Education – A time and place for everything

National Remembrance Day, half mast, PM and ministers’ condolence messages, support from friends and relatives, kind words, all these meant nothing to the parents that were flown all the way to Kota Kinabalu to identify the bodies of their children and to bring them home, lifeless. This is a tragedy that cannot be described in words. The loss is devastating to the parents and loved ones.

Would anyone, any school, wish to continue with such a programme for their 12 year olds or 16 year olds? What is the role and function of a school, a primary school, a secondary school? Is leadership training part of the curriculum, a responsibility of the schools?

There is a time for everything, a time to be a child, go to school, be a playful teenager, NS, tertiary education, get a job, settle down and start a family. Schools should not over extend themselves to do things that are beyond their scope of responsibility. Sending children overseas for whatever educational activities should not be the function of primary and secondary schools. Leadership training at 12 is a farce! Go and do well in the PSLE first. Leadership training in an overseas trip is a bigger farce! 2 years in NS may not make any difference in making leaders of NS men. Challenging the 12 year olds to their limits is high falutin. No need to say more.

The MOE must re examine the role of education at different levels and keep the eager beavers under control. It is good to want to conquer the world, to be the best of everything. But do it at a proper time. Do not try to over achieve and go astray with fallacious activities not suitable or appropriate for the different age groups. There is no need to prove beyond what the schools are set out to do. Going the extra mile is always good if done within limits and without endangering the safety of the children.

Educators are expected to be professionals and to know the limits of what they can do and should do and what is unnecessary and superfluous. Do not expose the educators to do things that they would regret for the rest of their lives. No amount of kind words can bring back the children that were lost. The parents would live a life of painful memories and regrets of their loved ones prematurely taken from them. Can you imagine the grief?

I am lost for words to console the victims’ families. The loss of lives is so unnecessary. We don’t have earthquake but have so many earthquake victims to mourn and a day of remembrance for it. So unnecessary.


Anonymous said...

Today mourning.
Tomorrow business as usual??

Protect our Singaporean children.
No more deaths from National Service for our teenagers.
No more deaths in the mountains for our primary school children.
Vote them out in GE 2015.

Anonymous said...

"There is no need to prove beyond what the schools are set out to do. "

The tuition teachers are doing what the schools are supposed to do.
So the schools have to do something else else.
So typical of PAP's Singapore.
Nobody is doing what they are supposed to do.

The teachers don't teach because they are busy studying for their Masters and PhDs so that they can keep their jobs.
So the private tutors end up teaching our students.
And our students waste time in schools and private tuition.
And the parents waste time checking on the quality of the private tutors.
Never heard of "do it right the first time" is it?

So much time is wasted in Singapore because it would seem our Prime Millionaire only has Aliens and Billionaires in his brain.

Anonymous said...

Tiok, schools don't teach, so got a lot of time to do ECA. ECA got points, good for character development.

Tuition teachers do all the teaching and busily making money from the students.

Anonymous said...

Tuition teachers do all the teaching and busily making money from the students.
Anon 11:09 a.m.

Tiok. Tuition is good for GDP growth. Organizing overseas tours and mountain climbing, even for primary school students, is also good for GDP growth.

And if casinos are OK for GDP growth, why not tuition and mountain climbing too, even for primary school students, u tell me lah?

Virgo 49 said...

These adult educators and the hypocritical lions/lionesses and rotary clubs elites are making use of these innocent children for their selfish gains.

The principals/teachers just for the sake of getting into the good books of the MOE inspectors and gold fish eyes Heng chief one upmanship organised all sorts of challenging so called educational tours to beat other schools activities.

Likewise the elite what clubs sent the innocent helpless children who does not even know how to wash a plate or cup at home to third world countries building mud and attap huts for them.

This so that they have gained fame for their selfish ends and prestige.

Our looney PM can said anyway these children had experienced a challenging moment so in s way justifiable that they passed on with no regrets.

What's nonsense!!! Next few days they put on solemn sad faces and have all sorts of publicity praising the heros or heroines and what's not. The press would further fuelled their propaganda.

Then they will just move on and wait for the next batch to suffer the same consequences. Think the minister will resign and they learnt this lesson???

What do you think asked big nose DPM???

Anonymous said...

Blame it on the Forced Ranking system where 10 % of the teachers must be ranked C- and D. Good teaching does not count anymore as the reasoning that you must be competent as all teachers 'graduate from the NIE'. Only innovations or new initiatives counts towards the ranking. In the earlier days organising excursions in Singapore, arranging for talks by 'famous' personalities counts, then organising retreats, raising funds counts. Now it is Oversea Learning Express, rotation of duties etc. All hare-brained ideas from the MOE.
All normal daily teaching and learning can be condensed, students and parents will then have to find their own ways to clear the exams.

The 'hare-brained scholars' would have also done the same in the medical institutions to score new initiatives except that peoples lives cannot be condensed as deaths would pop up very regularly. Otherwise they would have heart specialist operating on the brain, endos doing general surgery and so on.

So those who can see it coming especially in the teaching profession left to do private tuition something which they are trained and good at and appreciated by parents and students.

Humless PM is not on top of things anymore, so much sub-optimisation at the ground level. Teachers are now 'master of all trades' even leadership trainer role is included. Principals have also to show on their report cards their new initiatives else a D ranking. As such the whole teaching profession is now in a mess, everyone for him/herself.

Survival and unhealthy competition is the order of the day. That is the reason why GE and Microsoft scrapped their Forced Ranking appraisal system and our wonderful G picked it up!

Anonymous said...

Do you think we should stop this National Day of Mourning bullshit?
Do you think "they" only care about getting 6.9 million Aliens and more Billionaires into Singapore?
Do you think they care about our children who are nothing more than "digits" to them?
Which is a more important digit to our Millionaires?
6.9 million population or 10 dead Singaporeans?
What do you think?

Anonymous said...

When LKY was in charge and at his peak, he monitored every ministry and any joker did silly things would have his balls chewed.

Our education ministry is an experimental lab for the Education Minister. Each one without any background in education will come up with his fancy pet initiative. Teach less and learn more.

The children, parents and teachers of Tanjong Katong must have learnt a lot from this tragic lesson.

Anonymous said...

"The children, parents and teachers of Tanjong Katong must have learnt a lot from this tragic lesson."
June 08, 2015 12:16 p.m.

One day of mourning or crocodile tears. Tomorrow? Business as usual?
It does not matter how many more will have to die now and in the future. The ideology will not change.
Do you think any PAPig will dare come out and renounce "The Hard Truths"?

Anonymous said...

Our education ministry is an experimental lab for the Education Minister.
12:16 p.m.

Tiok. And also the opposition votes no enough to stop him from experimenting. So he can afford and will continue to experiment lah, never mind some of the "guinea pigs" died from his experiments.

And not to forget, he is also paid very well to do the experiment, u know. So how not to experiment, u tell me lah?

Goh said...

Without parental consent children will not end up there.
Children are too naive to know the risk .Guardian or parent should learn to say no unless they think sending the children there can really make them
leader earning millions when time to come.

At age 12, I still gong gong and khongcum,climbing 2 story high buah cherry or rambutan trees just to pluck my favourite fruits .

People who lead well are usually born with such leadership talent or with a bit of luck, not by climbing mountain.
How many leaders out there ever climb mountain.
Not as if we dun have Ubin to allow rock climbing or cliff abselling.
Spare a thought for our children.
With deepest sympathy and condolences.

Goh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

She wanted to go. As all her best friends were going. I don't know much about mountaineering. So I dropped Darkness a line. He wrote back. It's not safe. I asked why. He wrote back again, because its not safe. So my husband and I didn't allow her to go.

It could have been her.

Anonymous said...

Okay. One day of crocodile tears.
Tomorrow? Back to business as usual.
Nobody's fault. Once in 50 years event.
No amount of engineering could have prevented it.

But actually hor.
If we had voted wisely, this could have been prevented.
We deserve a much better education system.
Where kids actually learn in schools from real teachers instead of at home from private tutors.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I cannot understand what kind of learning experience or benefits all those overseas trips organised by schools can give to the kids, besides putting financial pressure on parents who cannot afford but are forced to follow or let their kids feel let down in front of their clasmates.

Now, even kindergartens are following the trend, organising outings during every school term, trying to outdo each other as well.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Anon 3:44,
Good that you checked with Darkness and got good advice.

Anonymous said...

".. I cannot understand what kind of learning experience or benefits ..."

Maybe we should ask who is the service provider who is getting all the business from the schools for all these overseas trip.
Are they $2 companies?
Do they have any political party affiliations?

Anonymous said...

For once I agree with you Mr Bean.

Videos: Via Ferrata Mountain climbing said...


Short video: Mt Kk Via Ferrata trail

Looks far more difficult, tougher and more dangerous than even army training.

More videos on Via Ferrata mountain climbing:



Some online video reports on the aftermath of Mt KK and video footage/ accounts of some survivors: