Thoughts from the Founder
Founder of EtonHouse International Education Group, Mrs Ng Gim Choo, with children from EtonHouse Thomson
Recently I was asked to address the students of my secondary school from which I graduated more than 50 years ago.
The school is a local public school in Singapore where only 50 percent of the students qualify for junior colleges. I asked the principal what she hoped for me to achieve through my talk. She shared that she would like for the secondary students to be motivated and inspired by my talk.
My conversation with the students emphasized the fact that academic excellence is not the only way for them to be successful. I quoted the statement from former President George Bush who said at my daughter’s commencement at Yale University many years ago, “Well done, A students. And to the C students, you too can be President of the United States.”
The point I am trying to illustrate is to encourage the C students to not give up, to persevere. There are diverse opportunities open to them if they are prepared to work hard and be committed to whatever they choose to pursue. Looking back at my secondary classmates, many of them who were C students in school have done very well in life. Academic results do not guarantee success, as there are many contributing factors and life choices that affect a person’s pathway – A and C students alike.
I find that people who are successful in life have one common attribute. They all have exceptional people skills – highly developed interpersonal, communication and thinking skills that enable them to walk into any room with confidence and presence and engage in interesting, relevant and pertinent conversations. In other words, they have the ability to network. Many of these social skills I attribute to the emotional intelligence of the person whose sense of capability and competence has been enabled in them from early childhood.
As parents, we want the very best for our children. During their formative years, besides encouraging academic achievement, it is important to encourage in our children the building of strong social skills and the ability to interact with people.
I am not who I am today without the support and encouragement of my friends. Many of them are close childhood friends from my primary and secondary school. I hope that children at EtonHouse will also form such meaningful, supportive and long-lasting friendships.
It is thus important that during the formative years, besides encouraging academic achievement, parents should encourage in our children the building of strong social skills and develop in the child the ability to interact with people as well. At EtonHouse, we aim to nurture our students to be confident, sociable, happy, secure individuals with an inquiring mind and we need parents to work closely with us. Placing unnecessary pressure on our children at a young age to pursue academic excellence alone is not beneficial to them. I believe in finding a healthy balance in which the child can develop emotional as well as intellectual intelligence.
Mrs Ng Gim Choo
Founder and Group Managing Director
EtonHouse International Education Group