Whether Science or Arts stream doesn’t matter
Published on: Sunday, January 10, 2021
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Credit: Victory Productions
FORM Three students in my school had to fill in their application forms for their desired streams two weeks ago. As we were confined to our homes due to the Covid-19 conditional movement control order, we joined a Google Meet hosted by the school to explain the packages offered.

Each teacher was given a chance to talk about their respective elective subjects. Midway through the talk, I recalled the many times in school when several teachers told their students to “study hard, then you can enter science stream” or, even worse, “the arts stream is for weak students – make sure you’re not one of them.”

It was very worrying to hear students in intense discussions about their future saying: “If I don’t get into science stream, I will leave the school and apply elsewhere” or “I will be a disappointment to my parents if I enter arts stream.” 

All those times, I felt like turning around and telling them that arts students can be successful, too!

It’s high time parents and teachers alike stop planting into young minds the idea that they are failures, stupid and destined to lead a life burdened by financial struggles if they are placed in the arts stream. They are only damaging the mental health of these youngsters.

I also believe the education system is failing the youth with this emphasis on bright minds belonging to the science stream. It would be better if educators help their students to discover their passions through participation in activities organised by school clubs and uniformed bodies. 

For example, an excursion to a farm could expose students to the wonders of agriculture and spark an interest in them to further their studies in that field.

All in all, it would be better to help students choose their career path based on what would give them fulfilment instead of which profession would ensure them six-figure salaries.

I’d like to suggest that parents or the alumni of schools be invited to talk to students on a regular basis about their career/jobs to assist students in planning for their future. 

The talks can be held during school assemblies or, in view of the pandemic, recorded and uploaded on the school’s website or social media pages.

When students discover their true calling, they would naturally be driven to work hard to achieve their dreams.

Therefore, I humbly ask all adults whether they are parents, guardians, relatives or teachers to stop treating the arts stream as a dump site for lazy and under-performing students.


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