Conversation with my grandson on
Dr Alex Tang
Hello little boy,
You look so grown up in your new school uniform and cute school bag. You are so
happy that you are now allowed to follow your Jie Jie up the school bus
to go to school. Was it only a year ago when you drag your bag following your
Jie Jie to the school bus and were upset because they did not allow you on?
You were too young then. Now you are big enough. Grampa is very proud and happy
that you are starting your formal learning which is a small part of your
life-long learning. Formal learning is what you do in school. Life-long learning
should be part of who you are, little one.
You have learnt much since you were a little bundle of joy. Well, not too little
as you were a big baby but a bundle of joy nevertheless. You are still learning.
Grampa and Por Por are very impressed by you as you demonstrates new
skills every time we see you. You have a long journey ahead of you in your
formal schooling – nursery, kindergarten, primary, secondary, junior college,
and university. All these are essential if you are to be equipped to be literate
and earn a degree for employment. Big people called this schooling an education.
Big people with big titles proudly tell you that this education will teach you
not to think inside a box but outside it. Grampa is not impressed with them or
their boxes. What Grampa wants for you is to be able to think without a box! Why
should you be limited by other big people’s narrow thinking? What Grampa hopes
that in these years in school you will develop critical thinking skills and to
love learning. This will be more valuable that all the degrees and professional
certificates that you earn along the way. The world you grow up into will be
different from the world today. Your first degree may get you into your first
job. Then you will have to retrain for your next one.
Little one, learn to think critically and love to learning new things, skills
and challenges. People has always asked why Grampa and Por Por did not
send your Mummy and Ah Yee to be educated in Singapore. Singapore has one
of the best schooling system in the world. Grampa and Por Por believed
that while in Malaysian school, your Mummy and Ah Yee can learn to think
and grow with more freedom. They did not turn out too badly, you will agree.
Grampa is very proud of your Mummy and Ah Yee. They have turned out to be
very clever people, much cleverer than your Grampa.
Little one, Grampa is boring you with this talk about thinking inside or outside
the box. The only box you are interested in is a small one in which you can put
in and take your toys; or a bigger one in which you can climb into and pretend
you are driving a car. That works too. Grow well in your schooling. Do not let
them conform you to their mould, but be transformed in your mental development
by good teachers and facilities. Grampa will be helping you as long as Grampa is
Thank you for the opportunity for this little one to start school. May his
education be holistic and may he develop and refine his thinking skills. May he
develop a love of books and of learning. May his pursuit of knowledge leads to
wisdom. May his questing leads to You.
12 January 2017
conversations with my grandson
conversations with my granddaughter