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A competition to find Singapore's smartest kid?

October 11, 2012 - 4:50pm

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FILE PHOTO: ST

A company specialising in educational games is holding a competition to find Singapore's smartest kid. 

The company, Skoolbo, wants to find "Singapore’s smartest child" to show off local students’ talents.

But some parents may not be too quick to sign their children up for the competition.

Mother of a two young children aged 3 and 5, Mrs Mary Chin, 36, said: "My kid is certainly not the smartest and I don't need him to be."

But, there are others who will sign their children up for it, though not for the title of Singapore's smartest kid.

Madam Hartati Osman, 42, said if she knew her child could do it, she would sign him up "just to stretch him".

Other parents, such as Mr Esman Supa'at, would let his child decide. 

"I will explain to her what the competition is all about and she has to decide, not me," he said.

Any primary school-going child can register online for the competition. Once registered, they have unlimited attempts to answer a set of questions given, ranging from literary to current affairs, within a hundred seconds. 

In the report by Lianhe Wanbao, a senior child psychologist, Wu Run Jing, that taking part in such extra-curricular activities is fine, but the competitive format may be harmful to a child.

He added that besides the child's desire to compete, the parents' wish to prove that their child is smart might push them to register their child for the contest. The must-win mentality may put unnecessary pressure on the child.

He said: "If a child is unable to accept being a loser and have a highly competitive spirit, coupled with the parents' insensitivity with the child's feelings, losing the game may make the child feel that he or she is a failure."

A professor from the Nanyang Technological University, Wu Yuan Hua, said that a child should not take losing a game too seriously.  He said that some games are meant to stimulate a child's learning and a game will always have a loser and a winner.  Even an adult should also not be too negatively affected by losing a game.

Only the top hundred contestants, drawn from the first 50 attempts, will proceed to the semi-finals. The winner gets to visit Disneyland in Hong Kong.

Additional reporting by Jazlyn Koo

 

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