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education: how to become a laffing stock
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Singapore News


Is this a third world country? Is this a country suffering from abject poverty? This is a recent picture taken by Foreign Minister VivianSingapore universities - Stop wasting funds and resources on dubious international rankings



"SINGAPORE: An international panel of academic experts and industry leaders has recommended that Singapore should develop a holistic evaluation framework for its universities instead of being fixated on international rankings.
The three-day International Academic Advisory Panel (IAAP), which started on Wednesday (Jun 27), was themed The Role of Universities in Defining Singapore’s Future....

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, who attended the discussions, shared with the media on Friday that a new assessment model was needed, considering the differentiated university landscape in Singapore.
"At the minimum, it has to reflect our three major emphases. One, the value of education; two, how we are doing in terms of lifelong learning; and three, research, and not just research in terms of publications and patents but how it translates into impact - whether it's in improving lives or creating jobs.
"I think we need a much more holistic view of a very complex function that universities are now performing," he said...." Channel News Asia

After wasting so many years of resources and pubic funds to provide more jobs for foreigners and university places and scholarships to foreigners to score in controversial western designed ranking systems, it is high time that the unthinking be kicked in the butt and think about the fundamental reasons for university education. Our university should not, never, be a job provider for foreigners and neither should it be using public funds to educate other countries' young at the expense of our very own academics and the children of our citizens.

The craze for high rankings in dubious international ranking systems at best is to provide lucrative jobs to foreigners against our national interests in developing our very own academic talent. We become job providers for the unemployed academics of other countries. We also provide university education to foreigners instead of our children. This is another way of selling out the country to foreigners.

Just take a look at the universities and see the number of foreign academics replacing our own academics and the number of foreign students on paid scholarship, taking the places that should go to our own children is disgusting. This is a betrayal of our own people. Period.

So what if you are ranked highly when it does not benefit our own citizens, when the universities look like some foreign land, invaded, occupied and colonised by foreigners.
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Last edited by redbean on Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dialectics on Education – idealism versus pragmatism, reality versus aspiration
Many pages of the media, many efforts and valuable manhours, and many heads have been put together to untie the Gordian knot of the Singapore education system. The reason for the change, the wanting to change, comes not because the education is flaw, foul or ineffective, but because of stress factor, because of the complaints by parents that their children are unable to cope. What are the statistics on the complaints, type of complaints, relevant or irrelevant, real or just fear, are not given.
So a massive exercise has been taken, by the people that may not know much about education, by people that may not know much about what life and living is all about, by people who knows not but pretending or thinking they know a lot.
Here are some takeaways from the things said and printed in the media and the contradictions or fictions that have been generated. The most important point raised, and out of a sense of wanting to provide a child with an all round education, to be a knows all of everything but knowing nothing, is this, to develop a whole child, whatever that means. And the present wisdom, a future of uncertainties and it is better to develop a child that can cope with future changes. Let me quote Indranee, a lawyer, not an educationist, not a parent bringing up children. “We now put a lot more emphasis on developing the whole child – not just their academic achievements….The ability to learn, unlearn and relearn will be the key.” And this motherhood statement, ‘Book knowledge alone is not enough, and the change caused by technology and other disruptive factors means that learning, has to continue well into adult life.’
I have several questions. How many children require all round development? How many children needs to be educated in the arts and sciences to become a knows all? How useful is a child with a well rounded education that he can use all these knowledge in his job? How many children are capable, with the intellect, to acquire a full rounded education other than being superficial and ended up becoming a good for nothing? In the real world, when everyone needs to get a job to feed himself, other than the super rich, is a general all round education going to be more useful than a specific education with specific skills, but very narrow in nature?
Why are Singaporeans, especially the PMETs losing out in the job market, unemployable, because they did not have specific skills needed in the job market? Why are foreigners, who did not benefit from our super all round education, coming from very basic education system, are beating our super talented Singaporeans, with super grades, in the job market? Why are ministers saying that there is no need for university education, all one needs is a skill in demand?
Are there contradictions between idealism and reality, between aspirations and the hard truth in life? While talking about educating children to become more flexible and adaptable, would these compromise the children in acquiring specific skills in demand? Funny, if every child is going to become a superman that can do everything, a wholly developed person, are they not going to become one stereo typed, wholly developed person? Assuming of course every child is a genius by nature and could benefit from such a complex and varied education, and without stress.
I am not an educationist or expert in education. These are some of my thoughts as a layman, someone who has no deep knowledge about education and I do not pretend to know the answers to how a child should be educated to the best of his ability, his gifted or not gifted talent. A child is not the same as every other child, each with his own special talents and non talents. Should it not be to develop a child according to the best of his natural endowment and according to what society and the new world expects from him? Not what the parents want them to be?
It will be a different matter if every child is born a genius and a sports talent and is gifted to do and excel in everything.
From comments in Parliament and the direction they are pointing it appears that they are being mislead by a small group of noisy and vociferous parents dictating how the education should be like for their not too bright or even dull children to be admitted to the best schools, play and be happy, without any pressure, no need exams, learn more study less, and end up with super grades in the end. Such things can only happen in third world countries and degree mills.
The children come in all shapes and sizes and not everyone is a perfect circle. One way to push them through perfect circles is to enlarge the circles. But they would come out in their original shapes and sizes. The only method to turn odd shapes into perfect circles, or cast iron into steel is through the crucible of fire.
A buffet of schools
What Singapore needs is a tough minister to offer to the parents a buffet of schools, from happy schools to tough competitive schools, to specialized schools that would turn out children according to the demand of the schools and their specialization. Play schools would turn out playboys and playgirls. Rich parents can afford these playboys and playgirls as they grow up to party their whole lives without worries, without stress, without having to work for a day.
Those who want their children to be engineers, scientists, doctors, and the hard disciplines have no choice but to work for it. There is no other way to master these tough disciplines except through degree mills and pariah school systems in third world countries. Is that what we want?
Stop fooling around with our education system and the lives of our young. No pain no gain. Oops, maybe we have magicians in Parliament that could really produce an Einstein who is also a great artist, a great football player without having to work for it. Just pull him out from the hat and viola, you have your superman!
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bestest solution to the perceived flaws in our education system
I say the flaws are perceived because not everyone will agree that the education is flaw. If it is, how could Singapore be bragging to the world that we have one of the best education system in the world with world class top universities ranking at par with the best in the USA and UK? If our education is so loathsome, how could our students be tops in many tests conducted by international agencies, not ranking agencies?
Before anyone could attempt to come out with a solution to the perceived flawed education system, let’s look at the perceived problems raised as these would help those who are trying to work out a solution. The solution must address the perceived flaws or else it would be like chicken and duck talking.
From what I could gather, the perceived flaws can be narrowed down to a few points. 1. The education system is too stressful because of the great emphasis on test and grades. 2. The children are not happy because of the stress placed on them because of test and grades. 3. As a result many could not go to the top schools that they wanted, or the parents wanted them to be there.
If only that education could be less stressful, no test, and the children could end up in the top schools, everyone would be happy, the children and their parents. See, the solution is surfacing once the sources or causes of the perceived problems are highlighted.
Here is my brilliant solution
Actually ACS has in a way solved this problem by having 3 kinds of ACS schools, ie ACS Independent, ACS International and just ACS Normal or Ordinary or Traditional. What do all these meant?
Simply it means that all the parents and children would be happy if the children could be admitted into the tops schools like RI, Hwa Chong, ACS, Victoria etc etc. And when the children are in these top schools, how to make them happy, without test and the stigma of poor grades and still do very well on graduation? This is an idealistic type of education system that everyone wins, the ministry, teachers, parents and children will all be very happy, and no stress to worry about. So how to do it? Generally only a small number of parents and children are unhappy with the present education system. On one end are the parents that aspired for their children to be in the tops schools, to get good grades, without test and be happy children. On the other end there are parents and children are are realistic and understand the nature of things and are willing to accept that their children will go to the appropriate schools according to their performance in schools. This group is not crying or protesting about the present education system. Similarly, for parents and children that are doing well academically, they are also not complaining either but only in praises for the present system. So, there is only the first group of parents and children that needs to be appeased with some changes to the perceived flawed education system. There is no need to shake and rock the whole system just to cater to this group, maybe 10% or 20% of the cohorts.
Change the names of some schools to RI Special School, Hwa Chong Special School, ACS, Victoria etc. These special schools would be staffed with the best teachers money can buy, best to recruit teachers from US or Europe and pay them the highest salary possible. Not to worry about the cost of these teachers. The cost can be passed to the parents who can afford to and want their children to enroll in these bestest special schools, ie the fees would be high. Good quality schools must have the right to charge high fees.
The curriculum of these schools should be very relax to make the students happy, no pressure, a lot of play, study less, learn more. And all will graduate with a certificates issued from the respective schools, with straight As. No need to take PSLE, no need to take O or A level examinations. Just take inhouse examinations and be awarded with inhouse certificates from Singapore’s top schools.
One caveat, there is no guarantee if universities or polytechnics would accept these certificates, or if employers would want to employ such happy and stress free graduates. For those who don’t have to work for a living, this is the best school system for them. Happy happy and no need to be stressed out, a lot of free time to enjoy life, no homeworks and guaranteed good grades.
Hope the ministers in education would adopt this novel and marvelous education system of Special Schools.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.

Schoolsare 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
Doingaway 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?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will subject based banding mean more social mixing in schools

I read somewhere in paradise the lions and the sheep will play in the same field, probably the lion will also be eating grass to survive. This kind of reality is not going to happen on earth. The sheep or smaller animals are just food for the lion. Likewise the cats and dogs, or cats and mice, would not be seen playing together. It is by nature and instinct that they would go against each other. They would be some exceptions but a unnatural thing. Or should one put the rottweilers and bull terriers with the pomeranians and chihuahuas in the same pet schools? Would that be nice?

In the Singapore context, in Singapore schools, this is called social mixing, where the rich or better off students are made to mix with the lesser rich students, the academically more inclined to mix with the academically less inclined. The idea is good, very good, very touching, very sensitive or insensitive depending on which side of the camp one is sitting. How can we let the rich live on their own turf and remain aloof and scorn at their lesser citizens? They must be made to live and mix with the lesser halves to understand them, to empathise with them and vice versa. It is unhealthy to have a school where all the children are chauffered to schools in limousines and schools with students either walk or take buses or trains to schools. This kind of stark differences in society is unhealthy and undesirable. We do not want to breed elitism, get out of my elite face!

So there is now this big movement, big disruption as they chose to call it, institutionalised social mixing in schools. There is no need for me to elaborate on all the good things that could come about in this social engineering. When one chose to just look only on the bright side, on the good side, everything is so glorious and beautiful, just like the sick mass immigration of people from the slum countries with their diseases to share with us. They have natural immunity, our greenhouse citizens did not.

This reminds me of the story when Einstein was invited to present the prize in the Miss World Contest. Miss World was so beautiful and also crowned for her intelligence in providing clever answers. She was so elated to meet Einstein in person and shared here intimate thoughts with Einstein. She told Einstein that if they were to be married, their children would be so beautiful and so smart. Einstein looked at her for a moment and thoughtfully replied. What if they turned out the other way?

The mixing of children of different social classes is nice and good and things can turn out nice and good or the way Einstein put it, the other way. Is there really a need for the rich and affluent to mix with the lesser beings to achieve a balance, or would their income or intellect eventually be averaged, with the rich getting lesser scores and the lesser rich improving their scores? The result can vary depending on the permutations, not necessarily only good.

In real life, the rich would not want to be living with the lesser beings. Why would they want to be so? If not, there would be no enclaves in district 9, 10 and 11. Socially, financially and in many ways they are incompatible. This is the reality of life. Why the pretence to force young children to mix socially when they would be living separate lives eventually according to their financial resources and blessing?

Or it is ok for the lesser beings to be forced to live with the slightly better beings while the really superior beings can continue to isolate themselves in their own pristine precincts? It is nice to mix kopi or tea with milk and get kopi susu or teh susu, but leave the champagnes alone? It is ok to bring the wildlife from the slums of the world to live with the HDB dwellers as long as the landed property residents are safe from them? And they can exchange all their bacteria and diseases in the train cabins.

This is a controversial subject and there will be the socialists that would love to level the playing field and make everyone more equal or look alike. But the elites will remain the elites and at most they would offer some lip service on such a project but would not live it out for sure. They would never change the landscape of districts 9, 10 and 11 and their privileged residents.

What do you think? Is this really a good thing? Try living with some wildlife as your neighbours for a start. Try to put your little angels and darlings in the same schools as the untouchables if you believe this is a good thing. What about dismantling the elite schools and mix their cohorts evenly with the neighbourhood schools?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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?
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