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education: how to become a laffing stock
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sin’s champalan Education System a flop
Now am I getting some attention? Our highly regarded education system, churning out robot like straight A students like a factory cannot be champalan, cannot be a flop. How can it be? Just hear me out why our education system is a big failure.
The flaws in our system are mirroring the flaws in our social economic system. Somehow the acts and intentions were there but the plot was lost. We wanted the best from our students. In the process we developed a highly stressful system that many students and parents are unable to cope with the pressure. Along the way some pressure were released to make the system less harsh. Then the wise parents and educators started to think about a holistic education system, the best in all fields to churn out the best all round products that money can buy.
What we ended up with are half baked students in everything. Academically good but not good enough to be trusted for top jobs. Good in sports but not good enough to win medals. Good in the arts but not good enough to be in fame. We forgot that not everyone is a diamond to start with. Some are rubies, jade, agate, moonstone or simply pebbles. No matter how they are polished, the agate, moonstone or pebbles will still be pebbles, maybe with a little better polished.
And the holistic approach is good in concept but bad in the results. Our students will turn out knowing a bit of everything, a wholesome education, a wholesome individual, but unable to compete with the best in their respective fields of academic excellence, arts and sports.
The less affluent countries simply do what they think is good for a child to excel in a specific field, be it academic, arts or in sports. Full effort, time and resources, were devoted to a narrow and clear goal, to be the best in the chosen field. There is no pretension to be everything. No such nonsense as wanting to be the best in all fields in one average child. Even an exceptionally gifted child will have problems becoming an Einstein, a Mozart, a Husain Bolt and a Bill Gates put into one. It is just impossible. No one has been so gifted in the history of civilization. But that is what our parents and educators are trying to do. I will take back my words if they really believe in a holistic education, an all rounder but average in everything and are happy with it.
The stress part is that with such high expectations, our students are really going through three educational systems in one go. There is the formal school system, the informal tuition system, and the parent imposed and paid classes in arts and sports. Are the children being stressed, or being cooked?
And the truth is in the pudding. See our education products in the real world. In the industries and professions they are not good enough compared to the FTs who did not go through a holistic and highly stressed system. In sports and the arts, there is nothing worth mentioning.
So, isn’t our champalan, bao ka liao education system a big flop, producing students that know a bit of this and that but excelling in nothing? We are trying to do so many things and expecting excellence without knowing the limitations of time and resources and the limits of an individual child. Many are just pebbles and will be pebbles. We need to face this hard truth and cater to the abilities of different children according to what they are naturally gifted to do best. Holistic education is good but has its price to pay. There are merits in specialized education and general education and not every child must be cast by the same mould.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poor George
'An outspoken associate professor for journalism in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has been denied tenure, sparking an outcry and raising questions over academic freedom in Singapore.

Cardiff University professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen tweeted said that he was denied tenure “on the grounds of quality of teaching and research”.

…Wahl-Jorgensen, who revealed that she was one of the reviewers for George’s case, said she was “outraged” at the decision not to grant him tenure, and that it could have been “because he sometimes expressed political opinions”….'
The above is quoted from Yahoo News. All I can say is poor George. At the rate it is going, our universities will be staffed by the best professors from the US and Europe. It may be another measure to strengthen the Sinkie core in the Universities, be reducing the number of Sinkies and replacing them with quality professors.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A different kind of World Cup

Not too long ago Singapore was aspiring to be in the World Cup by buying foreigners to play football for the country. It was a wet dream that was best forgotten. Now Singapore is in the World Cup of a different kind. NUS is ranked number Two best university in Asia after Tokyo Unversity and 29th in the whole wide world.

This is indeed something to cheer about. Maybe next year Singapore will be number One in Asia and up from the 29th in the world. It is a mean feat, a great achievement. So, how is Singapore going to benefit from this ranking? Is NUS now recognised as a great academic institution of higher learning? Must be. Is NUS producing some great intellectual minds to do Singaporeans proud? Must be. And there must be a lot of great professors in NUS to give it the ballast it needs to be recognised as one of the best in the world. No need to ask if the great minds there are Singaporeans or foreigners. NUS is even better than Tsinghua and Peking University.

Maybe in 30 years time we will hear and read about great names like Emeritus Professor Tan Khee Giap, or Emeritus Professor Eugene Tan, or Emeritus Professor Yaacob Ibrahim, or Emeritus Professor Kishore Mahbubani. Never mind if the renowned professors now have foreign names and credentials. We will make it there, in 30 or 50 years.

And also we could look forward to some Nobel Prize winners in Physics, Engineering, Medicine or Humanities. Hope they will be Singaporeans. New citizens also can. That is what great universities are for. I dunno how much have been spent to acquire such a brand and how much more to produce more world renowned local professors and Nobel laureates. It is money well spend, every cent of it.

And don’t forget, we have two think tank schools in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Rajaratnam School of International Studies staffed by some of the best brains money can buy. Together, Singapore will become famous as an intellectual centre where great minds meet to talk about great stuff. We can forget about being the top casino centre in Asia. This is the Singapore Renaissance. We have the best universities, the best intellectuals all in this island. The only reservation, an unthinking population that needs the help of Third World talents to help it to progress or it will return to Third World very soon. We are still dependent on Third World talents to provide the talents for our economy and industries.

Thus, despite the high rankings of NUS, I remember making a suggestion that Singapore students should enrol in Indian Universities if they intend to seek employment in Singapore. The Indian Universities may have rankings far lower than NUS but they have the right formula and their graduates are in great demand here, and institutions and big companies have greater preference for their graduates than local graduates, or at least the head hunting companies. The general comments are that our local graduates are only good in grades but daft and lack motivation and EQ. Now I am not sure if my suggestion is the right thing. Perhaps with this high ranking, the employers will now look more favourably at graduates of NUS in preference of graduates from Third World countries. I really hope so, I really hope the ranking makes a difference, a meaningful ranking.
But never mind, when NUS becomes number One in Asia, we should have a national holiday declared and street celebrations in town. Looks like China’s and India’s universities would have to start spending more money to employ western professors if they think they want to beat Singapore’s universities in ranking. Money is all it takes to up the ranking.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Khaw Boon Wan discourages ITE and polytechnic graduates from pursuing university degree


Finally some wisdom and hard truths from Boon Wan. Our university education is anything but cheap, and 3 to 4 years to waste. So what if our universities are among the best, among the highest ranked, when the graduates have difficulties finding jobs or uncompetitive to third world graduates? The reality is that the piece of paper must be useful and wanted. There is no point even if one gets a degree from Harvard or Cambridge if the employers prefer one from Sungei Road University.

I still recommend that for those who want to secure a good job with a tertiary education to send their children overseas, to India as the top designation. For those who want an easier degree, maybe the Philippines. And for those who want a degree immediate, without have to go through the mills, there are degree mills to issue the degrees.

Singaporeans must act smart, street smart, not book smart. Go and get a degree from universities that are preferred by the employers, employers who believe that those universities are really good. Forget about all the claims and rankings. There are gimmicks, academic. And of course, a polytechnic diploma is much better. At least there is lesser competition with the FTs. The PMET level of jobs are the exclusive market for FTs. Singaporeans are better advised not to compete in those levels or are likely to end up as taxi drivers, with degrees.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tertiary education and PME jobs
This issue of jobs for Singaporeans and tertiary education has brought out a lot of controversies and a lot of angry cynicism in social media. The ministers have lately been down playing the importance of a piece of paper from the universities and even the redundancy of tertiary education. And the calls for Singaporeans to become hawkers, to become crane drivers and what not, have made the issue appears to be a deliberate policy in the making.
Contrast this with the hundreds of foreigners here with tertiary degrees and claiming to be better than the locals with their degrees and taking over the plum jobs of PMEs, the situation looks very negative and depressing for the local Singaporeans. But it is just another hard truth that the daft Sinkies must accept. It is the real world of money making.
And if one is to operate under the doctrine of pragmatism, economic expediency, bottom lines, the whole theory and possible policy make perfect sense. Why should anyone, govt or company, would want to waste money and time in training and education, a long and tedious process, when qualified, trained and experienced workers are available from the world, without having to spend a single cent? And when the door is open to the world, the availability and supply are in abundance with no holding cost. Employ on a need basis, hire and fire, it is simply so efficient and productive.
Then why the contradictory effort to have more universities? This could be used as a money spinning machine, with education as a business. It is used to train foreigners who can afford to pay the high fees. And to do so, the reputation of these universities must be world class. Go for the rankings, bring in the best academics. Once the reputation and quality have been established, the whole intake can be foreigners. The current intake of foreigners provided with scholarships is just a loss leader. Get them in, make the foreigners comfortable and they could go home to spread the words. Think this could be the business strategy and business model. I am just speculating, just looking at the business angle and the possibilities.
Singaporeans who are paying cheaper rates in universities should be discouraged. Further, why waste money on them when the employers would want the best from the world at no cost. The country too need not have to carry this education cost that is a vain effort.
The more I think about it, the more it makes sense, business cents. What do you think?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why go to university?
This is going to bug many parents and the children when going to university is being played down as something not really necessary. In the past, going to university is very simple. A degree will mean a good life, getting a good job to earn bigger pay and to bring up a family with all the trappings of wealth and comfortable things. It was so simple then.
Many people are still going to university for exactly this reason and nothing else. Getting a degree is for a practical reason, to land a better job and a better life. When this is no longer a valid reason, when the outputs, in monetary terms, time and resources, do not make up for the rewards of a university education, would people start to stop thinking of going to the university? Must study hard is losing its meaning.
There are of course many varied reasons for people wanting a university education. There are obvious benefits of a university education, a more knowledgeable and enlightened person, a perfecting of self. Though this can be done differently, like going through university of hard knocks, a formal education is a short cut with a well planned training programme.
To some people, going to university is a personal fulfillment of sort, acquisition of knowledge and the joy of learning. But this group is a minority. Not many will go to pursue a degree for the sake of getting a degree. It is luxury, a past time, a hobby and satisfaction.
Back to the basics, get a degree for practical reasons. Now, with the new development, getting a degree has lost its practical reasons. The practical thing to do is to acquire skills and training to increase one’s market value, to be employable. I think it boils down to this and nothing else. Training to value add, and to get that job or promotion and a better salary and a better life.
Would you believe that many people are training to downgrade, to get a lower paying job, because their skills and experienced and training are no longer marketable or not wanted because the world’s talents are here to compete with them? Still there are some who would train to switch jobs for a matter of interest and satisfaction. But to train for a lower paying job because of necessity, because the employers do not want to employ them for their better skill and expertise, quite a different proposition altogether. Very defeatist and depressing isn’t it?
Do the people have a choice to train to upgrade rather than to train to downgrade, or worst, train for the sake or belief in training but going no where, does not contribute to improving their market value?
What should the young be told in schools if going to university is no longer the lucrative and assured road to a better job and a better life? Close the universities, close the schools?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do we need Yale NUS?
We have two of the world’s top universities in NUS and NTU, why is there a need for a Yale NUS? Are we going to have Cambridge NUS, Harvard NUS, MIT NTU, Oxford NTU? Should not the effort and resources be poured into NUS and NTU to make them greater and better universities? By having joint universities, they are going to draw more of the limited good students we have and will only dilute the quality of the NUS and NTU. A good university is not only about having good infrastructure and good academic staff, it also needs good quality students. Oh sorry, I forgot that we can get all the good students from third world countries to fill up the places to raise the standard of the universities.
If Yale NUS is just a commercial money making university, to bring in the foreign student dollars, that is a slightly different matter. But as another full fledge govt funded university, it will definitely put a dent to the quality and eventually the stature of NUS and NTU as good national universities. Would it then be better for Yale NUS to outshine NUS and NTU with the two losing their shine and rankings?
For the cost of setting up this joint university, this is not a small amount. Do we really need this university? Who is it supposed to cater to? Foreign students or to feed more foreign academics? And what would the students get, an Yale degree that is not Yale and a NUS degree that is not NUS.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scrap university education
What is education for? Is education for the sake of education? Or is education about equipping the student to participate fully in life, in the economy, simply about getting a job to earn some money to provide for himself and his family should he decide to have one? For the elite and the gentry class, the royalties and aristocracies, education is just for education, to learn to read and write. The need to get a job or the need for an education to equip the student to be gainfully employed is not necessary in the lives of such privilege classes of people. Contrast this to those who need to work for a living, an education is seen primarily as a means to a job. Of course one does not need an education to get a job. A fisherman, a butcher, a boxer or a golfer or a tennis player, they don’t need an education to earn a living.
Putting aside those that don’t need to work, and those jobs that don’t need an education, education is the acquisition of a piece of certificate, diploma or degree or the acquiring of a passpost to a job. Several of our wise leaders have spoken many times to encourage the young to get a good education and advocating how important education is to a good job and a good life. Education is the leveller for all to compete on equal grounds to material success. And the Govt spent hundreds of millions annually to provide an excellent and world class education system for the population. And the universities and colleges all strived to be the best, to produce the best students for society and the economy.
Then out of the blue we heard two ministers in a matter of days said these. Khaw Boon Wan: “You own a degree, but so what? You can’t eat it. If that cannot give you a good life, a good job, it is meaningless”. He later went on to encourage people to become crane drivers when there is a great demand for it and the pay is good. Then Heng Swee Keat followed up a few days later by saying that ‘beyond providing students with a good education, he wasn’t sure or neither would he be responsible if these students could not find good jobs after graduating.’
Could you believe it, that two ministers in the same breath told the people that our world class education could not guarantee them a good job and maybe they should consider becoming crane drivers or take on other jobs that don’t require a good formal education? What the hell the Govt set up all the good schools, colleges and universities for? The students in these institutions are mostly from the working class that need to work for a living. They are not children of royalties or aristocrats or the super rich when working is an unnecessary chore, and if they choose to work, it is to kill their boredom. Why encourage the parents to send their children through the system, invested time and resources when it can be all for nothing?
Does anyone think that this is strange? Would the NTUC, the super advocates of training and the organisation that has been sending hundreds of thousands of workers for training, tell the workers that the training would not guarantee them a job? Then why waste their time and money?
The sick part of this conversation is that the country can provide a few hundred thousand jobs to foreigners who came from less prestigious or even doubtful institutions of learning with great jobs and good paying jobs. And we are telling our children that despite the fact that they have gone through one of the best education system, they may not get a good job here.
I think this must be the joke of the century. Now who started this joke and set the whole world laughing? Education, and expensive education, stressful education, is not ‘main main’ ya. Who in his right mind would tell the parents that this gonna be the case, that their children with good grades from this expensive and world class education system may not find a good job while the questionable students with questionable grades from questionable education institutions could be in a better position to get good jobs? Is there someone suffering from bipolar sickness but is not detected? Did someone say bird talk?
And there is the acting Minister of Manpower, Tan Chuan Jin, scurrying around like a bull arse fly shouting discrimination by employers, both locals and foreigners, against Singaporeans in employment. Now, what is that all about? Maybe have to wait for people to clean the hawker centre first before they have time to explain what is going on.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More cases of teachers abusing young students exposed
A primary 6 boy was allegedly pinned on a school desk by his neck. This was done by his teacher.The incident happened on Tuesday, July 2 at about 10am in an elite school in the east of Singapore.
He had gone for classes late as he was not feeling well, and his mother was shocked to see his teacher chase him into the classroom. She claims she saw the teacher pinning her son on a desk by his neck.
Tay Weiming's father, 63, and his mother made a police report, complained to the Ministry of Education and also alerted Lianhe Wanbao.
There was another case reported in Stomp I think, of a primary school boy being made to stand in a corner for 3 hours without food, drink or break to go to the toilet and with a paper bag on his head. Punishing a child for bad behaviour is acceptable but it must be reasonable and should not go over the limit especially for primary school children. Forbidding a child to go to the toilet, without food or water is cruel, wicked and inhuman. Unacceptable for adults to dish such punishment to children unless these adults are from some primitive tribes that have yet to be civilised.
Harsh punishment, roughing up children, yelling at young children, and handling them in a threatening manner not only frighten them, they instilled fear in them. What the shit are these adults thinking, that they can harass young children without harming them emotionally and psychologically? My impression is that these are not only insecure adults but likely to be mentally sick or just unfit to take care of children.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, a few cases that were reported after the My First Skool case was exposed. Today another mentally sick teacher abused a 5 year old girl by making her standing naked in front of her classmates in a PAP Community Foundation Centre. She even swung her against the white board. And she was given a 21 probation on the ground that she too was an abused child. What a sick joke! What a sick mitigation excuse!

Is our teaching profession going mad? Or is our society going sick? Don’t the principals or MOE put their ears on the ground to find out what is happening? Oh, the second case mentioned above was dealt by a principal. No wonder Singaporeans are so docile, so authority fearing. They must have been mentally castrated from young in our schools.
The MOE must take a stand on this and get rid of sadistic adults that are unsuitable to take care of children. They will do more harm than good and the earlier they are removed the safer it is for the children. There is an urgent need to do some spring cleaning for the well being and safety of young children. Stop wasting time on cleaning hawker centres.
We need to guard against pyschopaths walking around as teachers. A serious personality and pyschiatric assessment must be conducted on all teachers. Though this may not weed out all of them, at least a big chunk could be taken out early. It is better to be safe than sorry. Subsequently, schools and pre schools, nurseries, kindergartens must have a continuous programme to monitor the teachers to ensure that they are safe for the children. There is an honest and naïve assumption that teachers are all normal people, love children and can be trusted in their entirety with the children in their care. They could be monsters and little devils in disguise.
Wake up and stop being complacent and think that every human bean is ok if he or she calls herself a teacher. Even one in a robe is committing all kinds of crimes behind the robe. Our children need to be protected from their teachers. Our children need to be protected from their teachers. Our preschools, kindergartens and nurseries must not be turned into frightening places for our children.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Education - What kind of education are our young getting in schools?

Other than teaching the 3Rs, going to schools to get educated involves a lot of other things. The students are taught to be a wholesome person, to learn some good values, to be honest, caring and responsible persons, and more.

And there are more challenging agendas like telling the children to seize the moment, dare to be different, just do it, to stand up for what one thinks is right, to think critically, to challenge conventional thoughts, to be creative, to be caring, kind, compassionate and to help those who need a helping hand. Actually no, none of these if you know what I mean.

One thing I believe our education system should not teach is to make the students conformist, unthinking, follow the rule blindly, to be just another exact copy of many from a standard mould. The educators must not try to force all the different pegs into a square hole.

Educators are there to inspire the students to find themselves, to be themselves, to find their own ways in life, to light up a spark inside them. Educators must not be there to restrain and enforce stupidity for the sake of stupidity.

Foolish, idiotic and bureaucratic educators have no place in an education system that is preparing the young to meet the challenges of a brave new world that is ever changing in increasing speed. This is the 21st Century. Why are the youth of Korea so innovative and creative and taking the world by storm? Why are our students still sucking pacifiers, restrained, inhibited, and believing in follow the teachers or follow the leaders, without a mind of their own, dull, lacking in fresh ideas, and fearful of authority, and bullied by narrow minded old matrons or school masters that walked around with a cane on their backs?

No wonder our students are straight As but blank in everything. Did I hear that some girl students were punished for shaving their heads bald to support a cause for cancer patients because getting bald is unacceptable in the school? And did the MOE support the stand of the school or otherwise?

What kind of values are our young taught in schools, or what kind of products is our educational system supposed to produce? Little droids? R2D2 or C3PO?

The USA is what it is today because of a dare devil spirit of crossing the line, to do something when they believe in it and will break away with whatever rules and convention. That is the American free spirit. That is the greatest value of American education. Our education system, though we professed to be the best, to want our children to be innovative, creative and entrepreneurial, but in practice we are turning them into fearful conformists, fearful of authority, fearful of initiative and adventurism. And the authority will kill the fire in them before a little spark can light up.

They should duly all be replaced by the never say die attitude of the foreigners grown up in the wild and a free wheeling spirit to try and take the unbeaten road.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warning: Degree mill using MOE logo
You can get a degree without attending classes. An advertisement placed by a Bestprofessionaldegrees.com is offering associate, bachelor, masters and doctorate degrees and claiming to have been approved by the Ministry of Education(MOE) and the Singapore Embassy in the USA.
The advertiser is claiming to be representing Ashley University in San Francisco and upon paying US$1,800, a degree plus all documentations will be delivered in 10 days.
The MOE is warning all potential students that this is a degree mill and MOE has nothing to do with it. MOE also warned against getting a degree without having to attend classes.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super education for super kids
We have heard the parents and the educators. They want the best education for the children. Everything that needs to be taught will be taught. Our children are our future and should be the best they can be. They will be taught the basic knowledge in schools. They would also be taught the arts, music, and sports. They will also be mould with the best values of good responsible citizens. In short, they will all grow up in the best education system the schools can provide and will turn out to be world best, short of being geniuses in every one of them. And they will beat the rest of the world with their hands down, rounded in every skill.
One little thought, while we aspire to have the best for the children, and wanted them to be the best, do they have the potential to be the very best? And at their tender age, how much can they really absorb or be taught, educated and trained to be what the system wants them to be? Children develop at different age and different paces. Some mature earlier than others. Some learn faster or earlier than others. How much can the system squeezed into them to be super beans?
The reality has proven otherwise. We have the best system for many years. We have the best trained teachers and the best equipped and furnished schools and environment. We have the money and resources, from the schools and the parents’ pockets to give to the children.
And what did we produce? Nothing better than children from Third World countries who did not have anything but merely the basics, a roof over their heads, rickety furnitures and poorly trained teachers. And they are producing all the talents that we need and filling up the top positions in our economy.
What happen to all our super all rounded kids? Where are they? Driving taxis or what? Or are they kept in the museums or in the Guinness Book of Records? Even Santos is better than our super kids.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tuition woe or tuition blur
Parliament is debating seriously about the impact of tuition for school children and how tuition could create an uneven playing field with some getting a leg up in their academic pursuits. This is definitely unfair. Why should some students with parents having so much money be allowed to have the best tuition to score straight As and some got to struggle without tuition to just get by? Cannot right? Wrong?
And there is also a problem of good teachers quitting teaching to be tuition teachers for the monetary rewards. Like that also no good as the schools will be deprived of having good teachers. And parents are also spending too much money on tuition, another NG.
So, what is the problem? Dunno. So? Commission a study lah, or at least conduct a survey to know what is wrong and what are the implications then something can be done.
Ok, good idea. One finding I can guarantee will come out. Unlevel playing field. So? Level the playing field, so easy. One solution, tuition be banned henceforth, so every student will start from the same starting line. Or the govt will provide tuition, subsidized definitely, so that every child will have tuition. And make sure it is also compulsory. Like that the field will be leveled, surely.
As for good teachers leaving the teaching service, have a term included in the contract like those in the private sector. Teachers leaving the teaching service will be banned from providing tuition for 5 years. Like that good teachers sure would not leave. Not so good teacher can leave, never mind.
See, problem solved. No need to waste time and money to conduct study or survey. If the ministry is going to spend public money on such study and survey, they must be serious in what they want to do, to take remedial actions. It cannot be a look see, look see, and then nothing done. This is like sending them overseas to study what other countries are doing then come back and just make a report also can. No need any follow up actions or plans. But this also costs money and if it ends up as NATO, then what? Simply spend public money is very easy. But don’t forget money must be well spent. There must be clear objectives and follow up actions to improve something. Maybe institutionalized or nationalized tuition and tuition centres. Then it will be easier to level the playing field. Rich parents pay more, poor parents pay less or subsidized. Now I used the term subsidize like no body’s business. I am also getting used to the term compulsory with compulsory payments. No opt out.
What do you think?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The need for tuition
This is going to be the hot topic for a while. It is the concern of every parent and their children. To have tuition or not to have. For those children who are better endowed, tuition may be just a little additive like chicken essence, a little booster to get that extra few marks. To some it is not really necessary. How fortunate for these parents and children.
As not every child is gifted the same way, some would really need that little help. Some are slower or develop a bit later. Some are just afraid to ask in class or not getting the attention of the teachers in a class of 40 children. Then there will be the teacher that may go too fast or just not getting the message across.
For the slower students or late developers, tuition helps a lot. Tuition becomes personalized and tailored to their individual needs and pace. Caveat, a good tutor is needed. A tuition teacher could give the personal attention to find out what really was needed to help a child to improve. The proviso here is that the child is willing to learn
But like all things, some children are just not gifted academically and tuition could not do much and literally a waste of money and time. Just hope no clever people will come up with a solution that fits all. It cannot be. There are so many variables that affect a child in his/her growth and acquisition of knowledge and information, the environment, the motivation and the nature of things.
This also applies to teaching, teaching methods and how to motivate children. Not everyone will be uplifted by the same approach. Please, no one size fits all solution. That is why there are so many variations of schools, Normal, Express, ITE, polys and universities. Different target at your own time, fire.
The problem today is that everyone expects every child to fit into one mould, or have an education system that fits every child. And no one is brave enough to say, look, we need to provide a big enough buffet spread to cater to different tastes and the likes and dislikes. For those who need tuition, let them have their tuition. For those who don’t, good for them.
One thing the govt can do is to provide the facilities and teachers to help those who need tuition at little cost, not affordable fees or more subsidies. Free would be better as this is an investment into our precious resources and you are talking about the young that needed help to make them better people for themselves and country.
How to go about it and how much would the govt cough out for this very important needs of the people? No hawker centre, foodcourt and restaurant analogy please. This is serious business.
My two kids were differently endowed. One was slower and needed a little help in maths. She flunked in her late primary class but enough time for me to repair the damaged. All I did was to clarify her thoughts and mental blocks, explained the concepts to make sure she understood. And with some perseverance and motivation, she went on to ace her maths in O and A level. Without knowing her problems and lack of understanding of basic mathematical concepts, tuition would not help much. A tutor must know what is the problem or where is the problem.
The other type of tuition which is very popular is exam jamming, cramming to ace exams. This is only good for the exam but the effects are temporary, like an instant high but no residual or long term effect. My other kid is different, better endowed. He came to me only once for a maths problem in P6. I took too long to get the answer using the old method. Before I could complete he said he had worked it out and that was the last time he came to me. He aced his O and A level and aced his Masters with Distinction in Engineering in Imperial College.
Both my kids did not have a day of tuition. One just had 15 mins with me in his whole life as a student and never came to me again. They were lucky, or I was lucky. But not every kid is so lucky and has parents to guide or fall back on. Tuition is necessary to assist, to guide, to motivate and support a child. Showing them the way, opening up their minds and clearing road blocks are very important. That would pave the way for the child to find his own way ahead. Tuition to game an examination is another ball game.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raising the quality of private tutors

Someone saw this coming. Since private tuition is so prevalent and necessary, let’s make sure that the standards are high and private tutors are qualified. For a start, all private tutors must be registered with a professional body and have their qualifications and experience certified. So we need a professional body or something like that to certify them.

Private tuition must be conducted in a proper and conducive environment, not below the staircase or in the void deck. Not in the homes also, to give an image of professionalism and respectability.

There must be some regulations or self regulating bodies to maintain a certain standard for the tuition giver. Not everyone can give tuition without the approval of these bodies or organisations. They may have to sit for a test to be issued with a certificate to tutor students.

Tutors are not allowed to anyhow paste little slips of papers on letter boxes or walls for their services like unauthorised agents. Not good for public image and professionalism.

See, we have a new industry in the making. And tutors, please declare your income and pay your taxes, and rentals and fees to your professional bodies, and the media for advertisements. Tutors will henceforth be known as professional tutors and can print name cards with PT added to their names.

This is a multi million dollar industry and deserves some recognition as many tutors are paid much better than school teachers, a choice profession that is highly regarded for the best in the industry. How about a specialist Tuition Centre like Mount Elizabeth equivalent for medical services?
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