There is a new reality tv show from Australia starting soon called 'MasterChef Junior'. Like all the reality shows, there can only be one young winner. I'm not sure that I agree that kids should be subject to such things. But I do know one thing. That program would never work in NZ.
In NZ, you are taught from the get-go that everybody is a winner. Everybody gets recognition. What we used to call 'graduation' (that was only for your last year in school) is called 'prizegiving' because, you guessed it, everybody gets a prize (your grades and any accomplishments on a sheet of paper). Everybody gets to come up on the stage. Every year. From the lowest grades to the highest, each student gets at least one piece of paper. I don't know the criteria for not being on stage, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't happen very often.
In addition, you are taught that you don't have to do what you don't want to do. Seriously. Some kid flunked a test because he knew the material and did the first couple of questions but decided he didn't have to do the rest because it was repetitive. Never mind that doing all the problems of the test showed his ability to follow directions and complete a task. He just didn't feel like finishing it. I guess the teacher failed to mention that your grade was based on all the questions and not just the ones you answered.
It saddens me to think what the school system is doing to our children. I suppose many of the students here in NZ will be having a huge eye-opener the first time they get chewed out or fired for not doing what they are told. I've tried to tell the school authorities that they should be more realistic, but to no avail. I'm just glad that Otterboy has learned a lot about responsibility. I know he will fare much better than most in his class.