Bad Parents and Spoilt Brats

I still hold a Singapore citizenship.

So getting my children to be educated under the Singapore system remains an option. However, it is an unlikely option I will consider. I have written a few posts explaining why, each time exploring a different spectrum of the problems I see in Singapore education. I've done my fair share of criticism to the MOE but It isn't fair to put the blame solely on the Morons on Ecstasy (MOE) and their teachers. After all, the MOE is one of the micro-organisation within the Singapore system built on a pragmatic framework. 

In the current climate, schools are facing more problems dealing with parents than their children they are supposed to educate. That shouldn't be a surprise, since the tree casts a wider shadow than a seedling. Lines that used to be drawn clearly faded over years of compromising standards. I am surprised this is even happening. 

Look at the SMRT and consider this. Public listed company. A transportation company providing a service. SMRT does not take any shit from the fat customer who complains their seats are too small. SMRT does not adjust their beeps because you are not quick enough to squeeze in before the door closes. Being part of the duo-poly in this industry, it is basically, "Take it or leave it," for you. Not happy? So kiang go and buy COE and get a car lah! Similarly, the MOE has a monopoly over Singaporeans. This is because, to enrol a Singaporean child in international schools required an approval from ... the Morons! Usually, approvals are only granted for the "expatriate" Singaporean whose children have been abroad for years or with learning disabilities. Whichever international schools licensed to accept Singaporeans, we have to pay an arm or leg for it anyway and that brings us back the car and COE that most Singaporeans cannot afford and the SMRT - Take it or leave it.

So it is a surprise that public schools actually gives a shit to parents as though they are big tuition centres. The MOE and the public schools under their umbrella seem confused about what actual roles as educators. How do they define education and what does it constitutes? If the line is clearly drawn, it should include the good ol' public caning, chopping of hair and disciplining of embarrassing parents, such as the couple being interviewed in the article above. Unhappy parents should simple suck it up or consider alternatives instead of thinking that the world will change just for them. Remember how 70% of the Singaporeans voted for the PAP? 30% of the rest were expected to do exactly the same thing - Suck it up or consider alternatives because no one will give a shit (or a lift upgrade) what they think.

It is the norm for parents to distrust MOE teachers for being an upright figure to instill the right values or disciplining their children. One reason could be due to one too many errant teacher or principal being caught in the act. If that is the true reason, the pragmatic approach for the schools should not be the bending over to parents' "feedback." Imagine a parent telling the church to teach his son to sing hymns and leave the preaching to them just because Pastors molest boys. That doesn't make sense at all. Consideration of the parents' demands are out of question. The right thing to do is Pastors to stop molesting boys and MOE to stop hiring teachers who suck.

For parents who think that teachers should only "educate" and leave everything else to someone else, you do not understand the difference between learning and being educated. There is no place better than the school for a child to learn. It was in school, you and I learnt how to cope with stress, embarrassment and shame (your "loss of face"). It was the place we learnt to love and learnt to fall out of love. It was in school we learnt to stand up after a fall every time because we were left with no alternatives, such as an over-protective parent who was all too willing to solve the problem we were supposed to figure out ourselves. It was in school that we learnt how to protect ourselves, cheat, don't get caught and cover one another. That was how we learnt that rules were to be obeyed or face the consequences. It was the place we learnt how to define a worthy friend among the rest. Most importantly, it was the place where we learnt that the world is unfair. The verbs and nouns, x and y, dos and don'ts, are education all right. For everything else, it is your child's to learn. By getting involved, you are impairing his or her learning. What is an education good for if one don't get to learn? Who need bad teachers when they have you as parents?