UPSR and the right to fail

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At the age of around 12 years, children in Malaysia undergo a major examination in school. It is called UPSR and it causes major stress. Not just for the children, but also for the parents.

This is because education is seen as increasingly important for a child to secure the future.

And so they get pushed hard to succeed.

Tuition centers, and private teachers profit from it and their performance is also heavily evaluated by the parents upon the children receive their test results.

The NST (newspaper in Malaysia) describes individual results for children that, in their own and their parents’ eyes didn’t perform well

One child perceived her performance as bad, as she managed to receive “only” 4As and not the requisite five.

Another 12-year-old, Hafeq Shakirin Abd Halim, ran away and hid in the school hall when he thought he had failed to secure 5As. It turned out that he did, but his name had been inadvertently left out of the school list. Hope that initial disappointment would not scar him for life.


What do these children learn?

They learn that failure is not possible. That even the slightest misstep is bad. That in order to score, they need to work hard, and forget what life is all about.

What might the result be?

Children, who don’t perform as adults. Who don’t realise that failure can be a step to success. In fact, they might learn that if they get punished if they don’t succeed.

This is a recipe for future disasters, because they might get scared to start something that doesn’t look easy!! The performers of today can become the underperformers of tomorrw.

And what happens to those kids that don’t get all the “A” they thrive for? That get may be one or two “B’s” in their test? Oh my goodness!!! Sadly, there are cases, where these kids tried to kill themselves, or ran away from home. The pressure too succeed was just too much.

I am training people in NLP and hypnosis. In these trainings, participants learn how to overcome or eliminate what they perceive as weakness, or something that is holding them back from what they want to achieve.  They face major challenges, even fear, in stepping up for fear of failure.

The fear to fail. They have the belief that failure is risky, dangerous and something that needs to be avoided at all costs.

They haven’t learned how to cope and how to capture the respective learning to move on. They became frozen in an education system that doesn’t like it when people fail. And thus creates the failure of tomorrow.


Andreas is the founder of Asia Mind Dynamics and a certified trainer of internationally recognised certification programmes:

  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) with the American Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming (ABNLP),
  • NLP Coach Training with the Coaching Division of ABNLP,
  • The Words That Change Minds -Language and Behaviour Profile of which he also is one of 17 Global Master Trainers
  • Creating Your Future Coaching™ Techniques at the Masters Level with the International Timeline Therapy Association
  • Hypnosis with the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH)
  • Master Trainer with the International Association of Counsellors and Therapists (IACT).

We also train companies to achieve higher performance especially through our signature programmes on Leadership, Sales and Advanced Communications.

To find out more about us or our programme and what makes us so very different as trainer and coaches, send an email to andreas.dorn AT or contact us at +6012 287 5048.

You can also follow us on Twitter or find us on FaceBook.





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