THE defining moment in a child’s development. It does not warrant such special attention compared to other significant moments we parents ought to watch out for.” In short, such a move serves to fan the flames of anxiety over an exam which may not that crucial in the first place.
Her views summarised
But I disagree. Firstly, OCBC’s move to institutionalising the leave is merely a response to the high levels of already-existing workplace accommodations to PSLE-parents (Parents with child/children in PSLE year). According to this article by the same source,
TODAY’s check with several other companies – including multi-national companies, banks and telcos – found that … most of these companies already offer flexible work arrangement schemes, childcare or marriage leave.
Sociologist and former Nominated Member of Parliament Paulin Straughan, who had previously spoken out against the pressures of PSLE, noted that many parents are already taking leave from work to prepare their children for the exam.Oct 23, 2012