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9/23/2008

A tale from NTU

I did something naughty last week by Terrence Lee What a week it has been. I'd expect my four years in university to be extremely peaceful, free from trouble and fuss. My idea of university life used to be that of dating, studying, and having fun generally. How things have changed in the space of seven days. Things are certainly getting interesting, right here at NTU. In one night, at the click of a mouse, I became an activist, and I did not even realise it then. So, what is activism, you wonder? It is standing up for certain beliefs, and fighting to get it recognised by the authorities and the wider public.... So, what exactly happened? Here's a brief: 1) Chee Soon Juan came down to NTU to gave out flyers and talk to students. They were generally apathetic, but student reporters were on hand to report the event. 2) However, the campus administration did the unthinkable -- they censored all coverage of Dr Chee's visit, wanting to "protect students." 3) Many of us at the Nanyang Chronicle, the school's campus newspaper, were infuriated. It showed two things: that the school has no regard for the opinions of students and that the school treats us like children, thinking that we will be easily influenced by whatever we read. That was when a thought came to me: Get it out! Get it out! Singaporeans need to hear about this!.... Above is an extract of a post by Terrence Lee and crossed posted in the TOC. It is a lamentation by a university student on how NTU, an institution of higher learning, dealt with the visit of Chee Soon Juan to the university. According to Terrence Lee, the students were treated like children and the university was trying to protect them. Where is papa and mama? If university undergraduates are so naive, so fragile, so innocent, that they need to be protected by the university from a politician, how could our children be exposed to the vagaries of life and to make informed opinions of the world? It looks like the undergrads are a cohort of kindergarten children. What happens to the old belief that the university is a fertile ground to nurture the young minds, to liberate them from ignorance, to acquire an inquiring mind, to deliberate and expound and exchange ideas, of youthful idealism? Looks like it is better to feed them with Vitamin C daily to protect them from the common flu. These are poor and helpless students and can be easily exploited and manipulated as they are quite mindless. I just make up my mind to send my children overseas to get a real education.

4 comments:

Mockingbird said...

You must be pretty loaded to be able send your children abroad for tertiary education. Most sinkies have no choice but to let their children study in local so-called publicly funded universities where tuition fees are not cheap either :p

Mockingbird said...

How come CSJ hasn't spoken at Speaker's Corner yet after the relaxation of the rules?

Mockingbird said...

Obviously, it's better to spread his message at tertiary institutions where the fertile minds are instead of a quiet corner frequented mostly by old men and retirees.

redbean said...

i would like my children to fend for themselves and find their own truth. when young, i can protect them. once they are over their teens, the boys would have finished their NS and ready to defend the country.

if they still need the staff of a university to protect them from a speech by a politician, i find this more dangerous than throwing them into the deep end.