Those who are regular readers will know that Ainan, my seven year old, scientific child prodigy son, has come to the attention of the Gifted Education Branch, of the Singaporean Ministry of Education. We had thought this would be a good thing, but as events unfold we are left increasingly unsure.
As you may know, Ainan was assessed last week by two chemists. Both parents were denied admission to the interview and Ainan faced three questioners alone. We were also denied a recording of the meeting. In consolation, however, we were promised a report of the meeting, by the chemists present. Now, it seems we may not even get that. Yesterday, we were told that the report is not for the parents' eyes, but was for internal use. So as it stands, we are not allowed into these meetings, we are not allowed recordings of them and now we are not even allowed access to the reports they produce. We are not happy with this.
At every stage we are misled about what is to happen. We are told that "nothing is done without the involvement of the parents" - and then they cut us completely out of everything, denying us access to all information. We have made a number of reasonable requests - all of which have been met with "no".
We are expected to be totally open with all information - but in return the Gifted Education Branch behaves like a secret society - maintaining a veil of secrecy over all information that they gather about our son...secrecy, note, from the parents of the child and the child himself. It is bizarre...and more than a little offensive.
I have received a detailed form of several pages length, with many questions to answer about Ainan. I am expected to fill this in, openly - but any conclusions drawn from it, any inferences or consequences will, if their past behaviour is a guide to their future behaviour, be with-held from us. This is just not reasonable. I am not going to fill in the form until I get written confirmation that they are going to be more open.
One would have thought that they would have done enough tests already...but no, today is another round of testing: a classroom observation to see how he is in that situation. Is that the last round? Nope. Not if they get their way: they want to give him more academic tests next week. Presently, I am not going to give permission: it is going to stop until they start being forthcoming with information. Maybe they will try to force the issue: we will see.
Our every request, wish and desire is being denied at every step and their way of doing things imposed on us because "we know better", or so their Officer says.
It is curious to note that the Officer assigned to us, only knows how to say no. An analysis of her statements shows no positive reaction to anything we have said to her: it is all her way on all issues.
Now, I don't know how other educational bodies in other countries handle gifted children - but I would have thought that keeping the parents happy was a good idea. Apparently this is not a consideration here.
Syahidah, my wife, even said to one of the Officers today that they were treating our son like a "specimen". Perhaps that is exactly what is happening.
(If you would like to read more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, aged seven years and two months, a scientific child prodigy, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, three, and Tiarnan, thirteen months, please go to: http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html
I also write of gifted education, intelligence, IQ, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, baby genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)
Labels: Ainan, Chemistry, child prodigy, gifted child, gifted education, Gifted Education Programme, Singapore, Singaporean Education