1/21/2016

Singapore Education 2016 v1.0

With two young ministers fresh from the election oven put in charge of education, things are going to be hot and exciting. A one minister ministry may find the excuse of being overloaded and no time to do much, two ministers mean a lot of spare capacity to do more, to do new things. In the media on 20 Dec, it was reported that changes will take place in the next 5 years to revamp primary school education to scale down emphasis on academic results and to provide more time for students to pursue their interests in and out of schools.

Why the change? The media reported that the policy came amid expectations from educators, parents and the pupils to revamp the current system based strongly on academic results. I read this simply that the new education policy is determined by the educators, parents and the pupils, what they want the education to be. Fair enough, and the ministers are just appeasing them, and must agree with them. It must be, for if the ministers have different ideas of what education of children is like, they would want their views to be part of the input. Then the education policy will be the result of the expectations of the ministers, educators, parents and the pupils.

As the changes are for primary education, I think it is fair and harmless. The educators, parents and pupils and the ministers can decide what they like for the children. What about secondary and higher education? Who should determine what higher education should be like, to meet whose expectations? Should the policies of higher education be determined by the expectations of the professors in the academia, the parents, the students and the ministers? Or should they also include the expectations of the employers, what the employers want and expect from the education system? Would the expectations of the employers be the most important element in determining what higher education and its products to be like as they are the ultimate users of the products of the education system? If not, they may say, no relevant skill sets, unusable, need to find those with relevant skill sets in less pretentious schools from the 3rd world villages. Then our graduates would end up as temp job seekers or selling hamburgers at fast food joints. Then how?

A mismatch will be obvious if the policy of higher education is to meet the expectations of parents and students, or even the academics when their interests and expectations could be totally misaligned with the expectations of the employers.

While the policy of primary education is changing, I hope they will invite the employers to have a say as to what they want from the education system and we don’t end up with misfits from the higher education system that are not what the employers want. We are having this problem now, and some are very serious ones like the dearth of IT and banking and finance talents that no one seems to be responsible or accountable for it.  At primary level the blame can be put to the parents and students for wanting to have a fairy tale education disconnected with the realities of adult education and employment. At higher education, there is no luxury to mess around with the pragmatic and functional objectives of education.

The victims of past flirtations with dysfunctional education models and policies that are detached from the realities of adult life and leading to the lost generations of talents for IT and banking and finance industries must not be allowed to be repeated.  No more fooling around please. Education of the young is a very serious matter and there is a big divide between education for education’s sake, education that parents and students would love to have, and education to earn a living, education to meet the needs of the industries.

PS. I will love to decide my own education, read whatever I like, no exam, have a lot of fun and experimenting, if I don’t have to work for a living.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of the education ministers and in charge of schools, is Mr Ng Chee Meng, a former RSAF fighter pilot.

And I admire people who are fighter pilots. Definitely not the kiasu (scared lose) or kiasi (scared die) type. Tio bo RB, since you were formerly from the Air Force?

So hope that whatever other flaws from the changes, at least students will become less kiasu and kiasi under the direction of the new education minister Mr Ng. Which is also a good thing for parents and employers.

Anonymous said...

If academic results is not that important, they must set examples instead of talking through their noses.

What were they looking for in ministers over the last 50 years? They even openly said that unless one is educated overseas, their chances of becoming ministers is practically nil.

Even today the emphasis is on promoting scholars and A-star elements, not the less educated workers who will just remain cogs in the wheel. I guess this is the insidious hidden agenda behind this calling of going for less emphasis on academic results. Everything depends on academic results and nothing else. They are just talking cock and singing songs.

Anonymous said...

/// A one minister ministry may find the excuse of being overloaded and no time to do much, two ministers mean a lot of spare capacity to do more, to do new things. ///

Is our Singapore Emperor Pu Yi using the Education Ministry like a 'New Drivers Training School" ?

Previous newbie Ministers who graduated after one term (5 years) as Education Minister includes;
2003 – 2008 Tharman Shanmugaratnam
2011 – 2015 Heng Swee Keat
2015 – Ng Chee Meng (Schools), Ong Ye Kung (Higher Education and Skills)

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I must say it is a big waste of money invested in Ng Chee Meng, and a big waste of a talent to make him a minister in education. This is stupidity of the highest order, putting a chicken in a pond and expecting it to swim like a duck.

Anonymous said...

And to make a brest surgeon to take care of defence.

Anonymous said...

/// ... it was reported that changes will take place in the next 5 years to revamp primary school education to scale down emphasis on academic results and to provide more time for students to pursue their interests in and out of schools. ///

Really ah!
I will only believe when the qualifying academic criteria for President and SAF scholars go down.

Anonymous said...

" Or should they also include the expectations of the employers, what the employers want and expect from the education system? "
...........
Singapore employers have clearly stated their preference over these last 10 years to our Emperor Pu Yi.
*** Singapore employers want graduates from Indian universities. ***

So please send Ong Ye Kung or Ng Chee Meng for a ONE year study mission to Indian universities.
- stay there for ONE year
- immerse himself into the Indian education system
- don't return home
- bring his children and wife along (on taxpayer's expense)
- a one year stint in an Indian school will do wonders for the Minister's children

Anonymous said...

/// While the policy of primary education is changing, I hope they will invite the employers to have a say as to what they want from the education system and we don’t end up with misfits from the higher education system that are not what the employers want. ////

I am a Singapore employer.
I own and operate a coffee-shop.
And this is what I want:

I want my Singapore workers to have a low education standard.
So that it's not so easy for them to job hop or migrate to real 1st world countries.
So that they will depend on me for life for a job.
And I can boss over them like my Emperor Pu Yi bosses over the 70% dafties.

I want Singaporean tax-payers to pay for the cost of educating my Singaporean workers in the school system.
So that I can enjoy the fruits of the education system for free.
(I am Tua Kee businessman so this is not called subsidy mentality)

If my workers cannot afford PAP's very affordable HDB flats on the low salaries I pay;
Then it is Emperor Pu Yi's job to make housing more affordable.
And if my profits are not high enough to maintain a dignified lifestyle, then it is Emperor Pu Yi's job to reduce my taxes.
Emperor Pu Yi must also eliminate estate duties so that my children can maintain the same dignified lifestyle without any meritocratic effort on their part.
(They only need to remember to continue to Support Emperor Pu Yi).

I am a Singapore employer.
This is what I want and I am already getting.

Anonymous said...

'This is stupidity of the highest order....'

Well, 70% thought otherwise, so the emperor continues to parade in his new clothes. What did the 70% say? Hail the emperor's new clothes' cabinet!

Anonymous said...

"This is stupidity of the highest order, putting a chicken in a pond and expecting it to swim like a duck."
January 21, 2016 9:19 am

Isn't it more like putting a pig in a pond and expecting it to swim like a duck?
What do you think?
What can else can pigs do other than eat up the country's store of wealth?

Veritas said...

There is a complete destruction of engineering education of local Singaporeans. The young graduates today are basically non-employable.

Every single of my colleague have such opinion. I do not know if I will become yet another one who hire FT.

Basically today, the most fuck up students go engineering and hence syllabus are cut to help them pass.

And young engineers from fuck up background not only have fuck up skills, but fuck up attitude. And worse, the engineering jobs today are harder, not easier than before.

Anonymous said...

"There is a complete destruction of engineering education of local Singaporeans. The young graduates today are basically non-employable."

It's a lot harder to train a good engineer than it is to train a good PAP grassroots leader.
But which job is easier and pays better?
So if you are smart, which job would you choose?

I think it is a good idea to entrust our engineering jobs in MRT and (future) nuclear power plant to engineers from India.

Anonymous said...

Fucked up or not, 70% still follow the Pipe Piper into the shit hole.

Anonymous said...

Wake up Redbean. I work in HR and what companies want are:
1. Cheap or at least cheaper than local.
2. Subservient and willing to take abuse. Employers call this "hungry", normal people call this "desperate".
3. Already have a few years hands-on OJT experience back in their home countries. Doesn't matter if their experience is very solid or not.

Can local universities & polytechnics produce such graduates???

So you see, PAP is developing $500,000 handcrafted, heirloom-quality, jewel-encrusted samurai sword to go fight against a bunch of street thugs armed with $40 handguns made in back-alley workshops.

PAP is very good at over-priced white elephant policies, blowing own trumpets, and paying themselves & their cronies millions. But on-the-ground reality, ordinary Sinkies will kena shot full of cheap 9mm copper.

And then PAP will tell you, Sinkies not hungry enough, don't know how to fight, better send them for re-skilling & up-skilling. Preferably conducted by $2 PAP-related companies.

Anonymous said...

Sad. Soon the country will be taken over by cheap foreigners with the help of local employers and HR managers.

Anonymous said...

Wake up Redbean. I work in HR and what companies want are:
1. Cheap or at least cheaper than local.
2. Subservient and willing to take abuse. Employers call this "hungry", normal people call this "desperate".
3. Already have a few years hands-on OJT experience back in their home countries. Doesn't matter if their experience is very solid or not.

Can local universities & polytechnics produce such graduates???

January 21, 2016 11:35 am
..........................................

Of course local universities and polytechnics can produce such graduates.

If new HDB flats are priced at $5,000 ... then Singaporean graduates can afford to accept $800/month jobs.
If PAP government takes over the financial responsibility of looking after elderly parents, then of course Singaporean graduates can afford to accept $800/month jobs.

If PAP government provides free medical and hospitalization for Singaporeans, then of course Singaporean graduates can afford to accept $800/month jobs.

If PAP government provides free university and polytechnic education for Singaporean children, then of course Singaporean graduates can afford to accept $800/month jobs.

Who is responsible for driving up the cost of doing business in Singapore?
PAP government or Singaporean employees?

Anonymous said...

'Who is responsible for driving up the cost of doing business in Singapore?'

Of course the PAP will blame it on global and market conditions beyond their control. But they control the most important element of cost and that is space and rental. When land goes to the highest bidder and space goes to one particular group of speculators who have the resources and are able to outbid others, then it follows that rentals will hit the roof and so will the cost of doing business. In its wake, when business costs are passed on to consumers, the result is that cost of living for citizens will also escalate. Who benefits and who suffers?

Anonymous said...

"What's wrong with collecting more money"?
Lee Kuan Yew
https://www.facebook.com/TheNewEraSingapore/posts/611369322249177

Anonymous said...

To all our tax dollar funded PAP Millionaires who lead a dignified lifestyle:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I feel like money makes you more of who you already are. If you’re an asshole, you become a bigger asshole. If you’re nice, you become nicer. Money is fun to make, fun to spend, and fun to give away.”
– Sara Blakely, billionaire founder of Spanx (1971 – )

Anonymous said...

Dear PAP Millionaires:

"Never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent"
Marlon Brando

Anonymous said...

To the PAP Millionaires who say "Nobody owes you a living"
-----------------------------------------------------------
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own.
Nobody.
You built a factory out there - good for you.
But I want to be clear.
You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for.
You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.
You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.
You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory...
Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea - God bless!
Keep a hunk of it.
But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
― Elizabeth Warren

Anonymous said...

How to Explain the Daft 70%
=================================

“I am often asked the question How can the masses permit themselves to be exploited by the few. The answer is By being persuaded to identify with them.”
― E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime

Anonymous said...

The daft masses don't even know they have been cheated.

Anonymous said...

@ January 21, 2016 2:49 pm

Your Sara Blakely quote is very applicable for the daft and brain washed 70% Singaporeans.
Here is a link to an article about Sara Blakely

"How Sara Blakely Failed Her Way to Her First $1 Billion"
http://www.blogtravelrepeat.com/sara-blakely-spanx-story-failed-billion-dollars/

"The biggest risk in life is not risking. Every risk you take in life is in direct proportion to the reward. If I’m afraid of something, it’s the next thing I have to go do. That’s just the way I’ve been.”

Vote Opposition.
What do we have to lose.

b said...

People can be educated online and at home. Whats the problem? No need to spend so much money to build those universities and employed third world teachers.

Anonymous said...

This type of ass holes in army the lower rank would call it "Ho Kau Kan" ......

Totally clueless, reckless, Indian chief, self-serving, utterly selfish and ruthless, for their own gains and agenda, totally disregard the consequences of their irresponsible actions and decisions ......

Anonymous said...

"There is a complete destruction of engineering education of local Singaporeans. The young graduates today are basically non-employable."
Veritas 10:56 am

That's why PAP need to fill up the engineering school vacancies with lots of foreigners on scholarship mah.

In fact my company is now recruiting foreign graduates from our local engineering schools. Because there are simply no Sinkies sending in their application for the many engineering jobs available.

Anonymous said...

How come they claim the jobless rate is at historical low when graduates today are basically non-employable? And they also claim that salaries of graduates are rising every year. Beats me. Doesn't square off! This must be a perfect example of statistics lying.