talent meritocracy and exam meritocracy
'yours is a talent meritocracy, ours is an exam meritocracy. there are some parts of the intellect that we are not able to test well - like creativity, curiosity, a sense of adventure, ambition. most of all, america has a culture of learning that challenges conventional wisdom, even if it means challenging authority. these are the areas where singapore must learn from america.' quote from sharman, minister of education, comparing singapore and american education. the first point on talent. what kind of talents shall we value? sense of adventure, curiosity, like spending 10 days in a tub of water? or the talents of tiger woods that make billions, or bill gates and simwonghoo's talents in enterprise. shall the nation keep on wasting money on useless talents? or shall resources be channelled to useful talents? here i am referring to national and public resources. private resources can be used by the private party for anything. no one to account to. challenging conventional wisdom. this is a culture that we sorely lacks, or we don't encourage. leaf must be green in colour. sky must be blue. put any other colours in the exam answer will be marked wrong. and all the myths that we have created are the whole truth. unchallengeable or your backside will be sore. challenging authority. who dares? putting up white elephant cardboards is such a harrowing experience. i think we are still not ready to accept a culture of challenging authority. but we can make a start by challenging conventional wisdom, start the thinking process in the schools. from primary schools the children must be taught to question. and maybe...actually questioning conventional wisdom is also questioning authority. but starting them at primary school will take years to bear fruit. it will give society time to adjust. it is the problem of the next generation.