We all have our own beliefs about what makes quality education, but those with children would probably do whatever they can to give them the best opportunities in life. Education is a fundamental part of preparing our children to take on the world and live their lives to the fullest.

Modern technological advances mean the future will require different knowledge and skills from those needed when we were students ourselves.

The creative thinking test asked students to give a variety of answers to a single question, and the assessment was made based on how their answers differed. For example, students were presented with an image and asked to give it three titles as different from each other as possible.

We must move away from the exam-oriented system to one where students have the time and space to explore new ideas that might seem “wrong” or unconventional. Instead of being fed the “right” answers and memorising them, students must have the chance to come up with “wrong” answers and learn from them.

Parents must rethink enrolling children in tutorials that teach them ahead of time what they will learn in school. Is having them memorise multiplication tables before they are in primary school the best thing for our children? If they need to learn ahead of time what will eventually be taught, perhaps schools are not delivering the most basic aspects of teaching.

There is much we can learn from the latest Pisa results. If we get stuck on the fact Hong Kong scored lower than Singapore, we have completely missed the point.

Alice Wu is a political consultant and a former associate director of the Asia Pacific Media Network at UCLA

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