Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Expatriates relocating from Hong Kong seeking school places in Singapore

Expatriates leaving HK are struggling to secure places for their children at Singapore’s top private schools. International schools across Singapore reported that they had received multiple times more inquiries than normal but were unable to meet the unprecedented demand.
Many international businesses are making plans to move staff from Hong Kong, where schools were closed again in January as the territory tightened restrictions. Companies including JPMorgan and Bank of America have considered relocations as border closures and tough quarantine measures make travelling from the city to meet clients almost impossible.

But growing waiting lists at Singapore’s schools are complicating those plans. “It is very, very tough. The market is incredibly hot,” said Daniel Beatty, Asia general manager for nutrition group Glanbia, who relocated from Hong Kong in September and is trying to secure a secondary school place for his son.

Singapore-based Tanglin Trust School, a non-profit with 2,800 students and annual fees of up to S$46,965 (US$34,600), received as many applications in January and February as during the whole of last year, according to Craig Considine, the chief executive.

For every one place at the junior school there were about 15 families interested, he said.

“Gaining a place in a good school is a big driver” for those considering whether to relocate, said Considine, adding parents may move somewhere elsewhere if they could not get their child into the right school.

The Canadian International School, which has about 3,200 pupils across two Singapore campuses and charges fees of up to S$41,700 a year, has already received about seven times more inquiries in 2022 than in the previous six months, according to head of communications Michelle Sharp. As many as 10 families are after every one place in the most oversubscribed year groups.

The Perse School Singapore is receiving as many as 30 inquiries a day, said Benyna Richards, the principal. But she said there was no waiting list after many expats left the city-state last year before it loosened its Covid-19 restrictions.


Thursday, March 03, 2022

COE for degrees? A university degree may expire after 5 years?

  PAP MP Ang Wei Neng proposed in Parliament today that a “time stamp” be put on local university degrees which can be renewed by graduates as they attend upgrading courses every 5 years or so. And if they don’t, the degrees will ‘fade over time’.

Have you heard of anything more preposterous than this suggestion????

Is this supposed to be an advanced version of skillsfuture which the PAP are so desperate to promote??????

Now why should local graduates be discriminated against???? So a University Of Mumbai graduate does not have to go for upgrading courses but an NUS, NTU, SMU, SUSS graduate etc has to? What is the logic in that????

Does he mean that if the local graduate does not go for the upgrading course, he will no longer be considered a graduate in due course????? So the degree becomes ‘bo pa kei’ ?????....

Lim Tean 

Above is part of a post by Lim Tean in TRE.  I was kind of ah, ah, what is this? Refresher courses to keep the skill or knowledge or expertise up to date. They did this in some industries and if one does not attend refresher courses, the licence would not be renewed. If the knowledge and skills in some industries are turning topsy turvy, in some fields it makes sense. But in many fields, the knowledge and skills are basically the same, some may be for life. The only people benefiting from such upgrading or refresher courses would be the trainers. Other than that, most of the time it would be a waste of time, doing the same thing all over again as if it is something new.

What about university degrees getting expired after every 5 years, like COEs? Some technical courses may change quite a bit, but some courses that taught thinking skills don't vary much. New concepts may evolved but to demand compulsory refresher courses? And to pay for it again and again? KNN.

What about refresher courses for politicians?

As Lim Tean pointed out, is this only applicable to the handful of world class universities in Singapore, or only for Singaporeans or foreigners working in Singapore? If it is just for our world class university graduates, or for Singaporeans only, how would this impact their careers and job prospect? Get sacked or retrenched if no refresher courses, and foreigners happily taking over their jobs?

Even if the idea could be relevant in some fields, it has to be applied internationally or else Singaporeans mesti mati when made to compete with foreigners that did not have to go through this uniquely Singapore wise crack.

What do you think?

All doctors, lawyers, engineers etc etc must take refresher courses every 5 years or else degrees tak pa kai? Brilliant, simply brilliant.

Chicken rice stall, wantan mee, nasi lemak, satay stalls, all must go for refresher courses or else licence cannot renew?

This would be a very good topic for the Ah Peks in the kopitiams to talk cock and sing song when they have nothing better to do.

PS. How much would the refresher courses cost? If like COE, bee tang, huat ah! The poor graduates would have to pay and pay again. Another new normal from our super talent. See bay khiang. Deserves to be paid a few more millions in bonus. How many hundred thousands of graduates out there to pay for refresher courses?

Cannot called such idea as senseless or even stupid. It creates a lot of jobs and revenue.  Very good for the economy, especially a captured or controlled economy. 

And the universities in the whole world would also think this is a great idea and would adopt it for uniformity with Singapore so that Singaporeans would not lose out or look like a soh chai. 

Hhahahahahahahahah....oops, oops, why am I laughing?

I think this is all a joke. Or Lim Tean must have misquoted him. I cannot believe this is for real.

PS. In today's paper, Ang Wei Neng has apologised for this proposal.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Tree of Life NFT

 rar Tree of Life 1/20

The mysterious image of the Tree of Life revealed by Mother Nature as it is. This was captured by the camera for a brief moment in time and now can be seen with the naked eyes by the Art of RAR technique of photopainting. It is a very important image, and extremely rare. Never seen before by humankind. A very precious token for churches, priests, pastors, evangelists, believers, museums, scholars and collectors. Important: Only 20 limited copies would be minted. 

Tree of Life, has been painted many times for centuries by human beans based on their imagination and interpretation. This is the first time Mother Nature has painted this naturally, without the biases of human beans. Scholars and believers may want to contemplate and study the meaning and significance of this image. The images are very vivid. The lower images were less well formed as they emerged but got better as they moved up the tree. How could these happened naturally? The more you look at the painting the more you will discover the complexities in it.

This is also the first image that appeared to me that launched me into this journey of photopainting using the Art of RAR technique.The first painting of monumental importance, like the face that launched a thousand ships, this painting launches thousands of paintings.

3 similar pieces are on offer at https://opensea.io/collection/rar-tree-of-life. This is a limited edition of 20 copies only. Not enough to satisfy the demands for such a mysterious and important painting. This is a gift from Mother Nature.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Singapore Education - Chasing after meaningless glory at what price?


An update to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2021 ranked the National University of Singapore (NUS) as the 6th most international university in the world, while Nanyang Technological University (NTU) comes in at 9th.

What does this mean?

Well, according to the THE website, the ranking of the most international universities takes into account a university’s proportions of international students, international staff, journal publications with at least one international co-authors, and a university’s international reputation. All these pillars are given equal weight in the calculation of rankings.

For clarification, a university’s international reputation is the measure of “the proportion of votes from outside the home country that the institution achieved in THE’s annual invitation-only Academic Reputation Survey”, according to the website.

Back in 2019, TOC raised a concern about the ratio of international to local students in autonomous universities—like NUS and NTU. Based on figures from the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) website—a different yet equally respected global ranking—it seemed that about 25 percent of NUS’ spots went to international students. A similar ratio was recorded by QS for NTU.

This year, based on data from THE for 2021, about 26 percent of students at NUS are international students. THE records the number of full-time equivalent students enrolled in NUS at 30,493.


Above is quoted from singaporenewslive.com. Singapore now has the bragging right to be number 6 and number 9 in the world as international universities. So, what is so great about being ranked highly as an international university? Is it the same as useless piece of degree that cannot be eaten? As reported about, the ranking is based on number of international students and international staff. These two criteria means more university places for foreigners instead of Singaporeans, more international academic staff instead of Singaporeans.

We have often heard of the grievances of parents having to empty their life savings to send their childre overseas because they could not get into local universities, ie being deprived of the precious place by foreign students. And many local academics have lost their jobs to foreign academics. In the first case, who pays for the foreign students to study here, the foreign students or Singapore, how much it costs to bring in so many foreign students to steal the place that should rightly be reserved for Singaporeans, the children of tax payers?

Secondly, how many Singaporean academics have lost their jobs to foreign academics and ended up unemployed or underemployed? Why create good paying jobs for foreigners and places for foreign students just to have a fictitious and practically useless reputation of being a top rank international universities? Worth it? How much it cost to Singapore, to parents, how many jobs lost to Singaporeans that needed the jobs?

What is so good or so valuable or so financially rewarding to win such ranks? Is the cost worth it for such superficial glory? Can be eaten or not?

The cost over the years are in hundreds of billions and the pyschological and financial impact of this pro foreigner policy, at the expense of Singaporean students and good jobs for Singaporeans is another Uniquely Singapore Stupidity has no cure policy. Educating foreigners to steal our lunch, providing good jobs to foreigners instead of Singaporeans just for a stupid, meaningless ranking.

What do you think? Should billions of public money be spent on this stupid and useless title of being a top international university at the expense of university places for our tax paying Singaporeans and the loss of good jobs for our own academics?

Monday, September 27, 2021

Why Singapore's Education System Has Failed The People And Country


Why Singapore's Education System Has Failed The People And Country

If India's fake degrees are readily available and acceptable, and so cheap and easy to obtain, why need we send out children through the Singapore's cannot-get-good-jobs education system? Moreover, it is so stringent, tedious, rigorous and stressful, and cost lots of precious time and hard-earned money!

From Primary 1 to Primary 6 is six years.

From Secondary 1 to Secondary 5 is five years.

Polytechnic is three years.

University is another four years.

Adding play-school 2 years and kindergarten years 2 years, the total time spent for each child is 22 years.

What about the total amount of money to be spent?

Go make a calculation and see if the amount to be spent comes up to at least $150,000 for the 22 years of education, not counting food and lodgings.

How much does it cost to get a fake basic degree plus a masters degree, PLUS a PHD? Less than SG$10,000! Some fake universities can even offer you all three degrees for only SG$5,000.

And you can easily get six IT certificates in just one week, with someone sitting for the exams for you. All you need is to pay your ghost writers and bribe the invigilators (or the ones who supervises the exams) through the specialised exams-taking agencies that are flourishing in India.

Another aspect, for Singaporean boys, is that two more years of Fulltime National Service have to be added. That brings to a grand total of 24 years of time spent in pursuit of a piece of paper that cannot even get you an interview for a good-paying and promising job.

On the other hand, foreigners do not need to do National Service nor be called up for reserve liabilities every year. Therefore, they do not need to disrupt their employment. As such, employers will naturally shun those who need to go for in-camp training every year, causing not only disruptions but also loss of money and time to their organisations. So they will openly say, "Singaporeans do not have the necessary qualifications", instead of saying that Singaporeans have to be disrupted to do in-camp training every year!

Singapore's education system is a failure because of several factors, not attributable to the Ministry of Education alone. They are:

1. Failure of the education system to cater for the job markets by grooming the students to be street-smart wilh and with the necessary skills that the jobs required.

2. The compulsory National Service liabilities are a pain in the ass for both the employees and employers because of their disruptive nature. This discourages all employers from hiring Singaporeans, preferring foreigners instead.

3. Foreigners are made readily available by the government's open arms and open legs policy and have a very vast and extensive pool of choices from 193 countries in the world.

4. Foreigners are cheaper to hire and, for various reasons, they are more willing to work longer hours, often going against Singapore and International labour laws, to satisfy the employer's demands and profit motives.

5. Fake qualifications are now acceptable in Singapore, either legally or illegally. The MOM's feeble attempts to curb this malpractice is way too little too late. The disease has already infested the entire employment environment of Singapore, since the beginning of the CECA explorations, exploitations and infestations.

Since the critical problem is at the national level, remedial actions have to be coordinated by a special task force comprising the Permanent Secretaries of MOE, MOM, MHF, MTI and NTUC, closely supervised by the PMO.


Unless, a coordinated, integrated, vigorous and determined counter-measure campaign is launched to revamp the whole education system, the National Service policy and the open legs foreign talents policy, to right the wrongs, this slippery road of further deterioration and destruction for Singaporeans is there to stay and Singaporeans will have to bite the bullets and cringe the pains.

LIPS, At Your Service.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Singapore Education - What price to pay for a piece of paper that cannot be eaten?


ST 25 Sep had an article titled 'Lack of local talent a big challenge for Singapore business'. What is pertinent in the survey is this, the respondents said the lack of local talent was the biggest challenge, but this was not the case in Taiwan, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia. And what are these talents they are referring to? Sales professionals, people skilled in technology business development, digital marketing and e-commerce.

Who or which organisation should be responsible to churn up such talents for the industries? The talents must be trained or educated and feed the market. The demands from the industries are ready talents, not talents that the industries would be producing or trained.The industries did not see it taking up the responsibility train talents for their own needs. Practically every organisation expects to fill their positions from trained and experienced people from the open market or from the rest of the world.

With this kind of mindset, the burden of providing educated and in some way trained talents must come from the institutions of higher learning, the polytechnics and universities. The irony here is that Singapore often boasts about its world class and very expensive universities, high fees because they are the best, at least better than the countries mentioned above. The why is it that these countries, with universities that mostly ranked at the tail end of surveys, are able to provide the talents but not Singapore?

A survey like this, and all craps coming out from employment agencies, even from third world countries, are as good as a dressing down on Singaporean talents, Singapore's institutions of higher learning. Useless universities, but very expensive, unable to provide talents for the industries. Are these real? Such smearing of local universities and their products is kind of being spread and supported even by the who's who in Singapore. Not only they did not dispute such disgusting smears, they also supported them by their actions, by employing foreigners to fill top management positions and often seen engaging foreign head hunters to hunt around the world for top management positions. And such disgraceful thoughts and comments are repeated quite often by the local media as if this is the truth, this is the fact, Singapore has no talents. Why are local media celebrating such lies, backing up such lies, like the survey mentioned above?

As long as the stupidity has no cure idiots keep allowing this narrative to go on and on, who would want to employ local graduates? On the other hand, the third world countries are praising their own graduates from their funny universities as better than Singapore graduates. And the Singapore;s idiotic who's who accept this without protest, without question, and happily filled even govt positions with funny foreign graduates from funny universities, including fakes and cheats.

What do all these mean to our institutions of higher learnings and Singapore education as a whole? Would it be cheaper and more productive to close them all down and send all our young to the funny universities around us, cheaper and better?

What do you think? What pay so much for a piece of a paper that cannot be eaten, and cannot get a good job?

PS. There are many Singaporean talents overseas but unable to return, unable to find equivalent positions in Singapore, simply because the imbeciles allowed the foreigners to set the narrative, to control the employment industry, to decide who is talent, who to be employed.  This is a crime committed by the imbeciles against our very own talents, with many local PMETs now retrenched, unemployed, underemployed or forced to retire prematurely.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

General heading Childhood Education


“Early childhood leadership certification is needed for preschool teachers to be qualified to be a principal. Even with a degree of early childhood and numerous ten years of experience does not qualify,” said a netizen. “So may I ask what kind of qualifications and pre-experience this general has in regards to early childhood? We are talking of education of your young children…not the army.” 

Meanwhile, Facebook user Catherine Dee asked if “retired generals could stop being allowed to lead ministries,” particularly those they have no experience in. “If the government really has to do this, please start them from the bottom to gain experience and work their way up first rather than dropping them from a helicopter,” she added in a comment liked by over 200 netizens. 

“Why doesn’t the ministry look at promoting someone with understanding, experience and track record in the sector instead of parachuting someone without the relevant experience or knowledge of the ground despite his impressive military credentials?” asked Facebook user Shermin Chen. 

“A military guy in early childhood education…and none of the existing early childhood education personal can take up…seriously…,” added a netizen.  theindependent.sg

BG Tan Chee Wee to be CEO of early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA). And this has raised eyebrows in the education industry and parents for obvious reasons.  The objections were understandable. Ask a foreign recruitment agency, they will throw out his application for lack of relevant experience and qualification. The general is so lucky that the govt did not contract the search agencies to go hunting for a foreign talent overseas. It was purely a parachute drop from the sky. Retired generals need not apply for jobs. Jobs would be offered to them, as CEOs here and there.

Look at the positive side, they are lucky that they did not appoint a third world funny graduate with funny experience from a funny university to take over this job, aka fake or cheat. If they did, the children would turn out funny as well, if not illiterate. Be grateful.

Another good thing that may come out from this is that the children will be well prepared for NS, with a good foundation in military jargons and way of life. The children are likely to be tougher than otherwise with boot camps modified as child play.

If one is prepared to look at the good side, there are many. If one is looking from the negative side, there will also be many, just like CECA. You can bet, just like CECA, the govt would have all the good things to say about this appointment.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Education statistics - Shall we be concerned?

 Indranee Rajah presented the latest Singapore population statistics in a media briefing yesterday. The ethnic population distribution of residents, not Singaporeans,  74.3 per cent Chinese, 13.5 per cent Malays, 9 per cent Indians.  What is the distribution of Singaporeans? Why this is not provided or not reported? What is the distribution of Singaporeans?

What I see as alarming is the data on university graduates last year. 34.7 per cent Chinese, 10.8 per cent Malays and 41.3 per cent Indians. Where have all the Chinese students gone? With a 74.3 per cent population, only 34.7 per cent of the graduates. Indians make up 9 per cent of the population and with 41.3 per cent of the graduates. Is this something to be concerned about? The Malays are just about right, could have more graduates.

Is the data saying that the Chinese have given up on tertiary education, taking the advice from some politicians that it is a piece of paper that cannot be eaten, so don't waste time and money? To make a career in hawking or taxi drivers no need to be graduates? Or is it that the Chinese are getting duller, not interested in education any more, while the Indians getting smarter and deserved all the increase in university places?

What is going on?

Thursday, April 29, 2021

PSLE - Another change in grading system


Another big exercise involving a lot of expertise from the education industry has just been completed. This musical chair or merry go round exercise has been going on for years and it seems that it would never be satisfactory as far as the parents are concerned.  The results only helped to meet some of the needs and expectations of the parents but would never be enough as the demands would keep on changing as the moods and expectations of clever and rich parents keep changing.

By now the education ministry and ministers and experts must have known what the parents really want. If they are still guessing or not wanting to face the truth, or knowing the truth but trying to meet the parents half way or a quarter way but still wanting to maintain certain educational objectives and standards, then the cycle will go on and on and every new minister would have his hands full when new sets of parents would have new demands and new axe to grind.

What the parents really want are very simple. Less stress ie less work, less study, and good results and easy to get into branded schools. Actually all three demands are very easy to meet. Less work and less study can be QED.  Just tell the teachers to go slow and teach less and just pretend that the children will then learn more. As for good results for all students, this is even easier. Grades should just be good and excellent and all students would be marked Merit or Excellent. Children will be happy, parents would be happier.

The next big demand is good schools. This is also easily done by a little restructuring and renaming of schools. Pick the best 10 schools that are most desirable by the parents and children. All the schools should be renamed under these 10 schools.  As an example, there can be 50 Raffles Institutions and 50 Hwa Chong Institutions to choose from. Raffles Institution, Bishan, Raffles Institution, Radin Mas, Raffles Institution, Tanglin, Raffles Institution, Ang Mo Kio, Raffles Institution Bedok etc etc The same would apply to Hwa Chong Institution and the other top 8 branded schools.

Now, would that make all the parents and children happy?  Oh, school placement would be very much easier. Can still give preference to citizens and location of homes and the top 6 choices in order of preference.

 Now what is so difficult about this? It took me 5 minutes to solve all the angst of parents. There will be no more stress for parents and students.  No more needs for expensive tuition and spending so much time studying. Go to school and play and enjoy. Many great countries are producing great talents by just giving their students distinctions in all subjects even if they failed. This is only a piece of paper.  What is important in life is whether the student eventually can work or can bluff their way through in life.

No need to sweat the small stuff. No need to put so much pressure on the Education Minister and the teachers and principles.  Singapore will be a very happy place to bring up children and with good grades in good schools without having to study and mug.

I rest my case. It is very hard work to formulate such a big change in the education grading system to please everyone.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Singapore Education - How to punish AWOL students

'According to recent reports, Mr Ong’s (Ye Kung) announcement of the resumption of classes has raised concerns. Despite the new system that will be implemented, wherein students take turns switching from HBL to face-to-face classes and safety measures are enhanced, parents have found issues with certain aspects of the “new normal” of education. Some of these issues include the length of time children will have to don a mask and the risk of infection. Other parents also asked the Minister if they could opt to stick to HBL as they were concerned for the safety of their children. Though Mr Ong addressed some concerns, his statement regarding the HBL option was, “We cannot make attending school voluntary.”....

“We understand that to date, 10 pre-school staff have tested positive for coronavirus. And the testing is not complete yet and will only be completed by the end of the month,” wrote Mr Lim (Tean), arguing that the number of cases are expected to rise. He then questioned why Mr Ong did not seem to consider this as an increased risk for young children....

“Parents have every right to ensure the safety of their children and if they do not feel comfortable in sending their children to school at this point in time, what right has Ong Ye Kung to force them to do so?” said Mr Lim....'

Above are a few paragraphs in theindependent.sg that raised concerns about school opening in the midst of the Covid19 pandemic. Attending school is compulsory, not voluntary, according to Ong Ye Kung. On the other hand, Lim Tean was saying that given the risk of Covid19, this should not be and parents have the right to protect their children.

Assuming that the govt, in this case the Minister of Education, would have the final say and the law is behind him, school attendance is compulsory and not attending would lead to some penalty or punishment, how should this be dealt with.

In the armed forces, NS is compulsory by law and absence or AWOL means jail terms or minor cases mean detention barracks.  Going to school is compulsory but not really in the same category.  Can't imagine children sent to detention barrack, but not entirely true. Remember detention classes or being retained back in school as a form of punishment?

How is the MOE going punish school children that went AWOL? The consent of parents to keep their children away from school is no excuse.  AWOL is AWOL. There must be cases when children were not sent to school due to poverty, or parents having financial difficulties and unable to afford to do so. Providing financial assistance in a way would help in such cases.

In the context of safety from the virus, would the parents be punished and what kind of punishment should they decide not to send their children to school? Does the Minister have authority to punish the parents for making such a decision?

Or should the AWOL children be punished instead and how? The Minister has made it very clear that school attendance is compulsory and not up to the choice of the parents and children. What if they just vote with their feet, ignored this compulsory requirement and backed by law? The Minister cannot say nothing can be done and move on. If this is so, then what is all the hooha about compulsory attendance? A policy like this and backed by law must also be matched with the ability and will to enforce.

There must be penalties or punishment to the parents or to the school children. It would be interesting to know what MOE or the Minister has in mind in dealing with delinquent children with parental support or how to deal with such parents. Ong Ye Kung has made his position very clear, it is not an option. So what is he going to do about it when this edict is violated?