Building Love

Uncle Wong sent me this screenshot sometime ago captioned, "See what PAP says about our schools?" Ah Liam has always kept his thoughts to himself. Like his zodiac sign, his perspectives are always rational, balanced and his words, always carefully weighed. In short, the complete opposite of me. His captions kept me guessing what were his actual thoughts on that announcement. Mine on the other hand, were building up rapidly.

Good luck to future students. Good luck to all of you.

While this may sound like good news on the first glance, the devil is in the details. Make a guess if MOE thinks that the education system in Singapore focus excessively on examination. They cannot be, as that will make little sense to endorse it. Being excessive represents inefficiency. It means over-production without increasing the productivity. Thus the MOE would have acted to ensure a learning system without an excessive focus on examinations in the first place if they are worth their salt - but they didn't. How effective will this new initiative be then, to get some folks to polish up what they already think is really shiny?

That is where the half fucked effort comes in. After all, a loosely defined buzzword is convenient to manipulate. Remember how they told us how "affordable" our HDB flats were. So if any of you young punks think you are going to get away with things, you are in for a big surprise. You will wish for our education system to be solely focused on examinations instead. Sometime ago, didn't some wise guy decide that CCA should be valued, so that examinations results will not be the only indicators of how talented a young one is. Instead for the students who do not excel in their examinations, instead of receiving a boost by doing well in CCA, the bar actually got risen such that you have to do well in both examinations AND CCA to be recognised as good students. I, as a product of the system, speak from experience.

Well if they manged to devise a flawed system to actually grade CCA, they'll soon come up with some impossible crap to grade your Love for Learning (LL) in future. Who is to say history will not repeat itself. Do you really think MOE themselves love to learn? I cannot answer on their behalf but they sure think that getting Primary One pupils to learn division and multiplication can nurture their love to learn while these young ones force their tired tears back trying to finish their homework at 11pm on a schooling weekday.

In an education system whereby teachers move on with their teaching plans regardless if half the class do not fully comprehend what was being taught previously, that only meant one thing for them after class - tuition. How is it possible to nurture love in such a setting? Is the MOE willing to reduce the excessive focus on examinations to such a level that such teaching environments are completely scrapped?

At times, you really wish the Ministers will just keep their mouth shut, so that the doggies down the line do not have to thread on and create more problems than there already are.