After banding, what’s next?

The quashing of the banding system for schools seems to be a most welcomed move by parents, educators and students. Although it is symbolic, it is still a big step forward to want to change, to want to listen to the people, to want to do good for education and make the parents happy. Malaysia made that move many years ago when parents complained that it was too difficult to use the English Language, and they took English out of their system. We almost took Mandarin out of our system as well. Any way the standard of Mandarin taught in schools today is way below par from yesteryears.

Before people get too excited and go overboard with the relac mentality, before we enter the age of narcissism, let’s look at the status of our education system and its products. Is our education really good? Are the products really first class? I am putting aside the other greater values of education, like opening the mind to see the real world, critical thinking, an educated and better person, values, goodness etc etc.

For the first question, relatively, yes. Compare to the third world countries, we have a good education system. Or at least the infrastructure and the hardware are first class, brand new and with modern comfort and facilities.

What about the quality question? Forget about the older generations of leaders that were mostly the products of foreign universities. In fact many of our top talents in govt are also products of foreign world class universities. What does this say of the quality of our local education?

In the employment scene, are our local products, all those with straight As, good enough? I think so, at the middle management level. Would they also be good at the top management level? This is a tricky question. Apparently it seems that our local products are not good enough for top level management, both in the govt and private sector. In those govt positions where there is no competition from foreigners, it is hard to tell.

And many organisations, including govt linked organisations, are happily recruiting foreigners or foreign educated professionals in preference to local graduates. Why? Foreigners are cheaper or are foreigners better? If foreigners are found better, then we have a problem, a real problem. And if foreigners are from third world countries and found to be better to boss around with our world class straight A products, now this is not funny. It simply says that our super products are useless or not worth their grades on paper.

The situation on the employment scene is not speaking very well of our local products. And this is in spite of the high pressure cooker system, including banding and branding of schools, to squeeze out the best from each cohorts. Would it be worst if the high pressure is slackened to appease the parents? Would we produce junks that are not even good enough to work in third world countries when everything is relaxed? Can we afford to lower our standards, make schooling fun and stress free as all parents and children would love to have, and everyday a happy and carefree day, a fun day in schools?

How far and how low would the education system go when we are not even producing graduates that can compete with third world countries even now? Would there be a day when all the top and senior managements must be imported, from third world countries, to manage our happy and stress free products from our friendly and wholesome education system?

What do you think? Did anyone say levelling down? There must be competition to get the best to be the best. There must also be moderation so that those that are meant for better things in other fields could excel and not feel dumped into the rubbish heap. Let’s not have an Olympic Games to compete for sportsmanship and not to excel. There can be another Olympic Games for other purposes like not winning and every participants would come home with a medal, the same medal for everyone to make everyone happy.

Will there be a shift in the direction and mission of our education system?


Veritas said...

I propose we started off by setting up a sacking mechanism for principals and teacher. Today, these old cabals gang up, condemn or poison enthusiastic young teachers. Many smart young guns from NIE are condemned to D grade, and made to go through a humiliating appraisal process. These old mothers fuckers run proceed to run everything to shit.

Whenever a school close down due to bad management, these folks automatically get transferred to new school getting same or higher $$$. When they terrorize people and force young man to resign, they simply got another replacement from NIE, indentured as slave by 3 years bond. These bonded NIE newbies trembled when they see these wicked principals and crooks HODs

I propose implementation of a punitive mechanism for these people. Whenever a school get close down, all of the staff must be fired.

Every HOD be allocated a certain quota of new NIE graduates. If they exceed quota, they will no longer be able to ask for replacement.

And best of all, I propose implementing school voucher. This is the only thing from Milton Friedman I like. We can use school voucher to bankrupt incompetent schools.

MOE Schools are example that how socialism could fail. It was suppose to be iron rice bowl. Unfortunately I got hijack by weasels and gangsters.

Anonymous said...

Dear RB
Your statement "Any way the standard of Mandarin taught in schools today is way below par from yesteryears."

Are you sure?
Have you read/studied a primary school textbook recently?
If anything, our Mandarin as a 2nd language is being taught at a first language level.
I urge you to check and double confirm.

Anonymous said...

What is the role of our teachers & schools?

To use your Olympic analogy.
Is their role to coach and groom the students?
Is their role to be time keepers. Stand passively on the sidelines and just make judgement on who passes and who fails?

I believe our schools & teachers have become passive time keepers.
It's the private tutors who actively coach and groom the students.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Singapore SCHOOL-level education (public schools): very good, even beats many 1st world cuntrees.

Tertiary level: not bad.

Of course Singapore graduates can compete with foreign graduates: they just have to drop their starting salary expectations.

Don't like competing with a Turd-Whirled foreigner who can work harder for less?

No problem. Become an entrepreneur and HIRE those cheap Asian coolies and make money for yourself like a good old-fashioned greedy capitalist -- who is universally reviled, but also secretly envied, and surreptitiously emulated.

Singaporeans need to be relentlessly exposed to competition -- especially "unfair" competition or the cuntree is sure to fail in the future.

Sure, there'll be the whining losers who would never "get it"...but many of those losers will be those who dare to do, and fail, and keep on doing and refining until they earned the right and privilege of spoiling themselves :-)

The one thing schools don't teach is how to PREVAIL in the real world. They just teach a few skills, and hope that students can "survive" when they grow up.

Schools absolutely fail at predicting the job market. 20 years ago there was no such thing as a web designer, or e-commerce specialist or web cam slut. Yet millions of new jobs have been created when schools of the 1970's and 80's had no fucking clue about the job market of the late 1990's and 21st century. No clue, zero, nada, zip, bupkis...not even CLOSE.

School is essentially a waste of time. 12 years is TOO LONG. And it has bred an entire "entitlement" industry built on INDOCTRINATION...with all the fat, lazy, useless admin, so-called "teachers" (some actually teach useful stuff, the rest ...a waste of protoplasm) and an actual government "ministry" (aka well organised and over-funded criminal gang) for fuck's sake.

Talk about a racket. Modern education IS A RACKET, and it is a racket designed to KILL THE DREAMS of children and turn them into AUTOMATONS to serve the state and its owners.

Got Mafia?

Matilah_Singapura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

什么牛? 水牛。
强化 穿了皮鞋快快走

The above is only half of a page for primary one at my time. If I could remember, this is the second or third page of the book when I was in Zhangde Pri School, 1956. It was a long time ago.

Many primary school educated seniors of today could command a standard of Chinese that is far higher than those secondary school kids in SAP schools.

Veritas said...

In primary 2, my Chinese teachers ask me to memorize tenets from Buddhist Scriptures. I was from Maha Bodhi. Many Chinese teachers loaths the stealth chinese culture genocide conducted by Goh Keng Swee on Chinese content delivery. I still remember to become bodhisatta, 菩萨,


How today's student compared to us?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

'a Turd-Whirled foreigner who can work harder for less?'

Matilah, please stop spreading this myth. Many Sinkies are ten time more hardworking than FTs and earning the same or lesser pay. It is wicked to tell the Sinkies and half baked FTs that they are cheaper and more hard working than the Sinkies. Many, including daft Sinkies are starting to believe in this self defacing myth. And the half baked FTs too believe in it and starting to despise the daft Sinkies.

I totally disagree with that. Or are you saying that our political leaders are also lesser hardworking and wanting higher pay?

This myth and the xenophobic myth are mischievious.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The best part, no creche experience, no pre school or kindergarten, no tuition but illiterate parents. And those words were the first time seen by a 6 year old.

Veritas said...

And many of my basic world view came from India's Dharmic religion. I was a fan of India culture since young. I still enjoy reading Buddhist scripture today, in classical Chinese. They are lost on India.

I was accuse of racist against Indians even in my own blog. These are all lies. I put many hours of into India history and culture. I make fair comment about Indians.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I agree. A fair comment or scholarly comment is based on knowledge of the stuff one is commenting.

Matilah_Singapura said...

It is not a myth. It is a sweeping generalisation on my part.

However, the Singapore work ethic has changed. Sorry to disagree with you, but foreigners have the "edge" -- they are keener, hungrier, willing to go more.

Singaporeans? Alas, too spoilt and comfortable.

Your "govt salary" example is a non sequitur. Unlike the private sector where resources are scarce and accountable, Govt "employees" don't do any "real work" -- they just shift stuff around, and collect money for this scam. In that way, they can justify any amount, and we all have seen how that's turned out.

I am a privateer. I sign cheques. For my money, I prefer to buy foreign -- more bang for the buck, which means more money for me...which is the point!

Got simple arithmetic?

Anonymous said...

There is no end to disagreemnet between RB and Matilah.

Best way to settle score is to vote in a regime change.
Abolish national service.
Slaughter the sacred cows.
And usher in free and unfettered competition.

The said...

/// Anonymous said...
Dear RB
Your statement "Any way the standard of Mandarin taught in schools today is way below par from yesteryears."
Are you sure?
Have you read/studied a primary school textbook recently?
If anything, our Mandarin as a 2nd language is being taught at a first language level.
I urge you to check and double confirm.
September 14, 2012 10:20 AM ///

Yes, very sure. The standards of Mandarin had been dumbed down a lot, even in SAP schools. My son's school has more than 85% scoring A or A* for Chinese - what does this tell you? Super school or inflated grades or dumbed-down syllabus?

Matilah_Singapura said...

anon 1110:

>> And usher in free and unfettered competition.

And you know what? Many more sacred cows will be brutally slaughtered. Especially the sacred cow of (so-called) "education".

Who do you think will rise to the top faster? The educated-fools who stayed in school and then in academia pursuing worthless but expensive degrees... or your "Ah Bengs" and "Muthus" and other DROP OUTS who left school after Sec 4 and went -- sink or swim -- into the real, hard cold world, tried, failed a few times and then WON?

Got bet?

Veritas said...

Are you sure?
Have you read/studied a primary school textbook recently?
If anything, our Mandarin as a 2nd language is being taught at a first language level.
I urge you to check and double confi

I can testify as former Chinese teacher. Our students standards are like "fuck". On the extreme end, the students in NT class I taught cannot even write prnoun 你我他, "you, ,me, he".

The essay writing of express student is really unreadable. But PRC FT students are good and generally write good compositions.

Anonymous said...

“there is no such thing as an English gentleman anymore”



(Office of Inspector General (OIG) - Labor Racketeering)


search google, philosopher.org/Socratic_Method.html
search google, 01 - Socrates on Self-Confidence
search google, 04 - Montaigne on Self-Esteem

Joshua Chiang

Anonymous said...

ok RB
The question now is why can't we teach our kids Mandarin in school?
Lousy teahers?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

You can't teach anyone mandarin, not even the Chinese, if they despised the language.

Many westerners are learning the language happily because they find it useful and relevant. Can't imagine that right?

Anonymous said...

The so called 'banding system' has achieved its 'objective', and the quashing of the banding system today carries nothing significant.

Don't get deceived by the change and the motive calling for such change....

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Banding or no banding, the stratification of the students into different grades and schools will still be there, in different shapes and colours.

Anonymous said...

Do you realize most PAP top guns are woodblock? No character no life very much formulated or like a robot.

Don't ever write to them, you will never get an honest reply if at all.

Anonymous said...

Look at the education minister. His image will scare the hell of young girls or toddlers.

He should have been a priest.

Anonymous said...

Your national conversation is a sham. Your leaders are crap. What future do you have?

Matilah_Singapura said...


>> Banding or no banding, the stratification of the students into different grades and schools will still be there, in different shapes and colours.

Absolutely true.

To me this is incredulous. The Min Ed is supposed to be the agency which ensures proper grounding in the fundamentals of mathematics and science.

Yet it conjures up ARBITRARY METRICS which have NO INTRINSIC MEANING other than the meaning INVENTED specifically for the purpose.

i.e. it is bullshit which uses bullshit to explain the bullshit meaning and purpose.

No wonder after 12 years os education, the kids come out blur and totally unprepared for the harshness and uncertainty of the REAL WORLD.

Fuck School!

Anonymous said...

Wow, they are killing sacred cows and donkeys fast and furious. Wonder when that 89 year old sacred cow will be slaughtered?

Anonymous said...

You want dialogue? You come into anonymous forum and we will f u c k you.

Anonymous said...

"At the time of independence, there were two big problems - corruption and cronyism. And meritocracy was a platform that we espoused because you want to make sure that the person with the right skills and who has the merit and who deserves the job or appointment gets it. That's something we should never lose," added Ms Rajah.


To this issue, Ms Rajah offered her take that one does not need national education to have "simple considerations for someone", or be a student in the gifted programme to know how to treat others.

in other words, you want your cake and eat it too

Anonymous said...

"After banding, what's next?"

Disbanding lor!

For the past 46 years we were told everything that the talents in PAP thought off were the correct and only way forward. How come it took them so long to realise that they were wrong when people on the ground, especially those frequenting the social media, know that they were wrong all along.

Anonymous said...

In a meritocratic society, you will always find support for your branding.

Whether people will buy your b-r-anding or your b-r-anding will last or not, that's another story.

Anonymous said...

Our leaders had done their best and are on to betterer their last best.
They will not stop working at it until they find or make the bestest.

Anonymous said...

The best are all wooden block.....come out of the backside of the army or black suitcase