Wednesday, February 08, 2017

97 marks out of 100 not good enough

A student scoring 97/100 for Chinese is considered not good enough, not qualified to take Higher Chinese? This was what happened in St Hilda Primary School.  Remember the media report, 99% passed O level with 1 pass?

Let me quote a few paragraphs posted in an article in the statestimesreview.

Speaking in Parliament today (Feb 6) representing the Ministry of Education, PAP MP Low Yen Ling defended a primary school that deemed students scoring 97/100 for Chinese language not qualified enough for Higher Chinese.

“We acknowledge St. Hilda’s good intentions in making sure students who want to take Higher Chinese are well-suited and also ready to take on the subject because it also entails extra curricular time and a heavier study load for the child.”

...Some of the students scored a near-perfect score of 97 out of 100 marks for the Chinese language but were still rejected nonetheless.

However, the primary school succumbed to public criticisms and opened an additional class to accommodate students who wish to take up Higher Chinese. PAP MP Low Yen Ling confirmed the knee-jerk reaction in Parliament:”

Why 97 marks not good enough? Then what is good enough? 100 marks? If 97 marks are not good enough, I think anyone getting 97 marks will get a A*,  what are the implications on the marking system? Are they saying that A* are not really good enough when everyone has the impression that A* is like distinction? How are the teachers going to tell parents that their children with 97 marks are NOT GOOD enough? How are the children going to face their parents and how are parents going to receive this ‘bad’ news, that their children scoring 97 marks, good enough for a celebration to most parents but really not good enough?

If all the students scoring 97 marks in their subjects are not good enough, what about those scoring 70 marks, 50 marks? Is this a way to tell the parents and children that the 97 marks are a farce, that the grading system is a farce? How on earth could anyone tell a child that 97 marks are not good enough?

What is going on? Is this an indication of something not very right in our education system or in the grading system? Is this the reason why our Singaporean graduates with their straight As are not wanted, not really good, not good enough because.....?

Is there something seriously wrong being revealed unintentionally by this case? What is the truth? Is this the reason why third world students and their funny grades are preferred to be better than the grades obtained in our supposedly world class schools and education system? Is this the reason why third world degrees are better than our degrees? The implications are very serious.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

NUS ranks the top 4th in the world

This is posted in the statestimesreview, ‘Singapore’s government university, the National University of Singapore (NUS) has been ranked by Times Higher Education at fourth position for having the most international presence in the world. Ranked by anonymous “international scholars”, the survey ranked NUS by the number of international students it accepts, international staffs it hires and international publications made. It is understood that NUS’s rule of reserving a minimum of 20% of its places for foreigners as a major factor behind the survey’s strong standing.’

Is this something to be excited about, something to be proud of, something silly to be craving for? More foreign students means lesser places for our children and more parents have to empty their saving banks or sell their homes to send their children overseas. More foreign staff means lesser Singaporeans are employed and in the long run the emptying of Singaporeans in the academia. Are these good for Singapore and Singaporeans?

Why is the govt spending so much money on foreign students, many on scholarship and big money to pay the foreign academic staff? Is public money being applied responsibly and in the best and efficient way to benefit Singaporeans? Is Singapore turning itself into a Santa Claus to foreign students and foreign academic staff?

What is more important, educating our own students, ensuring that Singaporeans become eminent academics or feeding the foreigners and educating the foreigners?

In a modern cosmopolitan city in the 21st Century when transportation and communication are so convenient, is there a need to have so many foreigners here just to expose our students to foreigners as if they are living in little remote villages and never seen or knew a foreigner before? So there is this compulsion to bring foreigners here to integrate will our hillbillies or kampong kids or they will become ignorant of foreigners and their cultures and thinking?

What should be the priority for spending taxpayers’ money?