Tuesday, March 05, 2019

My schooling years in Raffles Institution

I studied in Raffles Institution from 1961 to 1965. The school was located at Bras Basah Road.

I cannot remember much about my days in Raffles. I did well in my studies but was not the top student in the earlier years. I might have been the top in a subject or two in some years, but it was not outstanding.

Surprising, I did well in secondary 4 and was top in the school preliminary examination. In the final examination, conducted by Cambridge (predecessor to the GCE O level), I came second in Raffles. The top student was a Malay.

In that year, a few students from other schools did better than Raffles.

I left school to work as a clerk in an insurance company and to pursue the actuarial studies.

A few classmates remembered me more. One classmate told me that he saw my primary school report book when we were in secondary 1. I had full marks in several subjects in most years. He was intimidated by my result.

I had lost lost the report book. I wondered if that classmate threw it away! Most likely not.

I met my secondary 2 math teacher after 30 years. He recalled an incident that I had forgotten. He was explaining a problem to the class on the blackboard. He got stuck. I went up and helped me to explain the solution to the class.

A few years ago, I attended a reunion of my cohort in Raffles. I saw the school record of my results. My own report card had been lost.

I was surprised to see that I did rather poorly in some subjects in some years. I only scored good marks in some subjects.

Those were the old days. In recent years, many top students scored straight A during the years in secondary school. This was not the case during my time.

I preferred the old days when schooling was to learn something useful, and not to score As.

Tan Kin Lian

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