Monday, January 27, 2020

Silent Cultural Revolution in Singapore

What was the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1966?

In 1966, China was engulfed with the fire of revolution with young Red Guards running wild all over the country attacking and arresting people, humiliating and punishing people branded as revisionists. The crime of the victims was mainly due to their intellect, the educated and worse foreign educated elites, the professors, engineers, academics, administrators, scientists, anyone with higher education was a target. It was destruction of everything related to knowledge, science and technology. It was the Road to Mediocrity when farmers and peasants were glorified. It was good to be poor. And China went back to Year Zero by the time the Cultural Revolution ended in 1976  with the death of Mao and the arrest of the Gang of Four.

Is Singapore also on the Road to Mediocrity? Is there a silent Cultural Revolution to frown upon excellence, to promote mediocrity, to encourage every student to be mediocre, be average is glory, top schools and top students should become unknown and unheard off? Do not mention about top schools and top students getting straight As. Popularise and glorify the average students as the good stuff, the way to be, be proud to be average and be ashamed if one is top of the class!

How long have the name Raffles Institution, Hwa Chong Institution been blanco from the media like it is a crime to mention them? When O level and A level results were released, not a whisper of the top students from the top schools? Why? Should these top talents be arrested, humiliated and send to work in the farms? Oops we don't have enough farm land to house them, maybe send them to neighbour countries? Send them for reeducation camps to tell them that to be good in their studies, to be top students, to be highly qualified graduates from the best schools and universities are bad, not to be seen, not to be heard.  Oh, we can send all our top graduates to become cab drivers and security guards as part of their reeducation stint like the intelligentsia of China during the Cultural Revolution. Can also become hawkers to learn what it is like to do manual work and to be poor.

Singapore does not need Singaporeans as top talents. We cannot offend the parents of the average students and the pride of the average students. We must make the average students happy, their parents happy by glorifying them and shun the top students. We can import all the top talents from third world countries to fill the top positions in the industries and govt ministries. Like that all the average Singaporeans would be very happy. See, no arrogant top students and their happy parents on the main media to make the average students and their parents unhappy.

Now when did I get this idea?  I came across this article in thenewpaper on 22 Jan titled, 'MOE launches pilot study to drop selection trials for CCAs'.  In the article there were a couple of phrases that prompted me to think again. The first paragraph of the article reads, 'In its latest push to encourage children to pursue their interests and focus less on performance, the Ministry of Education(MOE) will look at dropping selection trials for co-curricular activities(CCAs).  Another comment about the National School Games for young children, 'Last year, it tweaked the National School Games(NSG) junior division (for pupils aged nine to 11) to give children, even the less skilled, a chance to compete. Among the changes were removing individual events in some sports and rewarding participation instead of finishing first.  The bold emphasis were mine.

To reward mediocrity, reward communal activities, punish individual excellence are exactly what the Cultural Revolution of China was all about. Instead of in search of excellence, this is promoting mediocrity, levelling down to please the mediocres. Is this the road forward for Singapore?  Why is the MOE peddling to the cries of the parents of the average and in a way sidelining the talented and individual pursuits for excellence?  Is this what we get from the millionaires, brilliant ideas that millionaires could come up with?

What is wrong with excellence? What is wrong with wanting to be the best? Is it shameful to be top students, top talents? Should not then that the media stop glorifying our universities as world top universities, stop crowing how good we are and hide under the cloaks of mediocrity?

What do you think?

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Singapore's education conundrum- something is fake


Language aside, the general school facilities and resources in Indian government schools are not comparable to Singapore government schools, and Indian teachers and students often work and study under adverse conditions.

I have often wondered how Indian government schools, despite their inadequate and commonly antiquated education facilities and resources, can produce talents in demand by a first world country like Singapore. There must be something unique (almost magical) about the Indian government schools, their education administration and education Ministry, Ministers and their officials....

How much of the Indian talents are “real” talents that Singapore cannot survive without them? How can India produce the first world talent when Singapore cannot despite our good education facilities and model?....

Lastly, if a Third World country like India can produce First World talents which Singapore must have to survive, why can’t First World Singapore produce the talent investors require (though not in the same numbers)?
It is only when the PAP government is really taking serious actions (rather than their ‘fanciful talks’) to control the inflow of foreign talents especially from India can our well-skilled and educated Singaporeans remain in employment without fear of unfair competition.

Kok Ming Cheang

The above statements from Kok Ming Cheang's article in the TRE are something that I have been musing about and perplexing to many Singaporean PMETs that have lost their high paying jobs to foreigners especially those from India. Amusing to me is one thing, but pain and suffering to the affected PMETs and their families is another. And to those that paid lip service to the suffering of this group of Singaporeans and claiming that they understood their pains and empathise with them,with their lives while they live their lives of aplenty because of their million dollar salaries, is another.

This is very serious matter and should not be taken lightly.  The reason 'wayang' as some in the social media have said about the sudden interest in MOM to right the decades long wrong to the Singaporean PMETs and their families hopefully is not really just another wayang because election is around the corner.

Is there anything wrong with this education conundrum or something is wrong with the facts? Is it true that third world Indian education is producing all the talents that first world Singapore education is unable to produce? Or is it true that Singapore's first world education is not producing the talents that first world Singapore needs, ie failure in the Singapore education system? Something is very wrong. Something is fake, cannot be both. Either Indian education is really good and producing good talents for Singapore or it is not. Or Singapore's education is really producing duds despite its claim of being world class or it is not.

What is fake, which part is fake? Can Singapore, after spending so much money to have a world class education system is not really what it is, everything is fake, fake world class education therefore unable to produce the talents it needs?  Or India's third world education is producing fake talents that the stupids in Singapore cannot tell the difference and took them in as talents?  Which is which?


What is real and what is fake? 

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Education, solving one problem but creating more problems


'I said that the underlying problem is that the education system aims to pick the top students for the top secondary school and later for scholarships to prestigious overseas universities.

If the reward is set at a high level, parents will continue to do the best that they can to make sure that their children become top students. The children from wealthy families will continue to get the advantage. Those from poorer families will be disadvantaged.

To get rid of this competition, we have to stop identifying the top students. We should only look for students who passed and those who failed. In each cohort, about 90% should pass in each year.'

The above quotes are from Tan Kin Lian in his article posted in TRE offering his solution to what he saw as Ong Ye Kung's inability to solve any problem with his new changes. According to Tan Kin Lian, the problem with Singapore's education is the focus to pick top students to be offered scholarships to the best universities in the world. I differ. Anyway this is what Tan Kin Lian wanted to avoid. So, Ong Ye Kung's new solution did not do away with identifying and selecting the best students.

Tan Kin Lian's solution, make schools produced students with pass or fail grades, get rid of competition. If this is introduced, parents and students do not need to compete with each other and would lead to less stress and maybe everyone passed. I think all of you would have a lot to say about Tan Kin Lian's proposal to solve the education angst of Singapore parents and students.

I just want to point out one fake reality.  Many countries are churning out perfect score students just for their students to look better and can compete better with other countries' students. Also many half baked students and half baked universities are getting first class grades by hook or by crook, fake or real never mind, especially when they come to Singapore. Singapore would accept anything as real on printed paper as they have no means or intelligence to check their validity. Singapore has degraded to the point that they did not even bother about having a degree to qualify for a job as long as the fake can do the job.

So how are our students with only pass grades going to compete with the real and the fakes with A grades? I am sure Tan Kin Lian did not consider this yet. We already have millions of fakes descending here and taking away good jobs from our Singaporeans. The situation can only get worse if our students merely have a pass grade or average grades from the schools, polys or unis. But this may not be a problem as the most desirable jobs for Singaporeans today are hawkers, Grab drivers and part time jobs, all does not require a degree.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

What is $238m to educate foreigners?

The amount that our MOE spent on foreign students, as mentioned by OYK in Parliament, was $238 million annually. (or was it $340m or was it $680m, after reduced b 50%?). By any standard, that is alot of money especially when this comes from our precious hard-earned tax dollars and are not from some lottery windfall or inheritance wealth.


We should play our part as a responsible member of the international community by taking in and sponsoring some international students. But this PAP government must forever be mindful that Singaporeans are not suckers and the government is not a Santa Claus.

I suggest that our budget for foreign student’s scholarships and tuition grants be capped at S$100 million annually and adjusted for inflation. The leftover balance can be used comfortably to help our struggling families lighten their financial burdens and give their children a better shot at life, instead of their children starting out in life with educational debts to pay.

My daughter is an undergraduate at NTU, and I know the sad reality in Singapore is that many working class families got themselves into big debts even as OYK so eloquently put it that “all Singaporean students who meet the standards have been admitted” and that “no Singaporean is ever displaced from institute of higher learning because of an international student” etc....

Posted by Simon Lim in TRE 

All I can say is to ape some of the super rich here by uttering, What is $238m? Or shall I say it is peanuts. Remember the $200m overspent on the Youth Olympics and the hundreds of million spent annually on the F1? After all spending OPM does not hurt one's own pocket. Spend lah, what is the problem? 

Today Hsien Loong said they are thinking of reducing fees for part time students to reduce education cost for working adults. What mercy! How long have working adults and our students been suffering for paying high fees while foreigners' children were and are still having a whale of a time with our free money to enjoy our world class education without a sweat?

Maybe we need to have GE every year and more such goodies would be made available to benefit out tax paying citizens.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

This ignorant teacher must be sacked and...

Below is a post in mothership.sg about an ignorant and full of herself teacher bullying a 9 year old boy in her class and accusing the boy of being misguided and a source of ethnic violence. She is abusing her position as a teacher to attack young children with her twisted views of what is right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable. She is so ignorant that she did not even know that there is such a thing called beef curry just because her little mind knew that Hindu did not eat beef, so it is offensive to mention beef curry to a Hindu. If this kind of silly and warp thinking and logic are allowed in our schools and society, then many things cannot be said.


This swine of a teacher must be sacked before she does more damage to the children. Her English is half past six at best. She is aggressive and uncultured and inciting violence, telling a child that saying things like beef curry can get him killed. Which backward country would kill a child for saying such a thing?

And if she is a foreigner, send her back to where she came from. MOE please do the necessary and don't sleep on the job. MHA also must act on this before more and more of such rubbish are allowed to create more rubbish and tension in our schools and in our society. The poor boy has been attacked and butchered by this swine teacher in front of her class. The parents of the boy must take up the case with the school and the police for intimidation and verbal assault of a child. A teacher, an adult, bullying a 9 year old child! And some silly cunts with the same kind of mentality said the child's conversation was microaggression on the part of the child. Can you believe that?

Here is the post and tweets from mothership.sg.

A drama teacher in Singapore has taken to Twitter to complain about a nine-year-old student she encountered in one of her classes — only to remove her tweets and account after receiving backlash for her views.
Her beef?
A child she was teaching in her drama class had behaved in a manner that was not woke enough and she told the boy off on the spot that it was his type of misguided views that is the cause of ethnic violence.

What did she tweet?

The series of six tweets on July 17 by the drama teacher also referred to the child as an “uncultured swine” and that she “wanted to strangle the kid”.
These were the tweets and the circumstances that led to her calling out the boy’s answers and behaviour:






Praised for correcting child

Over on Twitter, the drama teacher’s tweets received support and empathy from some quarters who could relate to her having to deal with such microaggressions:
The issue was also couched as a result of “Chinese privilege“:


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Education to serve social/political or educational goals

SINGAPORE: Education Minister Ong Ye Kung announced the momentous move to end streaming in secondary schools by 2024 in March.


Schools are now encouraged to do away with the practice of grouping students into form classes by academic ability and instead experiment with innovative ways to group students.

The idea is that this will encourage children from different backgrounds to interact with each other. In the long run, this would lead to better social mixing and greater societal cohesion – or so is thought.
CHALLENGES WITH DOING AWAY WITH ABILITY-BASED CLASS GROUPING
Doing away with ability-based grouping necessarily implies that each form class will comprise a more heterogeneous mix of students than before. A pertinent consideration is whether teachers are well prepared to teach such classes.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/streaming-subject-based-banding-group-class-cca-secondary-school-11531090
 
This is the latest change in our education system, dismantling the past objectives of churning out the best in our students in their respective fields of excellence. Now looks like this is not in the interest of the state, that students excelling in academic subjects should be secondary to the goal of social integration, mixing the able with the less able, the rich and the poor, and all races into a melting pot is more important than producing academic excellence. Is this the way to go forward, is this what parents want of their children or what politicians want of our children?
 
What do parents spent so much time and money for, to produce children that can mix with everyone at all social levels, intellect and backgrounds instead of being top scientists, engineers, doctors etc and etc? Look at what is happening to China, sending its best students overseas not to study soft subjects but hard sciences to compete in high technology of the future and turning China into the most advanced state in science and technology surpassing the Americans in many fields. Would we want to be like China or like some suka suka half past six countries, good for nothing but happy go lucky young of the future?As it is now, our young could not even compete with third world graduates in getting jobs in our own country. How would this turn out if our young of the future turn out to be mediocre good for nothing graduates?
 
One outcome mentioned in this CNA article is the difficulty in teaching a class of bright and less bright students to the teachers. Going too fast will affect the slower students, going too slow will hold back the faster students. So you will end up with a class of mediocres.
 
An analogy in the mixing of paints in art classes would suffice to explain the outcome of this social/political policy. If one is to add white paint with white paint or black ink with black ink, the result will be whiter paint or blacker ink. If one is to mix white paint with black ink, you will end up with a spread of grey, from less white to less black, never white or black.
 
The thinking and objectives of an educationist and that of a politician would be world's apart. Never shall the twains meet. If we have a soldier or whatever to meddle with our education policies, the likelihood is that the system will produce an army of soldiers or whatever, for a soldier would be thinking of producing more soldiers or whatever.
 
I am wondering what the parents would choose. Definitely they would not want soldiers to determine the education policies of their children. Would our parents choose the social/political results of a politician over the goals of academic excellence for their children? A degree is not important, cannot be eaten? Or would this new change lead to better academic performance of our children? Would the system end up producing more potential politicians? This may not be bad as it is the surest and fastest way to become immediate millionaires.

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Education – Why are we so cruel to our children?


The demands on our children are so out of this world. No children in the world are subject to what our children are exposed to, expected to, in our education system and social norms. They are not only expected to score straight As in schools, but to excel in sports, in ECAs, even in trying to make money, to think like business people and entrepreneurs, to be able to dance, to sing and to appreciate the arts, in sports. What else do we need our children to do to be a better person and to compete against the world?
 

And the poor parents are not spared either. They need not only to spend the time and money, yes, some are really poor to pay for all the extra costs needed to bring up our children as the most well educated people on earth. They need to spend time to monitor the progress of their children personally. Leaving them to third world maids would not do unless they want all their effort and sacrifices go the third world ways.
 

But these are not all that our children are faced with. After coming out from the ‘best’ education system with a string of ECAs, they would need to compete with children that do not need to know or appreciate arts, no need to be an all round super kid, just passed their village examinations, real or by cheating, in order to be hired by the foreigners now in our local companies doing the recruitment with unfair biases for their own kinds, or be assisted by foreign recruitment agents and placed for jobs in our local companies, including ministries and GLCs, neglecting our super kids from our very expensive education system. Some even have to spend money going overseas to experience what is being overseas thinking that it would be an advantage.
 

The foreign kids need not be super kids, need not be worldly wise, just street wise, to beat our expensively schooled kids and get the jobs, stole the jobs from our kids, deprived our kids from the good jobs that they paid a small fortune in our education system and hoping to land in one.
 

Why are we so unfair to our kids? Oh, wait a minute, our poor kids still need to ‘waste’ one and a half to two years running up hills and bashing through jungle terrain before they can start to look for a job that the foreign kids need not have to. Why are we doing this to our poor children, and smugly telling them that they have to compete with the rest of the fucking world?
 

You do not need the devils if you have such wicked morons ruling and ruining our lives and the lives and future of our children. Maybe some of these morons are thinking that our children should not be working as their parents are all millionaires, and their lives are meant to live and play, education is just for fun, to be a well rounded person, not to look for jobs.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Graduated to Unemployement...and disappointment


'It is such a crying shame if many of our PEI graduates eventually end up as another private car driver or “protection officers” who are really just security guards. These is a grim situation against a backdrop of thousands of foreigners who are holding Employment Passes and S-passes in Singapore
Singaporeans must pay dearly in different ways when they elect an incompetent government that is unable to create any more opportunities for its people. Our citizens must by now realised that there are heavy prices that they must pay for electing a useless PAP government who cannot fly any higher or any further anymore.'

The above pic and comments were in an article posted by Simon Lim in TRE.


The Graduation Ceremony used to be the pride of parents and their children, the event to ended a regime of self sacrifices, regimentation and financial expenses and the beginning of hope of a better future.

Is this true today? How many of the graduates are walking into the adult's world armed with their degrees and diploma and hope of a good job and better future and to doing their parents proud?

How many would be wallowing in self pity, loss of confidence and in financial straits, unable to repay their loans or their parents for paying for their expensive tertiary education when funny graduates from cheap funny universities overseas are beating them to the valued jobs and leaving them jobless? Who is to be blamed for their plight, the highly disturbing CECA, or the people that signed the CECA or allowed it to happen to seal the fate of our young people?

What do you think? Do our young deserve this bleak future, when Graduation Day is the day they graduated to join the ranks of the unemployed? How pathetic can our young be? Who cares, who did they vote for to deserve this?

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Education - A view from someone that has gone through the system

Below are some comments from an Anonymous bloggers in mysingaporenews about how the people felt about the education system in Singapore.
 
Anonymous said...
In some JCs, before each child starts the journey, it is a foregone conclusion up to almost 20% of the JC1 students will not make the cut at the EOY (end of yr) examination and up to another 60% scrapped through by a margin thinner than the hair strand and will NOT make it to the uni too?

Thats why parents are so relaxed and dun need worry anything at all despite spending all the resources to bring up their child till 16+ yo (only to be "wasted" in "ruthless experimentation" and cannot make it teaching)

One parent in 2016 whose son studied in a sch in the middle of sinkieland almost VOMITTED blood after the MYE parent meeting session talking to his son's chers he broke his (PA)Piggy bank spending almost $3,000 a month hiring tutors for almost every subject for his son to circumvent the problem his child was facing in the sch teaching "system".

So if a parent really is a "nut case" and does nothing but sit back and relax, then the child "could be doomed"?

Empirically, the more than $1,000,000,000 tuition industry may have been grossly underestimated bc there is no systematic statistic/ data collection to account for all the spending incurred by parents. If can really sit back and relax, why parents are mad ah and spend many billions of dollars collectively to circumvent the problems their child are facing in the sch?

MOE entire budget are also billions of dollars per year and parents need to spend another billions on tuition to make up for the short fall?

Typically the tuition demand steadily builds up each year starting from Jan. Every sch engagement exercise or meet parent session caused many parents to go away feeling ever more depressed and more worried than ever like the parent in 2016 mentioned above and for the sake of their child reluctantly do (HUGE) DAMAGE to their (PA)Piggy bank account by coughing out thousands each month on their child's tuition

The more parents engaged the chers, the more worried they are? What have they heard that caused them to go away feeling so worried sick and depressed? The conclusion they have after each talking session with chers? If they have confidence in them, why the parents want to break and damage their(PA)Piggy bank accounts severely after each meet the parent session?

This is the future that sinkies are facing?

Brighter than the SUN (and brightest FULL MOON combined)?

(Ai rest mind case.)

PS: The chers are the real stupid pple if they think parents dunno how fark up the way that their child has to go through and endure in sch?

If not parents are nuts ah to spend another billions on tuition on top of the billions already spend by MOE each year?

If parents really stupid and think are shitty propaganda and not deeper meaning than their child's future as bright as the darkness in the cold winter nights liao (in the Artic Circle)?

The fact that each year parents are coughing out billions on tuition speak otherwise?

Now those who read it as shitty propaganda realised how STUPID or not they are?

RB legendary quote: "STUPIDITY HAS NO CURE!!!"

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Training to become hawkers

I read in the main media of this great opportunity to become hawkers in Singapore’s famous hawker culture business. ITE has started a new hawker course to teach and train aspiring young people, very likely armed with degrees or diplomas to become hawkers. This new profession is about the best thing that has happened in Singapore for the young and entrepreneurial Singaporeans since getting a permanent job is quite difficult as most of the jobs were taken up by the 2 million foreign talents working here, and with more coming in to become locals and Singaporeans. New Singaporean graduates are finding it tough competing with these new talents, or is it that employers for some reasons, prefer to hire foreigners instead of Singaporeans, and other than becoming taxi drivers, it is better to become hawkers.

 
The ITE course, Introduction to Managing a Hawker Business, has attracted 25 aspiring young people to learn this new trade. Among the things that they would learn other than managing a hawker stall would be things like how to source for suppliers and yes, how to formulate a business plan. This is serious business.
I am calling my grandfather to apply to be a lecturer for this course. His experience as a hawker for 50 years, from the time he arrived in this island, with out a penny, with no education, would be very useful to the new trainees that have no clues about running a hawker stall. My grandfather would be able to teach them all the tricks of the trade, including sourcing for suppliers, how to cut operating cost, how to work from 6am to 12 mid night, how to stand frying char kway teow for long hours without going to the toilet.
 

But there is a caveat. My grandfather would not know how to teach them how to write business plan. Also he would have to conduct his course in Hokien. He had never been to school. He learnt his trade the hard way or what they called, OJT. There was no one to teach him how to be a hawker then, and no hawker courses to learn how to be a hawker.
 

Hope if he got the job, the highly educated trainee aspiring hawkers would bear with him and be willing to learn from him. Hawker business is not so easy and they don’t teach them in schools or the universities. So my grandfather and his peers would be the best lecturers/trainers for such a course. They had been there and done it, no pure reading by the books.
 

This poses a new query in my mind. Who are they getting to train these aspiring hawkers, people with experience in being hawkers or text books academics? I am still puzzled by the availability of such experts in the hawker business. Would a Mat Salleh help?
 

Ok, ok, I am kidding. My grandfather must be 150 years if he is still alive. But hawker business is going to be a new profession for our young people since they no longer can become IT professionals or other professionals in Singapore. This is their best hope to earn a decent living and have a permanent job or profession. Otherwise they would likely be unemployed or underemployed.
 

The caring govt has come forward to give them a helping hand by initiating such a great course to train them to be hawkers. If not they would not have a clue how to become a hawker. Singaporeans must be taught or they would not be able to do anything on their own. This is like they said, no initiative, cannot think, cannot find out on their own, a product of Singapore’s tuition culture.
 

My grandfather did not need any tuition or training to become a successful hawker. He would faint if he knows that his class would have highly educated young people with no ideas about how to be a hawker. He would like say, seow.