[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Saturday, September 09, 2006

[The Singapore education system]
I am a product of Singapore's education system.

The society around us sets the structure – what we have to do, what we have to learn. And we follow.

It starts out with kindergarten. Then to primary school. I was rebellious then - used to annoy my teachers and bully my classmates.

When it was time to enter a secondary school, I decided to be an angel. I served in my class committee and in the school library.

My 'O' level results weren't fantastic enough to qualify for a place in the junior college - perhaps just enough to make the cut.

In polytechnic I worked hard. I managed average results but yet not good enough for a local university. Until now. After working for a year, Singapore Management University accepted me. It was a miracle, a dream come true and a gleam of hope.

So we progress up the academic ladder we yearn to be the best. Our parents want us to be the best. They want us to score and top the class.

Sometimes we so much driven by results that we sometimes forget why we study in the first place. Do we want to just study for the sake of grades? Do grades really matter?

We stress ourselves out. We do our homework. We research till late at night. We memorise important information for exams. It does not matter if we forget what we memorise after the exams.

There is no room for mistakes. Once we do, we get lost in the rat race. We lag behind.

Making mistakes is all part of learning. We make mistakes then think of ways to improve. Life is not smooth sailing. One cannot not make mistakes. It is only human.

In the world today, competition is the key. We are a society based on merit. You perform then you advance. Fail and you may be condemned.

Perhaps that is why we stick to the safe route that is laid out for us. We dare not try new things. We follow what our predecessors have done – things that they think are the best for us.

We are boring. No one dares to be creative - to be different. Most tend to want to take the well-trodden path.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

'No one dares to be creative - to be different.'

This is a gross generalisation.

It might as well be seen that precisely because there is this stereotypical line of thought that everyone presumes that everyone does not dare to be creative.

And therefore when someone who is creative comes along, he/she is sidelined and ostracised for being creative because he/she failed to meet that generalised social expectation.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006 12:36:00 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition, I think that those who are Singaporeans but do not dare to be creative, to be different, are not worthy of being Singaporeans.

After all, to summarise 41 years of Singapore history in 3 lines, one must end up with:

Must an island state be a political joke?
If there is no precedent, there's no 'best move'.
So, just try.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006 12:40:00 am


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