Education System…exactly WHERE are we heading?

Okay so the other day I read this article on Channelnewsasia – http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1174482/1/.html titled “Sorry, your child is not bright enough” followed by a discussion with my fiance in the evening.

In summary, this article talks about tuition centers starting to hold entrance tests before allowing a child to enroll in one. I’m not talking about secondary schools or junior colleges by the way. I’m talking about kindergarten. Yes. K-I-N-D-E-R-G-A-R-T-E-N when kids have barely learnt to speak or walk or talk.

And here’s what the tuition centers have to say. To them, it is a “way to screen prospective students and understand their abilities better. ” Nice try but no one’s buying that.  Oh and here’s another quote from the article:

“Creative Horizons, which offers English as well as creative writing courses, pointed out that its students should have a minimum standard of English before attempting creative writing, for instance. ” *rubs temples* People GO for tuition because they are weak in the subject.

Another center, Learning Lab, have interviews as well. “to appraise the student’s drive and desire to improve, and fit with our school’s learning ethos”. OH FOR GOD’S SAKE! No I’m not going to take the excuse of ‘train them for future work interviews’. Their brains aren’t even fully developed to deal with the concept of ‘interviews’ yet!

Seriously I think tuitions should be reserved for those who REALLY need it and not to show-off one’s child’s already-honed abilities. Thankfully here are some quotes which disagree with such an act from the tuition centers.

Quote from Mountbatten Member of Parliament Lim Biow Chuan, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education “Some centres obviously just want bragging rights. If top students come in, they obviously would be good to begin with. Such practices drive up the pressure unnecessarily.”

Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Intan Mokhtar, who also lectures at the National Institute of Education (NIE): “”It would instil in the child a sense of belief that everything boils down to (getting) the ‘A’s, when learning really isn’t just about that.”

YES! I AGREE! Learning is not just about freaking getting As! What about other areas of development? Morals? Ethics? Seriously I’ve heard of stories in well-known schools where backstabbing and political playing occur. Is this really what education is about? *sigh* *takes a deep breath*

So anyway my boyfriend and I had a discussion over this. We came to a conclusion. Parents who are upset at the decision of the tuition centers to have enrollment tests can run after elitists. And here’s why:

We need money to survive, yes? And the living standards in Singapore are rather high, yes? So in conclusion we need as much money as we can to survive. Here’s the thing. Yes, it’s not EVERYONE it’s based on majority and it IS true if you observe.

Parents always want their kids to mix around with ‘good’ company right? So here’s the thing – what is considered good to them? Intelligence. Goody-two-shoes. Not all parents out there are so nice as to say ‘oh don’t worry as long as you do your best it’s ok.’ if you have those kinds of parents you better be thankful. THOSE are not common. Common parents are traditionalists, elitists or wanna-be elites. This is where the problem comes in.

Elitist/wanna-be elites parents WANT their kids to grow up smart so obviously they’ll want their kids to mix around smart people, yes? Think about it. What happens when tuition centers require tests? Only the smart/above average people can get in, yes? Then here comes the rich tai-tais (or any rich people for that matter) who will oh-so-gladly throw their kids in to make them more intelligent, hoping the intelligence from their classmates can rub off them.

Don’t bother asking why people think like that. They just do. If you want a crude answer, it’s all about ‘face’ and ‘looking good’ so that they have something to boast about. Yes, at the cost of their kids’ health and sometimes well-being. They usually don’t realize it’s harming their kid until someone slaps reality – HARD- into their faces because under normal circumstances they’ll dismiss everything. Excuses include ‘oh you don’t understand my child. (s)he can actually do it one! (s)he just needs to try harder!’

So now the act of ‘having entry tests’ doesn’t seem so stupid after all, huh? Entry tests -> Smarter students enter -> Parents send kids in to mix with intellectual kids -> Money for them. Who cares about anything else? They get the money they get their livelihood. And what about those with slightly below average intelligence? Die lor.

And one of the things I really hate in this society? People who look down on those who didn’t take the proper route of Pri Sch – Sec Sch – Junior College – University. I was personally degraded by my own mom and aunt for going to a Polytechnic after graduating JC. The irony? There ARE more matured poly students than uni students.

Because of like-minded people like them, I have seen many sad cases of people giving up cause they simply see no hope. They say ‘why bother? People already treat us like thrash. Why should we strive to prove them different?” and let me tell you the harsh fact. NO AMOUNT of motivational talks or whatsoever is going to change their minds because that fact has been embedded into them.

With this post I really hope that people out there would see things differently. I am just one person though so I don’t hope for much. In fact I’m not hoping for anything at all with how things are going.

 

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