Coronavirus

Prayers to lift up as PSLE kicks off amidst Covid surge

Emilyn Tan // September 29, 2021, 7:09 pm

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"This year’s P6s were already affected by the Covid situation last year when they were in P5, so it has been indeed hard for this cohort," says a primary school teacher. Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash.

While the startling high of 2,236 new Covid-19 cases and five deaths (Sept 28) deepened our collective unease as a nation, it heightened the stress even more for mums and dads with children in the graduating PSLE, ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level cohorts – scores of pre-teens and teens already rattled by the circumstances surrounding their upcoming national exams.

As Moses’ hands were continually raised during Israel’s battle with the Amalekites, intercession can be made for our children.

And for good reason. “The current surge of Covid-19 cases reminds us not to be complacent, to not underestimate the virus, to continue to gather more data to learn more about the virus, and to move cautiously and be nimble in our response,” Professor Leo Yee Sin, executive director of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), has said.

When it comes to the well-being of our children, though, we adults are largely united: Demographics and denominations aside – occupations and preoccupations too – we are one and all rooting for them with the sum of our hearts and souls.

As Moses’ hands were continually raised during Israel’s battle with the Amalekites (Exodus 17: 8-13), in like manner, intercession is being made by the stakeholders Salt&Light spoke to: A secondary school principal and a teacher (who both spoke in their personal capacities), a parent, a church staffer who works among youths, and a sibling.

Here is how we can pray alongside them for our PSLE students taking their exams from today:

The secondary school principal

“This year is different from last as fatigue has set in and everyone is less resilient.

“Help them to focus on what is within their control and to do their very best.”

“This year’s national community numbers also are much higher than last year at this time, so this adds to anxiety. For PSLE, there is the added dimension of a new scoring system.”

Lord Jesus,

  • May our students not be fearful during preparation, not be scared that all their hard work will come to naught if they are infected or given a Quarantine Order before/during the exam period.
  • Help them to focus on what is within their control and to do their very best.
  • Empower our teachers to stay the course despite uncertainty and tiredness, to support their students during this time.

The PSLE mum

“Whatever endeavours my child is setting his sights on, I know he is already doing the best he can – even more so in an extraordinary world marked by masked faces, social distancing and virus battlefields.

“I pray for parents, to know our child can always turn to You as their beacon of light.”

“PSLE is only one of many life hurdles to overcome. My hope is that we, as parents, will understand the struggles our children go through daily, to be flexible in our expectations of them, to love them unconditionally, and to guide them in any way we can, and in the process help them (and ourselves!) make sense of the forces that are beyond any one of us.”

Lord Jesus,

  • I pray for myself, to know my child can always turn to You as his beacon of light to steer him through the uncertainty of deep waters.
  • I pray for my child, to always stay calm and collected, during both exam time and throughout these constantly changing situations, knowing that You and family are his pillars of support. Keep the faith, my child! Always have a grateful heart, be kind and think of others.
  • Remind my child, dear God, that he can always turn to You, and to us, any time.

The primary school teacher

“My heart really goes out to them. This year’s P6s were already affected by the Covid situation last year when they were in P5, so it has been indeed hard for this cohort.

“May they not lose the joy of learning, as PSLE is just an exam and there is still so much more learning ahead in life.”

“They have had to weather so many changes and make so many adjustments; that itself was pressurising – like Home-Based Learning (HBL).

“Some didn’t do well for their P5 exam and hence they started P6 with less confidence and lower morale and self-esteem.

“But every small step of improvement is something to rejoice about. I hope to see my students have confidence and do better than they can imagine.”

Lord Jesus,

  • Grant them the grace to not burn out but have the stamina to persevere.
  • May they not lose the joy of learning, as PSLE is just an exam and there is still so much more learning ahead in life.
  • I pray that they will always want to do their best and not give up easily.

The church youth worker

Wise people are builders —
they build families, businesses, communities.
And through intelligence and insight
their enterprises are established and endure.
Because of their skilled leadership,
the hearts of people are filled with the treasures of wisdom
and the pleasures of spiritual wealth.
Wisdom can make anyone into a mighty warrior,
and revelation-knowledge increases strength. (Proverbs 24:3-5, Passion translation)

Lord Jesus,

  • May our youths cast away the stuff that will hinder their walk and growth in You.
  • Help them to look beyond present-past and look forward towards present-future.
  • Watch over their life’s journey, to grow them as wise builders and skilled leaders. May they possess wisdom to be mighty warriors.

The sibling

“Not being allowed to study in school, not being able to study in groups is a big minus. The camaraderie of hanging in there together is so important especially for the Year 6 student.

“Give them all strength to find meaning and purpose in studying.”

“Watching my sister go through the despair of trying to study an insurmountable volume of content without anyone to study with – I feel very sorry for her.”

Lord Jesus,

  • I ask for peace from the uncertainty of Covid; from the fear of catching it and not being able to take the exams.
  • Give them all strength to find meaning and purpose in studying.
  • May they be able to keep studying and not burn out.

Amen and amen.


MORE ON PRAYING OVER OUR CHILDREN:

PSLE in a crazy year: A parent shares her reflections

To my fellow anxious parents: Let faith arise, not fear

Cover our schoolchildren with these prayers, urge parents and educators

About the author

Emilyn Tan

After years of spending morning, noon and night in newsrooms, Emilyn gave it up to spend morning, noon and night at home, in the hope that someday she’d have an epiphany of God with His hands in the suds, washing the dishes too.

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