Tue | Sep 21, 2021

Youths must embrace critical thinking

Published:Monday | December 17, 2018 | 12:00 AM


'Myself as a kite', 'Myself as a pencil' and 'Myself as a car'. Those were some of the essays I wrote in primary school. I have come to appreciate those days. We had no computer, no Internet, or cell phones, but our imaginative and critical thinking skills were of a high level.

Can you imagine writing about yourself as an airplane that you had only seen in the sky not even at the airport? Guess what? Your imaginative skills came alive then. We read books, newspapers and magazines from the school or community library, not to mention the Children's Own newspaper that was sold at school.

No wonder the new Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exam is now focusing on critical thinking instead of mere recall and multiple-choice responses. For me, this is ensuring that our children are thinking out of the box or using common sense in most of their tasks and activities.

Most of our children are technologically driven. They are not cultured to think out of the box. They are programmed and accustomed to doing things the easy way, such as swiping or pressing a button, actions that do not require much analytical or critical-thinking skills. I encourage parents, teachers and students to embrace PEP and teach our children to think out of the box.