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?
What do you think?