‘Too much academic pressure’ worries Singaporean parents more than anyone else in the world: Survey

Singaporean parents listed excessive academic pressure as their top source of anxiety about their children at school.
The Straits Times

Excessive academic pressure on children and the impact of cost of living on their future have shown to be the most notable sources of worry for Singapore parents, a recent survey revealed.

According to the 2018 edition of the Global Parents’ Survey, Singapore has the highest percentage of parents in the world who list academic pressure and financial factors as top anxieties about their children at school and their future.

The survey was conducted by media company Ipsos MORI on behalf of global charitable organisation Varkey Foundation.

It involved interviews with 27,380 parents across 29 countries using an online survey, of which 1,000 parents in Singapore were polled.

Data obtained was adjusted to allow the survey to be representative of parents of children aged four to 18 receiving education, with equal views from mothers and fathers.

The survey revealed that 56% of Singaporean parents say their children facing too much academic pressure concerns them the most, followed by money and cost of living (54%) as well as them getting a job and having a successful career (53%).

In terms of proportion, Singaporean parents have far surpassed the global average for excessive academic pressure (30%) and cost of living (34%) as reasons for worry.

With regards to anxiety about their children at school, excessive academic pressure ranks higher than other factors such as happiness (52%), mental well-being (48%), personal safety (24%) and ability to make friends (22%).

It’s not all bad news as Singaporean parents are ranked among the most optimistic in the world about the outlook for education in their own country.

Around two-thirds (70%) of Singaporean parents say education standards have improved in the last 10 years, higher than any other country surveyed apart from India (72%), and tied with China (70%).

Parents also rated the quality of their children’s schools to be either “fairly good” or “very good” while 73% of parents gave the same rating for quality of free to attend government-funded schools.

“This supports the country’s number 1 ranking out of 70 countries in PISA,” the survey said.

PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) is an international survey that evaluates education systems worldwide through testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.