Performance anxiety: Singapore schoolkids struggle with stress

  • Thursday 04, July 2019 08:47 AM
  • Performance anxiety: Singapore schoolkids struggle with stress
Sharjah 24 – AFP: Schoolchildren are paying a heavy price for Singapore's success in global education rankings, with rising numbers seeking psychiatric help as they struggle to cope with the relentless pressure for academic excellence.
Children are reporting symptoms of anxiety and stress related to school as early as primary school, experts warn, and there have been extreme cases where pupils have been driven to suicide.

Youths often face long days at school, hours of homework, and are then pushed by parents to have private tuition, which is having an impact on mental wellbeing -- a recent report found that overall the city's pupils reported higher levels of anxiety than average.

Now, in a bid to reduce stress in its schools, Singapore is embarking on reforms that will scrap some academic tests and change the rigid streaming process.

Singapore has placed education at the heart of its development since independence in the 1960s and now tops the PISA international rankings -- a system dubbed the world cup of education -- for maths, reading, and science.

But a study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which conducts the PISA assessment, found that despite academic success Singapore's students reported higher levels of anxiety about schoolwork than other nations.