2/22/2012

The dismal academic performance of Singaporean scholars

Sim Ann reported that 45% of foreign scholars got second upper or better degrees while Singaporean scholars only managed 32%. Is this proof and justification that the money spent on foreign scholars is the correct one? I am not going to dwell on the merits and advantages of spending millions of public money on so many foreign students instead of spending on our own children. I am not going to whine about spending money on other people’s children than our own.

What I am questioning is the quality of our local scholars? Are they really that bad? From past records, all local scholars are the cream of their cohorts and each would have a string of straight As in O and A levels. Some were even so good that they were allowed to skip the O level. And only 32% made it to second upper? Our straight A students, 68% could not get a second upper? Is there something wrong?

Who are these scholars that made up these statistics? Are they the same equivalent of the foreign scholars, with full scholarship as the foreign students? We need to know the make up of the statistics. If the quality of our local scholars is so bad, then their O and A level results is suspect, or the university grading is suspect. There can be some deviations from the norms, with some scholars getting themselves into problems or losing interests in their studies. But these are extremely good students to be awarded the scholarships and most of them are expected to do better at least a second upper.

68% getting less than second upper is unacceptable. A 20% or at most 30% getting less than second upper may be more reasonable. So, what is wrong with the statistics or with our education system? Can we have more information on what the data is made up of? And I am not even querying on the statistics to include our overseas scholars. It is reasonable to compare our scholars in our local universities and those foreign scholars here. I am not comfortable with such pathetic results of our local scholars. If scholars, I mean full scholarship offered by the govt or GLCs, could not even get a second upper, then something is drastically wrong. What kind of straight As or near straight A students are we having when they turned out to be less than second upper material?

The govt should save the money if the scholars are unable to perform. But it doesn’t mean that we should throw our money to train other people’s children and say money well spent. We need to know more about the statistics to get a better picture of the truth.

13 comments:

newhik said...

To be fair to the scholar system, we need to need what is the ratio does the scholars and non scholars getting 2nd upper class and above.

It could be that our level is set very high so as to futher separate the cream from the rest.

However, I doubt such information would be made public to the people as I have a gut feeling that majority of the 2nd class uppers holders comes from the non scholars batch

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter about second upp or first class honours or not. What matters is , whether they got a real education during their time in University. Focusing on grades and merits only begets ROBOTS like what we have among many of the PAPPY now. PREASE ... !!!

Anonymous said...

The so called "scholar" system is a flawed one. Look what it has produced ??? Scholars who get into the system via PAPPY only result in the perpetuation of famiLEE's agenda. PUI !!!!!! Scholarship from the pte sector rather than government may be a more equitable solution.

Matilah_Singapura said...

When education is publicly funded, the government can allocate money according to what the prevailing policy is.

Remember, there is no "morality " where government is concerned. It is amoral and pragmatic.

The results seem to suggest that foreign students are motivated to perform better than locals. Thus the government directing resources toward better motivated and higher performing foreigners would seem the PRAGMATIC thing to do.

IMO if education was fully private, then you have ultimate choice and control. You decide because it is your money. When education is public, you have no say at all that goes beyond your freedom of speech (assuming you live in a cuntree which is 'enlightened ')

Anonymous said...

Sim is is comparing foreign scholarships with Singaporean uni grads. NOT Singaporean scholars. Read properly. In short she is comparing foreign scholars whom only 45% get second class upper honours vs ordinary Singaporean grads whom 32% get second upper.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

'Ms Sim also said that the quality of foreign scholars has been maintained over the years. She quoted some statistics: Around 45% complete their undergraduate studies with a second-upper class honours or better while only 32% of Singaporeans do as well.'

The above is the reported statement. Not very specific but it would not be fair to compare the general cohort with scholars. And if we take the whole cohort of Singaporeans, 32% is too high as not many would get to do honours.

Anonymous said...

Only in Singapore.

A PAP Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Education can tell you;

Singapore scholars compare unfavourably to foreign scholars.

But she no need to take responsibility for the quality of our local scholars.

Also no need to tell us how she plans to improve the situation.

Just report the numbers and collect the salary.
This type of standard I expect from a fresh graduate from Poly with no work experience.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:38 : Hear ! Hear !

Anonymous said...

This is kind of reporting , anybody can be millionaire minister leowzw. My Advice : Save the scholarship money lah ! Any tan ah cow ,tan ah meow can read out statistics oso wahtttt....

Anonymous said...

The scholar system is one way Singapore take in citizens to bolster our own which are not producing enough. We want to attract talents, not tom dick harry. We already have enough tom dick harry.

Anonymous said...

Yeah , tom dick harry lee

Anonymous said...

The fact is that many Singapore bright local scholars do not study,they are oversea in IVY league,Europe,Japan,china universities.
Obviously local scholars are not top that we have.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

That is true. Also, those given scholarship to local universities are also mostly straight A students and most of them should be getting second upper.

The 32% must have include all honours students, scholars and non scholars.