Dialectics on Education – idealism versus pragmatism, reality versus aspiration

Many pages of the media, many efforts and valuable manhours, and many heads have been put together to untie the Gordian knot of the Singapore education system. The reason for the change, the wanting to change, comes not because the education is flaw, foul or ineffective, but because of stress factor, because of the complaints by parents that their children are unable to cope. What are the statistics on the complaints, type of complaints, relevant or irrelevant, real or just fear, are not given.

So a massive exercise has been taken, by the people that may not know much about education, by people that may not know much about what life and living is all about, by people who knows not but pretending or thinking they know a lot.

Here are some takeaways from the things said and printed in the media and the contradictions or fictions that have been generated. The most important point raised, and out of a sense of wanting to provide a child with an all round education, to be a knows all of everything but knowing nothing, is this, to develop a whole child, whatever that means. And the present wisdom, a future of uncertainties and it is better to develop a child that can cope with future changes. Let me quote Indranee, a lawyer, not an educationist, not a parent bringing up children. “We now put a lot more emphasis on developing the whole child – not just their academic achievements….The ability to learn, unlearn and relearn will be the key.” And this motherhood statement, ‘Book knowledge alone is not enough, and the change caused by technology and other disruptive factors means that learning, has to continue well into adult life.’

I have several questions. How many children require all round development? How many children needs to be educated in the arts and sciences to become a knows all? How useful is a child with a well rounded education that he can use all these knowledge in his job? How many children are capable, with the intellect, to acquire a full rounded education other than being superficial and ended up becoming a good for nothing? In the real world, when everyone needs to get a job to feed himself, other than the super rich, is a general all round education going to be more useful than a specific education with specific skills, but very narrow in nature?

Why are Singaporeans, especially the PMETs losing out in the job market, unemployable, because they did not have specific skills needed in the job market? Why are foreigners, who did not benefit from our super all round education, coming from very basic education system, are beating our super talented Singaporeans, with super grades, in the job market? Why are ministers saying that there is no need for university education, all one needs is a skill in demand?

Are there contradictions between idealism and reality, between aspirations and the hard truth in life? While talking about educating children to become more flexible and adaptable, would these compromise the children in acquiring specific skills in demand? Funny, if every child is going to become a superman that can do everything, a wholly developed person, are they not going to become one stereo typed, wholly developed person? Assuming of course every child is a genius by nature and could benefit from such a complex and varied education, and without stress.

I am not an educationist or expert in education. These are some of my thoughts as a layman, someone who has no deep knowledge about education and I do not pretend to know the answers to how a child should be educated to the best of his ability, his gifted or not gifted talent. A child is not the same as every other child, each with his own special talents and non talents. Should it not be to develop a child according to the best of his natural endowment and according to what society and the new world expects from him? Not what the parents want them to be?

It will be a different matter if every child is born a genius and a sports talent and is gifted to do and excel in everything.

From comments in Parliament and the direction they are pointing it appears that they are being mislead by a small group of noisy and vociferous parents dictating how the education should be like for their not too bright or even dull children to be admitted to the best schools, play and be happy, without any pressure, no need exams, learn more study less, and end up with super grades in the end. Such things can only happen in third world countries and degree mills.

The children come in all shapes and sizes and not everyone is a perfect circle. One way to push them through perfect circles is to enlarge the circles. But they would come out in their original shapes and sizes. The only method to turn odd shapes into perfect circles, or cast iron into steel is through the crucible of fire.
A buffet of schools

What Singapore needs is a tough minister to offer to the parents a buffet of schools, from happy schools to tough competitive schools, to specialized schools that would turn out children according to the demand of the schools and their specialization. Play schools would turn out playboys and playgirls. Rich parents can afford these playboys and playgirls as they grow up to party their whole lives without worries, without stress, without having to work for a day.

Those who want their children to be engineers, scientists, doctors, and the hard disciplines have no choice but to work for it. There is no other way to master these tough disciplines except through degree mills and pariah school systems in third world countries. Is that what we want?

Stop fooling around with our education system and the lives of our young. No pain no gain. Oops, maybe we have magicians in Parliament that could really produce an Einstein who is also a great artist, a great football player without having to work for it. Just pull him out from the hat and viola, you have your superman!


Anonymous said...

Watever education a person has acquired, be it holistic or wholelestic or special or specialized or customized, once a person graduated, it become Obsolete or useless! That's the real world - many things changes sometimes not within a person control due to some unforseen circumstances. One need to explore wat education is all about? Is it bout moral or skills or knowledge or combination or character building or leadership or others? One Min ster said trained tomolo skills & knowledge for tomolo use is kind of absurb as nobody knows wat r the tomolo skills / knowledge in the tomolo economy.

Anonymous said...

For education reform, it's better to take from country that succeeded. One such country is India as we have many talents from India working here replacing our PMET. So no need to waste time. The first thing to do is to adopt their system. The second thing to do is to replace all our Teachers from pre primary to university. In another word the wholesale adoption and next thing you know, we have super talents.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I agree with 9.22am. No need to reinvent the wheel. India has proven that our education system only produce fools. We should just copy what India is doing and our graduates would be in demand and be useful in the economy. And very cheap some more. No need stupid high rankings. New Delhi U is ranked 1962 or there about but producing some of the best Indians Singapore is dying to recruit or already employed here.

Virgo49 said...

Mr RB, ranked number 1962 or SINCE 1962 till 2018???


Forget SMU or what's STI what's Techonlogi Institute.

Only DUDs from there.

Theory business people.

Lee Kai Ching or Shin no need Toilet Papers what's MBA or PhD to be Billionaires.

Another Lao Goa Disciple Mastered the Art Le said...

Well said, Mr (Green) Bean. Beside yourself, likely there will be many others who would concur.

Virgo49 said...

Think that Bahee Kausikan guy is a Graduate if the New Delhi U.

Today's Paper gave him another full coverage of China bashings and also Sinkieland Chinese warning.

Looks like Traiotous Cheena but under the Black Ants Spell.

Indonesian Chiap Cheng Chinese??

Anonymous said...

it seems dat all wise word r heading no where! only real situation now in is to swim out cave.like wat the wild boars did.

Virgo49 said...

Hi Anon 10.18

Just don't understand why the Daft whole world is so jubilant about the Thai boys saga

To me they are a bunch of idiots with itchy backsides to explore the caves.

Should let them learned a fatal lessons.

Spend so much time and resources to save them.

Whereas the poor PRCs just drown in their Thais lives are cheap attitude for others don't give a damn attitude.

I, for one do not like to visit Thailand as had experienced their selective abuse of powers discrimination long time ago.

Anonymous said...

10.28am anon, Thailand very nice Kar especially their gold fish tank massage center. Many sinkies visited there and tell me they that u like a king there. That is Thai hospitality for u man!

Virgo49 said...

Only heavens for those who seeks Sinful pleasures.

Lives of farangs cheap to the Thais.

Here today, Go to Hell tomorrow.

They are the Japs collaborators with the downfall of Matland and Sinkie Land.

Many of my friends daughters also loved their shopping sprees, especially those SIAs and SATs employees with still free travelling benefits. They simply loved Thailand.

Told them there alive and kicking, back in Caskets also your Company travelling benefits tickets

Anonymous said...

We have a confidence deficit with the current batch of 4G leaders.

They always let the newbie Ministers start off in the Education Ministry and tinker with our children's education.

One of them recently said that as inflation (rate of change in costs of living) in Singapore is low, Sinkies are just hallucinating that the costs of living in Singapore is the highest in the world.

Anonymous said...

Best Solution:-

Send your kids to India for study ... come back as FTs.

Pri school fees: $10 per year only.

Accountancy degree 4 years: $2000 1st class honours.

Medical degree 5 yrs: $5000 + another 1 year houseman/residency.

CECA allows the above ... make good use of it!!!

Anonymous said...

The fallacy of education is that you can learn all you want to learn from kindergarten to post graduate school to realise your ambition, but may end up doing a job that does not depend on what you learned or graduated with. The purpose of education is to get a good job isn't it?

This unfortunately is very true of many that I have met.

Adam Of Eve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

heard from frend cpf coming out cavesheild.bcos mrt underground many.

Adam Of Eve said...

Singapore's System Of Experiments

All the Education Ministers, from the past (1960s) to the present, have not and are not Education Ministers.

They should be known as Experiments Ministers or Educated-Guess/Guest Ministers.

Each and everyone of them, like a half-baked cook who has not even entered a kitchen nor held a frying pan in his entire life, indulged himself in masturbation and used their cum-filled sticky fingers to meddle with the cooking process by throwing cum-soiled ingredients, conjured up by his day-dreaming, into the frying pan. And suddenly a "magical" portion that can cure all the ills created by all his predecessors just like himself, appeared.

And the next Experiment Minister will come along and repeat the same process all over again, trying very hard to become an EXPURT EDUCATIONIST to prove his worth to his King, who holds the strings to his bank accounts and his self-inflicted miserable future of a life of a soul-less and unconscionable heart.

The pathetic state of the Singapore's System of Experiments (not Education) today is the result of a Non-System conjured up by all the Ministers of Experiments, past and present. The worst of whom has just arrived in his magical clothing soiled with cum from his own multi-millionaire's orgasms.

That is how speaking with dignity is all about, when taxpayers' money by the millions are thrown away into rubbish bins filled with cabbage.

I have been a victim of such experiments. Have you?

PAPIIGS 81 said...

Anon 9.22: //Oops, maybe we have magicians in Parliament that could really produce an Einstein who is also a great artist, a great football player without having to work for it. Just pull him out from the hat and viola, you have your superman!///


Anonymous said...

2.03 pm, walau u very dirty minded and my 10 years old asked me to explain when he read your post on my ipad. U needed to be sodomized for corrupting young mind😰

b said...

This is the result of voting for papies. In many parts of this world, even tradies such as plumbers or bakers can own proper houses and cars. White men rule better than non white.

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