Sunday, October 18, 2015

Education – Reading the news on the coming changes in education with trepidation

Two new ministers, freshly baked from the election have taken over the MOE and hard at work at changing and redefining education that will alter the fate of our young. These are very bright men and their intelligence cannot be underestimated, and the public must presume that they know what they are talking about and what they are going to do to our young. They must have come with the skill sets, the necessary qualifications and experience in education to do what they are going to do. The education of our young is no masak masak and can make or break their lives and the future of Singapore.

We have had several great ministers in the MOE with great slogans like holistic education, teach less learn more and all kinds of jest or jazz in the past and our education system is now world class or world best, if the rankings are to be believed. The only few success factors today are more qualified taxi drivers and security guards and ‘no talent or skill sets’ in important professions and industries. The damage, they did not call it damage, is that we will need another generation to produce the needed talents for our industry.  We are so short of IT, finance, banking and medical professionals despite the claims of doing a great job in education that our standards in these professions and fields are now compromised by half bakes from the 3rd World filling the ranks.

With the new ministers and the new changes, would we continue to under produced or produced the wrong kinds not needed by the industries and economy? Or would it be another few generations and with more professions and industries being hollowed out?

Our holistic education, or hollow education, is turning out jacks of all trades and masters of none, and incompatible to the needs of the industry.  There are many good reasons for good quality education. But yes, education should not be just for the pursuit of a piece of paper that cannot be eaten. It must be a piece of paper that can be eaten or give the product from the system a good life, good jobs and professions, and be the best they can be.  I only think like that in my dreams.

The luxury of a holistic education is only good for those who do not need to work, no need to get a job, and education is for education’s sake. Many people still need to put food on the table and education is the means to that, to move up the social ladder, to uplift their stations in life. Isn’t that so, education the greatest leveler? Have no doubts about that, not everyone is a son or daughter of a millionaire or have parents who are millionaire ministers and want an education for the sake of getting an education and no need to get a job.

How much can we teach, what to teach, to get a good job and how much to enjoy education, to develop a better individual, a holistic person, a renaissance man or woman, needs to be carefully calibrated. We have failed in many areas in our education policy to the extent that we have no talents or not enough talents in many critical fields when good young men and women were wasted to spend time and money reading things they did not like or wanted to do. And while they are wasting their lives away in regrets, many half baked foreigners and foreigners with fake degrees and qualifications are brought in to replace them. The wasted generations due to clever or silly tweaking of our education system and policies are a sorry sight and state of affair.

It is very brave to jump into the deep end and start to think like a wise man or genius, a ‘knows all’ and trying to mend or bend the education system into another mould. It is better to think carefully, deeply, sleep on it or dream on it for a while, take your time before messing around with our education policies and the future of our young. Know where we are before thinking of going any where.

Should our young be excited by the impending great changes in our education policies and system or should they be shivering in fear of being experimental guinea pigs again?

1 comment:

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