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education: how to become a laffing stock
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 14196
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A wonderful educational experience

As we get more influence and have more money to spare, we become more creative and innovative with what money can offer. Schools are increasinly organising overseas trips for their students as a badge of honour, as a wonderful educational experience for the children.

We are seeing trips not only to neighbouring countries, but to the US, Europe, China and Japan. At the university level we have exchange programmes with other universities all over the world. Such experience will definitely make our students smarter and brighter. They will definitely be better than third world students who can't even afford a trip to town.

Money sure can buy quality education. The more expensive the education fee, the better will be the education.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last series of major accidents were not very pleasant. Let's hope we don't have another series of major accidents. Otherwise many people will not live to enjoy their annuities.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Upgrading the quality of education

According to an article in MyPaper today, a parent sent an email to them talking about Sec One students in Maris Stella High are now expected to purchase a $2k MacBook for their personal use. The school has this motto, 'One student, one computer, one great way to learn.'

The laptop actually cost between $2277 for a basic model and $2,672 for an upgraded model.

The students will definitely be more computer literate and can access to all the websites in cyberspace.

It is a bit heavy for a Sec One student to lug along though, and a bit of money to lay hand to one.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Universities pursuing students

We want you! This is the message going out to all students. The universities are rolling out a full marketing and promotion plan to attract students to their faculties with clever PR and promotion material. I wonder how much it costs to do all these?

And the question is, 'Is it necessary?' Are the universities recruiting employees to run a factory or business? Why the aggressive promotion to enlist students? Income? Revenue?

Are the universities commercial institutions, running a business? One can expect the private schools to do such things as every student means money to them. For state universities, whose roles are to teach and produce trained graduates, why behaving like MacDonald or Bugger King? The employers need to recruit the best and compete for the best. And there are only 3 of them to choose from.

Universities need to do that as well? Why can't the universities just do their job in education and let their products speak for them? They are their own monuments of excellence, together with their alumi. The students should be running to them because they are good.

It is another thing to run after students to tell them that they are good. When you have to do that, you have lost. Education shall not fall prey to marketing gimmicks. Education is serious stuff.

Education as a business is another animal altogether. They exist to make money. Education and quality of education are incidental. They may even compromise to bring in revenue.

Does RI or Hwa Chong need to go chasing for good students? Or are they thinking of doing so?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are the best

The best students in our schools are placed on the through train Integrated Programme(IP). And the very best took the new subject Knowledge and Inquiry(KI) in place of their GP. This KI is of a higher level and more difficult. So is the IP programme which is designed to prepare students for tough university education.

How can those overseas universities refused to accept our best students that have IP and KI? Those universities who don't are going to lose out as they will not have our best with them. Tell them good riddance. We will find places for our best and brightest students in other universities that are willing to accept them.

And I also heard that some universities insist that our best students must also have 'O' level results. Why? Can they accept that our students without 'O' level results are actually our cream? Maybe our MOE can issue a testimonial to these students to vouch that they are great academic material. Would these overseas institutions still ignore their top grades and insist on their 'O' level? We are first world country, not third world where the grades can be manufactured. We have good quality control system and very strict professional standards.

In the meantime, for those students who may not gain a place in these foreign universities, don't worry, we will find a way. Just pray that everything will be alright.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are the centre of the Universe

We have for several years been meddling, or they called it innovating, with our education system. We introduced an Integrated Programme, a 6-year through train where students need not sit for the 'O' level examination. We also introduced the more intellectually challenged subject, Knowledge and Inquiry, to our A level students.

After six years, the first batch of IP students are applying for university places overseas. Also the students taking KI in place of GP are also doing the same. And they came to a road block. The overseas universities are not ready to accept the changes. Probably some may not even heard of our IP programme.

We are ahead of our time in education creativity. Those moribund universities in the US and UK have been sleeping and failed to keep up with us. They are still so backward that they are not going to admit our aced students without an O level result or without the GP. So far the msm has reported that Imperial College, King's College London, Cambridge and Oxford have affirmed their recognition of our advanced and higher standard of education. London School of Economics don't and so are many others.

Our students are now in a bind. Their choice for overseas universities may now be very limited. To avoid such problems we should can our IP and KI options for now until we notify all the backward universities that they have to keep up with our changes or else.

A good thing to ponder at is to look more than 2 steps ahead before making such innovative changes. It is difficult for the whole world to keep up with the pace of our change.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Online battle for students

The three top local universities are battling it out in the internet for student admissions. And the battle is not only limited to the internet. The msm are also getting a lot of revenue from these universities in the form of advertisements. And the printers and PR agencies too must get a share of the business in printing and developing all the beautiful brochures.

This must be what commercialisation of the education is all about. Everything is being commercialised. We have just seen the hype about aesthetic medicine and how medical and ethical codes were violated for money.

Hopefully this is not the case in education although the private education industry has a fair share of black sheep and ruthless malpractices. And hopefully all these will not add up to the cost of education.

Just thinking aloud. Are these effort and expenses necessary or at such a scale?
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sesame seed



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the stupid ranking system in place, those who wish to climb the ladder of success in their career in the "Evil Service" must come out with new ideas every year mah. So, when run out of ideas, simply copy others lah.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news for the teachers

Just a few days into his new ministry, Eng Hen is saying all the right things, to make teaching a 'preferred career choice.' And there were hints of more pay rise. But he will speak to the education specialists first before coming up with specific measures to make teaching more attractive.

Now where is the money going to come from? Who is going to bear the burden? Are school fees and tuition fees going to go up?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dialect teaching - Going forward or backward?

I was brought up as a dialect speaker. I still feel the same sense of intimacy when conversing in my dialect with another of the similar kind. In the name of culture and roots and connection with Ah Ma and Ah Kong, some want to bring back dialect officially. The idea is seductive. Mandarin is a little alien and a little uncomfortable to many.

The key question is whether we should go back to dialects. We have come so far, after the initial resistance and pain, to have Mandarin fully established among the young. The days of the old hags are over, or numbered. I too will be over in no time.

Any attempt at this stage to reverse the direction will be a big waste of effort. For before the dialect is acquired, the old generation of old hags will be gone and the new generation of old hags will be Mandarin or English speakers. There will no longer be any anguish for not being able to communicate with Ah Kong and Ah Ma.

Mandarin and a standard Chinese script have done immeasurable good to a huge country like China, a country that is so diverse in culture and ethnicity. Imagine what would China be like without an official language. Maybe they will have to adopt English as the common language.

Do not underestimate the power of language. English is the lingua franca of the West. It has slowly evolved and become a language of choice in science and technology, in trade and commerce, and in diplomacy. Most important, it allows the world to speak to one another.

Do we want to dilute our effort in having one common language for a group of diverse Chinese just because we want to talk to a few old hags at home? Think very carefully. Think with the head and not the heart. My heart says yes to dialect. My head says no.

OK, it is only for a few in schools. An elective subject for those who want. Can we afford the resources if every 3 person want to learn their mother tongue? If we are going ahead with this experiment, we must be prepared to give in to the request of all racial groups who are emotionally attached to their mother tongue.

My personal choice, let's don't turn back and undo all the things that have been done. We will create a bigger mess. Talk cock sing song is ok. When talk cock and sing song are taken seriously and implemented as official policies that will affect the whole people and the future generation, let's be more careful.
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Grunt



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 373

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree but please admit the mistake for the eagerness to abolish it.
If they had just retain it in Redifussion both it and the dialect would
not meet the fate of today and we the lost of our real identity and
root.

All this thanks to the same person with the vision of 2 is enough !

Thank you.
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sesame seed



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going round in circles/circus.

It is fashionable to go round and round in cycles if one is in a confused state.
If run out of new ideas, the smart elites would always put old wine in new bottles or borrow other peoples' ideas and claim as their own so as to climb up the ladder of promotion.

As for the audience, they are watch the clowns entertaining them in a circus.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good today bad tomorrow good again in future

This is the crux of life and policy making. What is good today can be bad tomorrow. Whatever policy or decision that can bring a govt up can also bring down a govt. Yes, it goes in circles. Big is good, small is bad. Tomorrow will be small is good, big is bad. Today privatisation is good, high salary is good, high property prices are good. Tomorrow everyone will be crying against these measures.

I notice this interesting quote in the ST this morning.

'The incongruity of posting an apology in Chinese to viewers of a wholly Tamil programme appears to have been lost on the service provider.'

Narayana Narayana was reacting to Starhub's apology in English and a translation in Chinese for a breakdown of a Tamil programme in SunTV Channel 29.

I agree that Tamil do not read Chinese and it is nonsensical to use a Chinese translation for this. Of course the stubborn would argue that some Chinese also watch Tamil programme.

The point I am pushing is that in the future, any breakdown of programme in Channel 8 will be accompanied by apologies in Hokien,Cantonese, Hakka, Teochew etc etc. if we are not careful. And as we bring in more foreigners, they too will demand to be recognised. This is the problem that we must be careful not to for into.

It would be better to have lesser differences and seek a common ground than to accentuate our differences and pander to ethnic and racial emotions and sympathies. It will lead to greater problems in the future.

We must put an end to all the calls to cater for all the differences of ethnic groups. Staying on with 4 official languages is already too much of a problem. Anything more is like opening a can of worms. Just keep such interests within talking cock sessions at home or in private. The individuals can do what they want at their own time and expenses. The state shall not be a party for such digression.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singapore: An emerging destination for Indian students

Kaustubh Kulkarni / Pune May 14, 2008, 0:05 IST reporting in Business Standard

The Indian student's dream foreign university is usually either from the UK or US. Other countries find it difficult to attract Indian students.

Singapore, however, is trying to position itself as the destination of choice for Indian students. The country wants Indian students to enrol in its institutes, from the higher secondary or the junior college level onwards.

Singapore is basing its pitch on its geographical proximity to India, professional education that provides excellent job opportunities, the business and trade environment of Singapore and its cosmopolitan culture.


Why would Indian students want to pursue their education in Singapore when India is producing better and more talented students that are replacing Singaporeans in the local job market? Indian talents are more sought after than Singaporean talents and this can be seen in their strong and growing presence here.

So what is the attraction? The quality of Singapore education or job opportunities vis a vis the less talented Singaporeans?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over achieved and over stressed

That is the impression I get from the discussions in the ST on the way the students are pushed. As a generalisation, our Primary One starts at kindergarten now. And by Pre university the students are actually doing undegraduate works.

The question is what for? So what if our PSLE students are taught at the level of Secondary students? So what if our A level students are taught at university level? Did they shave off a few years in the education system? Or did they becomes smarter than the cohorts in other countries? They are just learning ahead of their time.

A simple analogy is for a young person to start dating. Some start at 12, some at 20. What is the big deal if they ended up in a mess?

We either derive some goodness from increasing the pressure or else we should let things cool off a little. The pressure can be selective, only for those who are good enough and wanted it. The PSLE and O level should be flexible to accommodate the different standards of knowledge acquisition. Forcing all students to attempt unusually tough questions is wicked. The A level only allows the exceptionable students to do more papers and H3. So the less gifted need not be put through the pace and be unduly stressed.

Have mercy on the primary and lower primary students. They cannot be cooked in the same pot.
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