24 September 2005

Tharman's Grand Vision

Amidst all the talk about the great educational reforms of Tharman, as promised in Minilee's speech, we have here a prime exhibit of how well things are moving on the ground.

Exhibit A: In a prominent primary school in the west of Singapore, an 11-year-old student draws a rendition of a classic painting. Instead of counselling the kid, his parents, or his teacher, school authorities fall in love with his artistry and frame the painting in the student gallery.

I bet they'll make tonnes of moneh when the kid kills himself in a few years. Singapore, education and arts hub of Asia.


rench00 said...

i think that the school is just stupid for putting up a travesty of a great work of art. no shame at all.

and as to whether the student actually needed counselling... it really depends on many other indicators la. maybe the kid was just honestly trying to be artsy fartsy, copy catty.

well... TGV does need a lot more work. but i think it's easy to critcise. but let's back up our criticism with some suggestions as well.

what do you think we need in the singapore education system? how do you think we can improve it?

personally, i think we need better middle management. a breed who has the moral courage to do what is right rather than what they think will get them promoted the fastest. failing to have such a breed, methinks we need a system of checks and balance to weed out those rubbish cock-sucker type middle management who only know how to carry balls of their superiors. this system should allow people at the bottom to shoot comments and suggestions all the way up to the top without having to go through the many layers of chain of command/protocol.

but that's just my point of view. what do you think we need to have to improve our education system?

akikonomu said...

"personally, i think we need better middle management. a breed who has the moral courage to do what is right rather than what they think will get them promoted the fastest."

Fire. The. Principals. And. HODs.
All of them.

Any school that has banners stating their mission objectives should be targetted.

Currently the system rewards principals with the "big vision" thing who steamroll the poor teachers with their daily diktats. TGV's new emphasis on producing holistic students is just going to intensify that. It's very easily now for the same bootlicking HODs and principals to just simply shift rhetoric and rejustify their idiocy with this.

I'd rather have the teachers propose programmes for their students, from the ground up instead, but it's probably not going to happen?

Anyway rench, you could also comment at http://coupdegras.zenguerrilla.org/?p=38, which is discussing TGV as well.

(And finally, a critique should be viewed independently from alternate suggestions. Whether A is wrong is dependent on the merits of A, and not on the merits of B, C, D...)

rench00 said...

i agree that merits of critique should be measured independently, however, i also feel that merely criticising, finding fault, without affirming, without giving suggestions might make us sound whiny.

if we critisize and give suggestions, recognising the good when pointing out what's lacking, then i think it would make our criticisms more palatable, more likely to be taken up.

i guess the reason why i have this point of view is because, for me, the reason i critisize is in the attempt to make the system better.

but i absolutely agree that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with just judging the critique's merits independently of suggestions etc.

rench00 said...

oh... and the point about teachers proposing ideas, i agree completely. in fact, i would like to go further, proposing that students come up with ideas, taking responsibility for their own education, with the guidance of teachers of course.

i don't think that it is wholly impossible. but it would really depend on having an enlightened principle, good team of HODs. i've heard that Xinmin Secondary School has done a good job in getting students to be responsible for their own education.

cos that's the most ground level, most bottom up possible.

there are concerns though. i shall attempt to speak to Mr T. about it when he gets back from the States and find out more.