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education in transformation
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 13187
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:33 pm    Post subject: education in transformation Reply with quote

we are seeing rapid changes in the way we educate our children. in fact the change process had started at least a decade or two ago. the progressive changes accumulated over the years and the recent bout of changes have resulted in a transformation of the whole education system and process.

we have changed the quality of the teachers. we have changed the infrastructure/equipment of the schools. and we have changed the teaching content as well.

our kindergarten children are learning things the children of the past were learning in primary schools. our primary schools are teaching things that we used to teach secondary schools. and secondary school students are now being taught things that polytechnics students are learning. and jc students are doing things that university students are doing.

and in certain schools, when L1R5 would be more than sufficient, students were made to take not 8 subjects, but 10, and some 12 or 13 subjects. and we ask ourselves why are our students so stressed out. are we killing our children without knowing it?

but one fundamental mindset has not been changed. we still stick to the belief that at 16, students must sit for o level and 18, for a level.

with the amount of information and knowledge being taught, why can't we shave off one or two years off the education system for the very bright students instead. why do 10 or 12 subjects for o level and remain at o level when they could do higher level subjects with the extra time and effort?

the extras that the students put in should be translated into something more tangible. the bright students should do their primary/secondary education in 10 instead of twelve years and proceed to university at 16. this could compensate the time loss for ns.

we are spending too long, too many years, educating our children. those who can take a shorter route should be allowed to.
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Matilah_Singapura



Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 728
Location: LAND OF SMILES & INSTANT GRATIFICATION, of Delightful Exploitation...and a true Buddhist spirit!

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:01 pm    Post subject: Blissful Ignorance - I love stupid people! Reply with quote

"How a child shoulf be taught, and how he should be thought to think".

Once the STATE becomes the one and only arbiter and prescriber of method to this process, the results are observable for generations to come.

Look at the large amount of stupid people walking around. Shocked Shocked

Then consider the way they were educated, and the Centrally Planned and Centrally Controlled System which did it.

BTW, I like a cuntry with alot of stupid people walking around: it shows me how really free that cuntry is, and the degree to which it is possible to live as an ANARCHIST.

Here's the clincher, an apparent PARADOX: the reason the cuntry is able to support so many STUPID people is that there are a number of really effective SMART people making sure things are working, keeping the due diligence, planning for the future, inventing thiings, managing systems... i.e. doing productive work.

If you go to the the world' s richest and freest cuntry: in the USA, you will encounter MANY MANY stupid people. And the reason is simple: they have smart people who do amazing thngs in the free market - anything from being a hit man to having a hit single; from making a bomb which kills people, to making machines that protects human lives in space. They are so good at PRODUCTIVITY and INNOVATION, they create enormous wealth - ESPECIALLY ON THE individual LEVEL. The US has been rocking for coming onto 300 years!

And of course, when the "progressives" took over the education system and centralised it, the STATE just kept churning out more and more EDUCATED FOOLS for generations.

Like I said: the effects are noticable for generations... to come!

Singapore is going the same way: central planning for the masses, and a free-reign to the talented individuals ("leaders") who "make things happen", and thus create jobs for the "followers"

Small wonder why I just lluuuurvvvveee HOTEL SINGAPORE Laughing Mr. Green

The most famous and economically successful totalitarian dictatorship is - in many respects- a true haven for the Global Anrchist-Beach Bum!
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 13187
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

actually many people are enjoying this hotel like you do. and some give the impression that they are here for the long haul. but actually planning to quit the moment things turn sour.

only those who have no resources or ability will be left behind. and for those who are planning their escape route, the more they can grab the better. no qualms about it. to each his own. Crying or Very sad
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Children shattered and parents protest

The recent PSLE seemed to be taking its toll on the children if a letter writer is to be believed. Guo Weifu complained that his son was in the top class but came back shattered after the PSLE maths exam. He checked and found that many children also suffered the same fate. The questions were too tough and many were not able to complete half or more of the questions.

This is indeed frightening when anything less than 100 marks is deemed no good. And the confidence of the children were literally smashed.

Poor children. Poor parents. What is happening huh?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tan Yap Kwang, Executive Director of the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board replied to the recent furore on the difficult PSLE Maths Paper. What he was saying was that there was no difference between this year and last year's paper. The questions were set from a blueprint by experienced teachers and examiners.

I tend to agree with his comments. The only possibility, if there is an increase in difficulty, is for someone to try out something new. Given the constant change in policies recently, this cannot be ruled out. Otherwise, given the regularity of the examinations over the years, they are unlikely to err too far away.

From a different angle, some parents may feel that their children are geniuses and are expected to get 100 marks. And some will see anything less than 100% correct as bad.

What may be of concern is to set too high a level of difficulty that frightens or stresses out the young minds. But if this was explained to them in advance and they know what to expect, then it should not be an issue. The children and parents must expect some of the questions to be beyond them.

Is there a communication gap?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wrongful allocation of resources

One of the major strategic error of our education system is the allocation of university places to less financially rewarding courses. Every year thousands of fresh undergrads were admitted to the Arts, Social Sciences, or even Engineering Facualties and only a few hundreds to the extremely lucrative Law School. And when these students graduated and go into the job market, the law graduates on the average are going to earn 10 times more than the other graduates after a few years in the profession.

What the system should do is to reverse the intake. Send a few thousand students to take up law and a few hundred for the other courses. Then we will produce students that are highly marketable and in demand. The legal profession will be happy, the civil service will be happy as there will be no shortage of lawyers, the parents will be happy and the graduates will also be happy.

Now, why should we continue to send so many students to pursue courses that are economically to their disadvantage? And the students and parents knew but could not get them into Law School because of an artificially created small number of places available. There is no shortage of students wanting to study law and all of them will be very qualified for the course.

Or are we underpaying the graduates of the other courses?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Madrasah to revamp

Yaacob Ibrahim announced that three Islamic schools would have their curricula revamped to raise the standards of academic subjects. This is a very bold move that will change the direction of the Madrasah schools and the orientation of its student products.

For all these years, Malay students enrolled in Madrasahs are steeped in religious educations, spent a big portion of their time and effort on religion and related matters. This will have its toll on the time spent on the pursuit of academic and non religious subjects. And I think it is asking too much for the students to excel in both religious and academic subjects. To concentrate in both areas equally is very demanding.

The competiting attractions and importance of the two paths make it a very difficult choice for the Malay leaders to choose. There must be a compromise and give and take whichever the path is chosen. And only the Malay leaders can make such a decision with the support of the Malay community.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CSE - No complains means OK?

Minister of State for Education, Iswaran, told the public to get the facts right on sex education in school. 'Get your facts right on what is happening in Singapore schools when it comes to sex education, and do not base comments on "innuendo or information receive on the fly". The schools' sex education programme is based on "the guiding principle that the family is the basic building block of society". 'In a letter, the MOE said the schools "found that the content and messages of the sessions(CSE) were appropriate for their students and adhered to guidelines to respect the values of different religious groups'. And there has been no complaints against the programme, so far.

So the MOE has done the necessary vetting and the parents are happy as they are not complaining. I presume that MOE must have consulted the various religious bodies or have religious representatives saying that the programme is acceptable.

The latest is that some parents have started to complain about the CSE and MOE is starting an investigation. What is interesting is that though the content of the CSE is posted everywhere, no religious body is coming out to comment on its appropriateness. All adopting a politically correct stance.

And a bishop has spoken to distance the church from the new Aware Exco. But where does the church stands on homosexuality? To stand at a distance on the ground that the new Exco is mainly a Christian group gatecrashing into a secular organisation is one thing. Taking a stand on homosexuality and sexual conduct is another. One wrong does not make the other wrong.

It will be interesting to see the facts of the MOE investigation and the comments of the NCCS. They are going to be very embarrassing for sure.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In praise of homosexuality education

I read several letters in the forum praising Aware for teaching homosexuality in schools. I agree that this is a subject that cannot be swept under the carpet. What I hope the MOE will make certain is the credentials of the instructors and be mindful of those with wrongful intentions that may lead the children down the wrong path, or even harbouring homosexual intent on the children they are teaching.

A thorough vetting must be carried out to ensure that instructors are carefully screened. Not that I have anything against homosexuals, but I think gays and lesbians should be banned from teaching sexual education. Let the straight teachers do this job. I know that some may argue that homosexuals should be the best people to teach homosexuality because of their personal experiences on the subject. I choose to defer.

Anyone got any views on this?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my god, MOE suspends Aware's CSE programme

'Our aim has always been to help students make informed and responsible decisions about their sexuality in the context of values taught by their parents.' This is a response from an Aware spokesman. Then how could MOE suspend their CSE programme? And MOE found some information in the instructor guide inappropriate but 'Aware spokesman said: "We stand by our CSE programme." She emphasised that the guide is "a confidential document used strictly during the training of the CSE instructors".' Oh my god! Does it mean that no one is supposed to know its content because it is confidential but could be taught to students?

Oh my god, MOE suspends the CSE programme in less than a week after investigation when it was officially deemed that the programme was acceptable a week ago, no complaints, fine.

What is happening huh? You mean all this while some of the CSE programme were too explicit, inappropriate and promoting alternative lifestyle, were used to educate our young children and only with vehement complaints and an Aware saga that this was found out?

Are we looking at the relevant facts or it was just an emotional response without facts? Oh my god, oh my god!
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More transparency and less hostility

We have all heard calls for more inclusiveness and homosexuality is normal. It is also normal to teach children that homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle, and sexuality is normal, including pre marital sex. I have ventured into Catherine Lim's blog and read her article which suggested that parents should not imposed their values on their children. But is the Aware CSE programme imposing its values on children?

The general impression I got is that many sophisticated adults, with many years of experience and widely read and travelled, assumed that children, in the early teens, are smart, well informed like them, and mature enough to make life choices on value loaded issues like sexuality, premarital sex, etc.

And in her blog, there was one Beka who claimed to be a youth and very knowledgeable about such things, implying that all children are as knowledgeable and well informed as him/her. I asked him/her for his/her age as a 'youth'. From her post, I believe he/she will be a youth in her late 20s or 30s or older. There is no comparison to a child in her lower teens or pre teens. At those tender age, they are very vulnerable.

Anyway, I got a few presumptious responses for my post in Catherine's blog that were clearly hostile and arrogant. Of course they called me presumptious, arrogant and ignorant. And I can clearly see where they are coming from.

To be fair, to be transparent and open in our discussion over such 'normal issues' it is better that we know the background of the person speaking. I mean just the person's sexual orientation. This will help to make one understand why things were said in such a manner, and the values and experience that formed the basis of the positions taken.

I am straight and hetero. I am normal. I do not feel ashame or any need to hide this information. And if the homosexuals do believe that they are normal, than they too should not feel ashamed to reveal their orientation. Then we can have a healthy discussion, with a better understanding of why the other is taking such a position.

And this is a discussion between mature adults, not between arrogant and demanding individuals who only want others to see their points of view as the only right view. Homosexuality and heterosexuality are not something that we can ascribe right or wrong to them. Let's talk about them with some civility without getting emotional as if one who does not agree is an enemy and going after the other's lifestyle.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are MOE's and Aware's positions?

The MOE had investigated and had banned the Aware CSE programme for the time being and is reviewing the contents from all the service providers of these programmes. MOE has also made its stand clear, that it follows the govt's policies of promoting healthy lifestyle with the family as the basic building block of our society. What the MOE needs to do is to clarify how the CSE programme was given the go ahead to be taught to school children. Was it an oversight or was it approved initially as acceptable until parents complained?

As an oversight, it can be corrected by doing more due diligence. What is worrisome is that MOE could actually support such contents. Parents need an assurance that it is not. And MOE owes the parents who don't approved of the undesirable contents an explanation on how it came about. What is the true position of MOE on this?

Similarly, Aware needs to publicise its position on the teaching of such material to school children. The Aware's content promotes homosexuality, anal sex and pre marital sex as normal. Is sodomy normal? Would Aware clarify where it stands on these issues? Is it for, against or neutral?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there was no Thio Su Mien and Josie Lau...and gang

Yes, Thio Su Mien and Josie Lau and gang were booted out of Aware. Everyone clapped. Everyone happy. The majority have spoken.

What if this event did not happen? Would the Aware CSE curriculum still be taught to the school children?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who is responsible for educating our children on moral values?

Going to school for a secular education, to acquire knowledge in whatever fields, can be quite straight forward. Given the complexities of organized societies, the multiplicity of race and religion, and now sexual orientation and lifestyle choices, it is simply too obvious that what is right or wrong, what is good or bad, what is normal or abnormal, is not the same to different groups of people.

Who shall be responsible to teach children the proper or normal values? Who should be authorized to impart their values to the children? Teaching about the birds and bees may look simple enough. What is not so simple is the morality and values ascribed to them. Who is arrogant enough to think that he/she, his or her organization, shall be the one to decide what to impart to the children as The right thing?

Should Aware be authorized to do this part of a child’s education? Or, should any religious group be authorized to be the One to impart its values as the acceptable or right values? Or should there be a consolidation of agreed values by the various groups, a common set of values for all children?

Or should each group or parents be the authority to impart their own values to the children? Who is responsible or ultimately be responsible for how these children will turn out eventually?

Does the state have a set of values for the children? I think there is and parents do expect that these are the values that their children should be taught and not any other variants of it no matter which group thinks its values are superior or the best for the children.

The MOE thus is responsible to ensure that the right values be taught in schools, not someone’s private agenda or values. Failing to ensure that this is done is unacceptable. The parents have certain expectations and they must have confidence that MOE shall deliver what it is expected to deliver.
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elle



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it possible that you are asking "the blind to lead the blind?"
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