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12/29/2005

education: mixing wine with vinegar

the moe is under pressure to respond to the public's whinning about 'problem' gep kids. i just hope our politicians do not behave the same way as their counterparts in the north, playing to the gallery and compromise on why certain programmes and policies were put in place. the gifted programme is introducted for a specific purpose, not to hold back but expedite the progress of a small group of highly gifted children. there are pros and cons, but generally it is a practical solution to a practical problem. these are very different individuals and they are expected to be different. the problems that are being harped, that they have lost touched with realities and the less fortunate is true. but how to overcome them is another matter. i hear immersion loudly. mix them with the less gifted and all will be well. try mixing wine with vinegar and see the result. the objective is laudable. but the result may be undesirable. mix the good students with drug addicts and see what you get. the same kind of thinking appeared in the ypap forum where one forumer suggested that because students of different races do not mix well in schools, so there must be enforced mixing for them to understand each other. this kind of thinking is so superficial. it is like putting as child in a room full of books and he will learn and be more scholastic. can serious people please look at issues seriously and apply some serious thoughts before implementing changes? a person who wants to learn, just point it out and he will learn. a person who refuses to learn or unable to learn, will not learn even if you shaft it into their mouth. people are all different. some are gifted academically. some in sports and arts. all are talents. but the gifted must mixed with the less fortunate to understand them better? what rubbish. so we put the less academically endowed together with the bookworms for them to appreciate and understand the bookworms better? or like the forumer who posted racist remarks and forced him to work with other races to learn to be nicer to them. it could work. it could become worst as his hatred could be intensified. imagine some of the protected children enlisted for national service and dumped together with a platoon of pai kia or drug addicts and ended up like them. how to answer to the parents? understanding another group does not demand immersion or physical togetherness. it is what education is all about. what good will it do to force einstein to play ball with the punks in the street? their life missions are different. they have different roles and responsibilities to play.

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