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5/12/2010

Reactions stronger than expected: PM

This is the headline of an article in the Today paper. Does the govt expect a less robust response to the red herring, or was it a red herring? The reaction from the public was serious enough for Hsien Loong and Eng Hen to call a press conference to explain the govt's stand. And what is the stand, no change is weightage but change in methodology to cater for different abilities of the students. This is the tricky part. How to implement a system that does not change the weightage while accepting that the grades will be different. Would all be given A grades but at different standards? Or some will still fail and some will still score? And how will the standard and weightage be maintained? We can expect a lot of changes coming this way and possibility more reactions from the public.

21 comments:

Wally Buffet said...

Why can't they just leave the damn issue alone? Just when the M.T. weightage is gaining acceptance, they want to tinker with it again. Damn, they never hear of the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Maybe they got nothing better to do. If so, re assess every principal of every school because one has just been suspended for running his school like a personal fiefdom. You may say that it's just one rotten apple. I don't think so. It may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Anonymous said...

For all the hot air over this issue, has anybody taken a look at the Chinese MT primary school syallabus? It is a lot tougher than all the chinese language chauvinist can imagine. Speaking the language at home does not translate to competence and you cannot deny that only a small percentage have the natural flair for languages. What we really need is a not such a rigid system given that we are our only resources. Whatever happened to thinking out of the box?

Anonymous said...

The miracle of pre-election...ha ha

Anonymous said...

The weighting should remain. After all, if we change it because some cannot handle MT, then we should also lower the ratings for Math, Science and English because there are also others who can't handle these subjects. That brings us back to square one - equal weightings.

Perhaps a solution is to allow students to choose a second language they feel comfortable with or to allow a third language to be considered in lieu of the mother tongue for calculating aggregate scores.

When I was young, I did not appreciate the importance of the MT. Now, feel that keeping in touch with our roots is a vital factor in establishing one's identity. No matter how ang mo I liked to be, I could only feel a real sense of being when I see myself as Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Mother-tongue policy undermines education and our future


http://www.yawningbread.org/guest_2010/guw-165.htm

Wally Buffet said...

Anon 11.17.

Absolutely agree with you.

This hulabaloo about the mother tongue weightage is mainly raised by people who cannot master their own cultural language before learning English. It is all the fault of their parents for losing sight of the fact that they are first and foremost Asians- Chinese, Indians, Malays whatever before they want to become a pseudo Ang Moh.

MM was right to make it a subject of important weightage before embarking on a secondary school education. I don't think we should tinker with it any further.

If those pseudo Ang Mohs cannot learn their own cultural language with sufficient fluency then I'll say you're better off living with the Ang Mohs.

Anonymous said...

There are always people who want to change or get rid of MT because they or their children are unable to master it. So much refinement, tinkering, simplification etc has been done over the years and we are still at it.

My guess is that with all this constant chipping away and tinkering with the system, it will one day result in total abolition of MT in the school syllabus.

What then?

Anonymous said...

If a potential albert einstein is born in singapore...and "force" to take 2nd language as a mother tongue...and because he is weak in the 2nd language...

He won't get far in singapore...instead of contributing new ways of looking at things and better ways of bettering man kind's future or even recognize for a nobel prize...he could not progress and becomes a technician or a waiter or a cleaner or a office boy or a storeman/clerk etc etc...and because of the "education" system and its nutty rules is always held back from being more then he can be...a potential and possibly feasible true asset to singapore...but it is not to be.

Why? How?...instead of an education to make him truely think and guiding him to find the path of real thinking and real curiosity...the education system in singapore makes him jumps hoops and loops until he loses all sense of himself as a self thinking independent entity, to be able to reason rationally, to arrive at wise decisions, to think independently based on factual information found by himself and to question everything as well as to fully comprehend and understand what works and what does not...even if it does not, never stop finding a viable way...what is ultimately worst is the lost of the potential to be all that he can be...

I wonder....to those who keep saying english is not really that important...do you think higher order mathematics [using latin symbols] and other scientific theories in other fields [nanotechnoloy, biology, space technologies, pure quatum mechanices & physics...etc]...as well as pure mathematical equations/theorems are so easily written in pu tong or mandarin? Ask yourselves how many CHINESE scientists who left china to be in England and America...ask yourself this very carefully and re-think deeper please...

Instead of moving forward into the future...we are moving backwards like the Ming and Qinq dynasties...and we know what happens once a society looks inwards, or thinks they are soooo "superior" that they don't want to accept what has been proven to work but put their noses up instead and become so very close-minded....these societies reaches literally a dead wall...and who suffers...well everyone...but the ones who do not deserve the suffering are the children and future generations of kids as they are the ones who did not made the correct & wise decisions that should have been made.

As for the people who were put in place and given critical positions as well as super well-rewarded/paid...instead of making the right, correct and wiser decisions...many of them will rather spend an inordinate amount of time/resources/money in creating wayang propangade/bullshit rules/make-believe policies/bogus plans or self serving me first the money with the subprime loans or insurance scams or even like the greek debt thingy in the past/now...it is a pity...that these so called "responsible people in-charge" get off way too easily.

It is so sad. Ulimately for everyone infinitely because of avarice and greed for the finite by the few. For singapore...and for other countries that believes its education system is the best in teaching on how not to think independently and to question widely and deeply.

: (

Anonymous said...

If a potential albert einstein is born in singapore...and "force" to take 2nd language as a mother tongue...and because he is weak in the 2nd language...

He won't get far in singapore...instead of contributing new ways of looking at things and better ways of bettering man kind's future or even recognize for a nobel prize...he could not progress and becomes a technician or a waiter or a cleaner or a office boy or a storeman/clerk etc etc...and because of the "education" system and its nutty rules is always held back from being more then he can be...a potential and possibly feasible true asset to singapore...but it is not to be.

Why? How?...instead of an education to make him truely think and guiding him to find the path of real thinking and real curiosity...the education system in singapore makes him jumps hoops and loops until he loses all sense of himself as a self thinking independent entity, to be able to reason rationally, to arrive at wise decisions, to think independently based on factual information found by himself and to question everything as well as to fully comprehend and understand what works and what does not...even if it does not, never stop finding a viable way...what is ultimately worst is the lost of the potential to be all that he can be...

I wonder....to those who keep saying english is not really that important...do you think higher order mathematics [using latin symbols] and other scientific theories in other fields [nanotechnoloy, biology, space technologies, pure quatum mechanices & physics...etc]...as well as pure mathematical equations/theorems are so easily written in pu tong or mandarin? Ask yourselves how many CHINESE scientists who left china to be in England and America...ask yourself this very carefully and re-think deeper please...

Instead of moving forward into the future...we are moving backwards like the Ming and Qinq dynasties...and we know what happens once a society looks inwards, or thinks they are soooo "superior" that they don't want to accept what has been proven to work but put their noses up instead and become so very close-minded....these societies reaches literally a dead wall...and who suffers...well everyone...but the ones who do not deserve the suffering are the children and future generations of kids as they are the ones who did not made the correct & wise decisions that should have been made.

As for the people who were put in place and given critical positions as well as super well-rewarded/paid...instead of making the right, correct and wiser decisions...many of them will rather spend an inordinate amount of time/resources/money in creating wayang propangade/bullshit rules/make-believe policies/bogus plans or self serving me first the money with the subprime loans or insurance scams or even like the greek debt thingy in the past/now...it is a pity...that these so called "responsible people in-charge" get off way too easily.

It is so sad. Ulimately for everyone infinitely because of avarice and greed for the finite by the few. For singapore...and for other countries that believes its education system is the best in teaching on how not to think independently and to question widely and deeply.

: (

Anonymous said...

How many Einsteins do you think Singapore will ever produce?

We have not even produce a nobel winner since 1819, or even close to smelling it.

Anonymous said...

It is good to see that most Singaporeans of different Races are honouring their roots.

And

it is the most honourable thing for any human to do.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Oh please, if a potential Einstein cannot even handle MT and a miserable few subjects under the Singapore system, he is no potential Einstein, just a wannabe...fake ang mo.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and either that, or he can jolly drop out of school and make on his own, without or without the SAP label.

Wally Buffet said...

Hehe,

Right. A half past six Einstein that cannot clear the M.T. which is chicken feed?

Yeah, the real Einstein will be rocking in his grave.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I was really taken aback when a Chinese woman wrote to the ST forum saying that MTL is a foreign language.

Wally Buffet said...

This shows the rot has taken root long ago. If something is not done about it, we would soon think that our ancestors landed on this island in a steamer from the UK instead of a junk from China.

She shames me.

Anonymous said...

My mother told me; 'son, You must study in English School, otherwise You will not survive'.

In my young mind during the 50s, me was telling myself my mother had 'fu ren ze qian', meaning a feeble(weak/sickly) opinion of a less enlightened being'.

Never did i expect my governors to share my mothers' view soon after.
Confucius if alive, must be very confused, as one of his staunch believer in SIN shares a similar opinion with my mother(with regard the English Language). And so is my spouse. The women just make me feels that they are plainly pragmatic people.

Whether Confucius is turning in his grave, me don't know, however, me greatly disappointed with the ladyfolks when it comes to retaining roots and cultures. Womanfolks are lot more prepared to 'modernize' and change easily to suit circumstances, hence upholding roots and cultures are hardly their principles.

Pardon my ranting.

patriot

Wally Buffet said...

English can never be our mother tongue. It can only be a tool of trade, profession, social interaction. It is to be made use of, not fawn over. I rather read the poems of Li Bai than the rambing nonsense from William Blake.

Anyone who thinks English is their lingua franca and mother tongue a foreign language has long forgotten their roots, belonging nowhere. A banana tree imagining it is an apple tree. What the f@#k!

Anonymous said...

What identity ? Our country is already flooded by so many nationalities that our children already asking "Who Am I ? "

Anonymous said...

What Wally 10.59am said is true. If we totally drop MT and someone were to ask about your MT, would you tell him that it is English? And that your ancestors came from England?

Goodness me. That would be the mother of all insults to our ancestors and they will be wriggling in their graves. Some may even rise up from the grave to put things right.

Anonymous said...

The children are asking "Who am I?" not because of the flood of nationalities, but because they do not know their roots.

The fault lies with the parents, not the number of nationalities.

If we know our roots, we will be able to distinguish our identity from the others and stand our ground even if someone tells us we are what we aren't.