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12/05/2012

In search of Excellence in mediocrity

There was a hush hush party in one of the top primary school. The students and parents were invited to a midnite celebration in the school compound. It had to be midnite to keep out of sight from the glare of the public. No one should know except for those connected. The principal and staff were quite apologetic for the stealth arrangement instead of grand party.
The school and the parents were celebrating the top student in the PSLE, out of sight so that no one would feel pressurized by the presence of the student. Attendance was by invitation only.
This is the new ethos of Sin City. Top achievers cannot be named. From now onwards, no one will know who is the top income earner in the City. No one will know who is the richest man. No one will know who owns the most properties. No one will know who wears the most hats. No one will know who is the biggest gambler.
The top student of the year will go around like he/she has committed something offensive or obscene, like a leper, to be hidden from the public eyes. What a shameful thing to do to a child who has done something so glorious and meritorious. Oops, shouldn’t have mentioned the word as it is linked to meritocracy, or is it meritocrazy?
There are several parents still bitching about this change in the media forum. Why don’t they let the sleeping dog alone. It’s water under the bridge. Now who is that poor girl or boy who scored so obscenely in the PSLE?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the new normal after the watershed elections. You are saying as if there is something bad about that. This heralds a new beginning - a better beginning. A more equal and just society, where every sinkie is celebrated as a human, not someone bred for the earning machinery.

PAP has been associated with elitism, where the best scolars get the best paying jobs. Some will become MIWS. We should not encourage this type of trend. What about the normal man in the street ? Shouldnt he be heard, and given the chance to earn big bucks too ? One day, hopefully, we will have someone who failed their A level, gone to normal stream and become our minister. That I will say we have arrived as a democratic nation. As the opposition rightly pointed out, our Gini is of the worst in the world. Where is the human element ?

Sinky Patriot

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Sinky Patriot, if you are not the same Patriot that I know, may I welcome you to the blog.

Acknowledge a child's achievement is not the ugly side of the meritocracy that we are experiencing at the national level. Children are children and positive encouragement is a good thing.

The meritocracy you are referring to is really meritocrazy, a self serving concept by the elite for self aggrandizement. I still do not believe any joker is good enough to be earning, as an employee, a million dollar a month or more as salary. Frankly, what does a person do to deserve that kind of pay?

The big pay package is mostly due to the size and value of the organisation, not the person's ability alone. And we have often been proven wrong again and again that many with good academics do not live up to the expectation in job performance.

Look at those earning a million or more and really how many could make that kind of money on their own merits?

The flaws of our meritocratic system is for not wearing a cap and people are stuffed with money into their pockets to look even more meritocratic. Some are just jokers and undeserving.

Anonymous said...

Clever or not.
Talented or not.
Respectable or not
Corrupted or not.
Very sick or not.
No need to go around showing everybody lah, much less the need to trumpet about
them.
You mean must award honest people who
must be honest if he,she is brought up properly?

No need to howlian wan. Chinese say 天生我才必有用。
What You are is work of nature.
Who You are is secondary to what You are.

dotseng said...

Good Morning Chin Leng,

Chin Leng, come, come...surely you don't believe everything that you read in the propagandist ST?

Let us see what we are dealing with here? We are told that the names will no longer be released as the new order has declared war on elitism - we have also been told all schools now are good schools, though how this might be accomplished is never quite explained. It seems we have to regard it as a fait or simply trust the minister.

Now consider this theoretical possibility Chin Leng - what happens if those top performers happen to all come elite schools? Would it better in that case to simply keep mum about the truth?

As you can see Chin Leng - things are not what they always appear to be.....yes?

Chin Leng, I want this commentary to be meaningful. No is against meritocracy - absolutely no one at all. The only ones who seem to believe this idea is under seige are the PAP. All that the masses are really asking for is less emphasis on social engineering and zoo keeping. All they are requesting for is to modernize the current medieval method of winnowing the supposedly winners from the losers via the ancient scholarship system - all these people are really asking for is a more holistic, accurate and better method to separate the wheat from the chaff - and I happen to think they are right Chin Leng - as if Einstein, Bill Gates or Steve jobs were born in Singapore and they were subjected to the same means of measuring personal success which the PAP has elevated to a science and seems to be so proud of - they would all without a single exception probably be clearing tables or cleaning toilets in some food court.

Tell me Chin Leng, dont you consider that a great loss to the country.

Do have a great day.

Darkness 2012

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Morning Darkness. Thanks for the views. Yes there are plenty of contradictions and fallacies. Remember the mantra about meritocracy. What else if not meritocracy versus hiding the face of a top PSLE child. Isn't it a mockery?

The whole thing about not telling the name of a PSLE child is a big farce and not solving anything.

The meritocracy we are adopting, similar to the the Imperial System, is bound to fail. Talents are everywhere, and academic ability is only one small aspect of it. There many other more important factors like integrity, motivation, sincerity and not the least a good heart in political leadership. I have deliberately left out honesty as this can now be bought.

The meritocracy being practised is self serving, and telling or not telling the name of a child is not going to make any difference. And parents would still feel the pressure as the pressure is self inflicted.

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Anonymous said...

Please do not confuse Meritocracy with Leetocracy.

Anonymous said...

RB, I too feel that hidding top scorers does not solve anything. Agree that meritocracy cannot be measure against school results alone. What is the value to society if the scholar has no moral value and treat citizens as slaves? Enriching himself while we toil to make ends meet?

Matilah_Singapura said...

I don't think the situation is as bad as it is made out to be by "negative spirits" like redbean.

'Meritocracy' is an idea based on individual achievement. And there is alot that goes on into achieving some objective/ value.

Therefore, to celebrate or acknowledge said achievement is quite a natural thing. People do this everyday.

However the state is in no way obligated to herald the achievements of 12 year olds. If the parents and school want to do so PRIVATELY, that should be encouraged.

Meritocracy and achievement are private matters, and their celebration should be limited to those who are in some way "connected" with the outstanding individuals.

The more rid the state from various aspects of civil and private life, the better for the whole society.

Anonymous said...

To M_S

I congratulate and celebrate for myself to have read such a good comment You have put up above.
In the past, thought You are one of the boastful one that tends to tell everyone about your virility and prowess.

Sometimes, You beat all the MIW hands down in sensibility and wisdom Man .

Matilah_Singapura said...

Fuckme jesus on stick....

...Approval...at last.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Anon 2:10, thank you. You are a very fair man and gave credit when credit is due and gave shit when shit needs to be served.

Matilah, at least you have an ardent follower.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Thank you baby jesus for your blessing!