The suicide of a 11-year-old boy over exam results

Friends and readers living in Singapore would have seen this piece of news. Yes a very tragic accident. An eleven year-old boy committed suicide over his exam results. Apparently, he did not manage to hit the minimum grades that his parents set out for him, and that fear of being reprimanded or something else probably trigger the chain of events that followed thereafter.

For an eleven-year-old to think that it’s the end of the world to fail certain subjects in school,  what type of fear has been induced in him to mount that impression in him? Or what sort of discipline has his parents being drilling in for him to choose this tragic course?

Let’s not discuss about the parents here. They are probably the most affected ones and this would be something that they have to live with for the rest of their lives.

But for this eleven-year-old boy, and for many others out there, what should life be like?

  1. Youth. This is what you have. You are still growing up. Your possibilities are endless. You have so much more to explore, and so much more to offer to this world.
  2. Life. As per the previous post, life is a journey, a process, a story, and you are still playing out the early episodes in your life. It’s so exciting and fun to watch, the numerous things that you are still figuring out by day. The adults whom you are respecting and mentoring by your side. The friends whom you hang out with sometimes after school.
  3. Failure. This is one part of our life where we encountered often. As much as we try to avoid, failures always comes to us like opposite sides of a magnet attract to each other don’t they? Of course, it is inevitable. Even adults still faces failure once in a while, moreover for an eleven-year-old, who is trying to establish his own rules and awareness in the world, who is trying to learn his footing in society. But that’s the amazing part of it. I love to watch how you try to overcome them. I love to see the dare-devil spirit in you that wants to accept to challenge. I want to see the naivety that wants to challenge what we grown-ups think. I want to see that passion streak, those fiery bright-eyes with the fire in you.

And for me, when Ally grows up and to many kids out there, I want to tell you this:

  1. Dare to dream big. If you think you want to be an astronaut. What’s there to stop you? The bigger your dreams, the more challenges you need to overcome. That passion, that spark is so valuable and I will love to encourage you to go for it.
  2. Failure is alright. It’s alright if you fail your exams, it’s not the end of the world. The earth will keep spinning, the sun will still rise the next day and your family will still be with you. Try your best to better and at least you have made the effort.Failing your exams when you are eleven does not mean that you are anywhere less off than the others. And just to brace you up, you’ll probably face more failures in your life in future (be it exams or not), and it’s alright.
  3. Responsibility. Yes you are a generation of privilege kids whom probably never quite experience the same level of hardships as your predecessors. You are intelligent, smart, eloquent and growing up in the digital age, probably knows how to work with those gadgets much better than us. Information is there for you to source and explore. But remember, be responsible. Be a responsible citizen of this world. Be a responsible member of society. Your action will affects others, directly or indirectly. Yes, you are just an eleven-year-old kid, but that doesn’t mean that you can get away with everything.

Yes, I am an optimist. After all, these are kids. They are supposed to dream big. They are supposed to be enthusiastic. They are suppose to be passionate. They will be the generation to find cures for diseases that are uncurable today. They will be the generation to make huge inroads in human civilisation. What’s there not for them to dream?

One comment

  1. What a sad tragedy.
    I am a high school teacher and I see how tough kids have it these days. There is so much to cope with without the fear of academic failure.


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