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  1. #1
    集中精神, 闭关修行 booest's Avatar
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    TODAY Online: Standards are unrealistic (Pri Sch curriculum 2012)

    TODAYonline | Voices | Standards are unrealistic

    The primary school system here has been a point of much debate among educators and parents for a long time.

    As a product of the system in the '80s and now a father of two children in lower primary, I fear that the system has become one of irrelevant, unrealistic standards.

    And I come from the perspective of someone who excelled within the old system, yet always questioned the relevance of the education content to real-world settings. Sadly, the situation has gotten worse.

    Take primary school mathematics as an example: Why are pupils being asked to solve questions of higher level logic at such a young age? Does it make them more creative in problem solving?

    Does it help them when they are faced with heuristic problems that even adults do not have to deal with in the workplace? No, it only leads to more rote learning of, ironically, heuristic methods.

    The vast selection of assessment books and tuition centres that teach heuristics is testimony to this.

    Another observation is that teachers sometimes do not have the opportunity to reinforce the basics of simple arithmetic and are forced to make their pupils do sums that are more useful in sifting for maths geniuses than genuinely imparting knowledge. Within the crammed periods of each school day, it is impossible for teachers to cover all the bases in today's punishing curriculum.

    It is no longer a matter of excelling in class; to simply pass maths today, it is mandatory to have tuition to fill the gaps that teachers sometimes struggle to fill.

    If so many pupils require tuition, it means our education system has failed in its basic goal of imparting the correct skill sets.

    My wife, a university honours graduate, quit her job to coach the children at home, but is herself exasperated at the standards required of pupils today.

    I have yet to observe any beneficial effects of pushing children so hard in primary school, apart from high stress levels and sapping of intellectual curiosity.

    Besides removing the joy in learning, another side effect of today's education system is that my children hardly have time to enjoy childhood.

    They have less time to play outdoors, to read their favourite books (which is a great way to improve one's English), to explore new hobbies or to learn about the world around them - all because of so much homework.

    The scenarios are the same with other subjects. The schools are not teaching less, nor are the pupils learning more.



    The writer's children are in Primary 1 and 3.
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  2. #2
    $GAWD ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) Y U NO $$!? moneygod's Avatar
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    Very objective. Good article.


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  3. #3
    Rogue Student GlowBoi's Avatar
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    Hope the minister for education gets to read this. I fully agree, and I am a full time MOE teacher.

    Das Auto



  4. #4
    Good Pocoyo mosmos's Avatar
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    talented children don't study in public schools~

  5. #5
    集中精神, 闭关修行 booest's Avatar
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    The Pri sch education now.....is not for students....

    its basically targeted at Parents.... both mind and bank.

    Kids used to be able to do their homework if they listen to class. And some parent guidance is required. Nowadays the homework is so mind boggling, kids don't even want to try after a while.. as more then 50% of the questions needs some guidance...
    Life is a Gift, Never take it forgranted
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  6. #6
    ಠ_ಠ Undarken's Avatar
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  7. #7
    To SMP or not to SMP? DragonFire's Avatar
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    I choose not to have kids. I fear for the well being of the unborn.

    It is a thoroughly evil society this has become and will continue to be.

    DF

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  8. #8
    Rogue Student GlowBoi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonFire View Post
    I choose not to have kids. I fear for the well being of the unborn.

    It is a thoroughly evil society this has become and will continue to be.

    DF
    Think positive, bro. We can't stop what society imposes on us, but as parents, who are the 1st point of contact for our kids, we can decide what we want to impose on them.

    Beyond a certain level of pressure/ tuition/ extra lessons/ money wasting seminars and courses, I believe its only kiasu-ism at work and there is only marginal benefits to a child, i.e. doesn't make a child any significantly smarter.

    I'm not a parent yet, but I would try my best to give my child a happy childhood.

    Das Auto



  9. #9
    Newbie of Now and Forever wwenze's Avatar
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    Question 1: What kind of people takes up scholarship to study @ NIE to become teachers? (Or convert from other degree to teacher degree?)
    Question 2: What kind of the above become primary school teachers?
    Question 3: What kind of the above get promoted to become HOD, headmaster and MOE HQ?

  10. #10
    ZOMBiE cygig's Avatar
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    P@P mining study machines.

  11. #11
    Registered User fotoudavid's Avatar
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    last week went to school, saw many younger teachers very stressed..... hair messy, and one even very blurred that he does not write properly.... his brain was thinking on too many things.....
    I will only BUY BUY BUY!!!

  12. #12
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    Knowing the motivations of those within my extended circle who have taken up teaching as a profession hasnt exactly helped my already scant faith in the system.

    Cant say i blame them really, it is as close to an iron rice bowl as one is going to get here in the capitalist mecca.

  13. #13
    Poisoned! normoh's Avatar
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    Parents themselves have to share the blame for the current situation in education.

    There will be 'Tuition/Assessment book Smart' students who already bypass the textbook, leaving them bored. The go home telling the parents that they have learned nothing new. Parents take this as the teacher is slacking or the system is not up to standard. Parents write/march in to ministry/school to complain. And you can deduce what happens next.

    Tuition is taken up by KIASU parents to coach their child to surpass the system. Not the fault of the system themselves.

    By the way, I've a teacher friend who was told off by a parents for not giving her child homework. Ironic. And a few months ago someone wrote in that students nowadays are drowning in them.

    Now the opposite is happening. Slowly we will have a reversal of the system.
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  14. #14
    Registered User elie's Avatar
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    i'm giving math tuition to a p5 kid and sometimes it takes me a few minutes to think of how to solve it.. and a few more minutes to explain to the kid on how to solve it.. haih, sometimes she gets so bored, she just memorise the way to solve the question.. =.=

  15. #15
    ZOMBiE cygig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qussl3 View Post
    Knowing the motivations of those within my extended circle who have taken up teaching as a profession hasnt exactly helped my already scant faith in the system.

    Cant say i blame them really, it is as close to an iron rice bowl as one is going to get here in the capitalist mecca.
    Most of my friends who took up teacher because
    - Uni no need pay tuition fees
    - Cast iron rice bowl (no more wrought iron rice bowl nowadays)
    - They cannot make it to other faculties
    - they want revenge on what their pri/sec teacher did to them

    Passion? Never heard of 'em.

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