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Benjamin Yang
Works at Learner's Lodge
Attended LSHTM
Lives in Singapore
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Benjamin Yang

Renovations  - 
Designed by Metropole Architects
Located in #SouthAfrica
Theme #ostentatious  
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Benjamin Yang

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Small apartment in Skopje, Macedonia with only 35m2 space by PROXY.
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Benjamin Yang

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Designed by Austin Maynard Architects
Located in #Melbourne, #Australia
Theme: #contemporary  
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Benjamin Yang

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Architect: KIAS
Location: Chiba, #Japan
Style: #minimalist  
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Benjamin Yang

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Located in Berlin designed by GRAFT. Those are some lovely curves on a house!
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Benjamin Yang

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Designed by: ARCH.625
Located in: #Moscow
Theme: #Minimal
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Benjamin Yang

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Just because it is dark, it doesn't mean we're in an underground tunnel.

Often (hilariously might I add) it means that no one has bothered to turn the lights on.

When I was teaching in school, it certainly felt like that. Many colleagues were really looking at the job as a means to cruise through life with quite a decent amount of remuneration (in Singaporean standards). Going through the motions like a tape recorder replaying for the nth time.

Once in while a radical teacher appears. One who's fed up with the darkness and who is determined to go hunting for the light. And once that light comes and illuminates the classroom, the experience becomes magical for the students and the students begin to wonder why they had to tolerate the darkness all these times.

Are you that radical and one who does good by your students? I wish you all a belated happy teachers day.
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The ingenuity of Frank Ocean has inspired many anti-establishment types like me. I loved how he gamed the system following the rule to the letter yet managed to craft his own ideals in-spite of.

So the story was that he had a 2 album contract obligation. The first was one he released to great acclaim and the second follow-up was a more downbeat visual story telling with accompanying music (the decoy album). A really cool concept on its own. But the twist was that he was secretly working on his own 2nd album (the real one) and taking advantage of his fame as well as the marketing muscle of a 3rd party (Apple music), released the real album almost immediately after the decoy album.

Teachers, especially those that champion for their students should use plenty of this strategy in school. Whilst there are plenty of resources and opportunities available to students not everything the student experiences in school is for their benefit. Students are frequently forced into activities possibly to advance someone's agenda towards a performance bonus or promotion into management.

Instead of wasting time on such activities, find a way around it and bring in more fun as well as learning-rich activities both inside and outside the classroom.  

Frank Ocean's story also proved that one doesn't need the establishment because of the democracy of digital platforms that obliterated the need for a middle man (i.e. record labels). Amazon might be seen as the enemy of independent bookstores, but it allowed many unknown authors to flourish and distribute their material without going through the gatekeepers (publishers). Ditto for YouTube for aspiring singers and entertainers.

In a world of digitization and easy access to tools, one increasingly needs lesser of hard skill-sets and increased ability to problem solving by searching out solutions and self-direct learning to acquire such skills to immediately solve problems. Putting one and one together. There is where the real teaching work is.

Likewise on the same vein, I see MOE as antiquated. Where teachers of the future depend lesser and lesser of the school and move themselves towards digital tools instead. Free from bureaucracy and rules and more of teaching the next generation what they need to survive in this world. I hope one day education can happen in-spite of the school or MOE. That there be many Frank Oceans.
Frank Ocean's long-awaited album "Blonde" opened at number one on the US chart Sunday in one of the year's biggest debuts after the artist thumbed his nose at his label. The genre-merging hip-hop star's album sold 276,000 copies or the equivalent in downloads and streaming in the
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A BIG thing happened in Singapore (no, not the gold medal), and it is to my big dismay that there was nary a peep in the broadsheets (but of course) and even students that I teach were largely unaware. The bill on the contempt of court has passed despite objections.

I was initially elated that NMP Kuik Shiao-Yin actually stood up and raised concerns (see video Her raising issues with the bill was extremely important. Because she is an NMP, she does not represent any constituency and is party neutral. She is also representing voices of the youths, a group that I too work closely with as well. Her points were poignantly put across and clear.

Not only that, she also sat down with other NMPs to suggest changes to certain phrasing of the bill.

But on the actual day, the NMPs withdrew their recommended changes and voted YEA together with the other pro-party members. This was a big shock. The way she voted was like a big 180 degrees u-turn from her stand and the reason was that the law minister has answered her concerns satisfactorily. Unfortunately, whatever clarification seems to have not been made available to the public.

The bill will have an effect on this personal blog. Although my blog is mainly surveying and commenting about the Singaporean eduscape, it is inevitable that sometimes, court cases arise that is either because of/in relation to the eduscape, directly or indirectly. And if the case was not concluded, I am not allowed to talk about it if I look at how the bill is worded (although the law minister says otherwise). And one such example? That of Benjamin Lim who committed suicide after police interrogation about a case that implicated him. At that point of interrogation, there was no accompanying adult person from the school nor family even though he is considered a minor.

Everyday it seems like Singapore is becoming more and more sanitized with less and less freedoms. I was catching up with a friend few days back, who is a foreigner. She asks if that matters because societal and political stability have afforded inhabitants on this island mostly carefree days.

I disagreed. Because the youth will have a new set of challenges ahead of them (these days dinning subjects revolve around apps talk, imagine the same conversation will draw blanks a decade ago) and the current SIT DOWN SHUT UP behavior is molding a generation of people who will not think creatively and go out and solve problems whilst at the same time, technology is engineering people out of their jobs.

So what is the cost of the lost of a little freedom now? I think it will be magnified manifold in the lost of opportunities in the future.
By: Howard Lee Few would have expected the amended Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill – some might even call it the Contempt of Court Bill on Steroids – to be passed with anything short of the hasty efficiency of our People’s Action Party government. In fact, anyone who thought that there would be any reconsideration,…
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Benjamin Yang

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The school going cohort is getting smaller annually for some time now. This has put immense pressure on MOE because of their enormous headcount. And that is not forgetting the ecosystem that depends it (NIE, NIE trainees, administrative staff, service providers, construction industry that helps to build new schools or renovate the older ones, etc). So right now every Singaporean school going children counts.

So it is not surprising when it was announced recently that private schools need explicit permission to admit local students.

The ministry cannot be seen as allowing locals the option of choice. Especially when it involves students departing the MOE system to go into alternative schooling systems. Because some of these schools really care for their own students. What if the local students succeed in such schools gasps.

So who will get the coveted permission to gain admission into such schools? The worst students that MOE cannot handle. These kids, the worst performers drag the national averages down anyway and are not easy to handle. So the private schools can be the 'dumping ground'.

It is no wonder that people outside of Singapore routinely see  glowing reports of the education system in Singapore consequently.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) is keeping a closer watch on children who are not part of the mainstream school system.Previously, permission from MOE was needed only for Singaporean children who wished to be homeschooled or attend Foreign System Schools such as the Singapore American School.But smaller, full-time private schools, some of which base their programmes on overseas education models, will also now need to get permission from MOE if th...
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And so a 'whistle blowing' poly grad asks why the application to local universities were rejected except for the institution that is at the bottom of the hierarchy when he/she had a nearly perfect GPA and a medalist for the course.

This is not surprising. Having taught in both poly and subsequently JC later, I have to admit that the academic rigor is much higher in the latter. From my observation, scoring a near perfect GPA does not account for much. One of the greatest reasons for quitting my lecturer position in one of the local polytechnics was because of my moral disagreement with the grade inflation. I, together with fellow colleagues were pressured to deliver the A grades so that the students upon graduation can go on to score brand name university admissions. This was considered great achievement and publicity for the school.

Over time however, the value of the A grade is cheapened as more and more students start getting the near perfect GPA. And the quality of the students was dropping even as the GPAs were rising.

The person mention about achieving stellar O level results. Although trying to build a strong case, this also highlights his/her shortfall in understanding the current education landscape. The person failed to realize that majority of the Crème de la crème have gone on to bypass the O levels straight into IP/IB/special programs, the resulting students who go on to take O levels therefore have less competition and thus the 2nd tier of students based on performance now move on to the 'top' by default.

The A level/IB/NUS high students are deemed to more academically capable (the exams are at the other extreme with some of the toughest and mst stringent requirements) and therefore offered majority of available university admissions.

What does this mean for the secondary school going student?

If you want the highest chances of getting into the local university, then an A level/IB/NUS high route is the most direct and offers the most opportunities. But the journey is tough. Not for the faint hearted.

But if you want sometime to explore your options and develop practical skills, the polytechnic education still have a lot to offer. And in the event if application is not successful you will be equipped for employment at the very least - to fill the rank and file blue collar workforce, the original motive of the MOE when the system was created. Some however, find their way out of the doldrums and refused to be defeated and go on to achieve much later in their lives.
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Benjamin Yang

Renovations  - 
Located in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia by Seshan Design.
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Benjamin's Collections
Making a difference in this world 1 student at a time
Bragging rights
Survived 1 week in HK with S$5
    Clinical Trials
  • University of Bristol
    BSc Hons (pathology & microbiology)
Basic Information
I am a tutor, teaching H2 BIO A levels (Singaporean version)
  • Learner's Lodge
    Education Specialist, 2015 - present
  • MADucation LP
    Training Consultant/Entrepreneur, 2011 - present
  • Epigami Pte Ltd
    Dir, Business Development, 2014 - 2015
  • DocDoc
    Dir, Partner Management, 2013 - 2014
  • Singapore Polytechnic
    Lecturer, 2004 - 2011
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
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A confusing place. Even though they share the space with the soup spoon, they are separate entities. You get chased out if you sit in the wrong space. Food is not too bad and ambience is good. But good is not good enough these days in F&B. The steep asking price does not justify the quality of food.
Public - in the last week
reviewed in the last week
The option is quite varied and they seem committed in making healthier options. Food is tasty nonetheless and ambience is good although the prices they charge is prohibit for the daily lunch if you are working within the vicinity.
Public - a week ago
reviewed a week ago
This is popular perhaps because of the back story about the trying to get the ingredients fresh prepped in house as much as possible. However, the seating area is limited. When you do eventually find a place to sit, the food it turns out is nothing to shout about for the price they are charging. The 2 of us ended up footing a $70 bill for brunch.
Public - a week ago
reviewed a week ago
This is a lovely place to be. There are plenty of sitting both in and outside. And the decor is modern contemporary. Weekends are packed with noisy groups but weekdays are perfect if you want to get some work done and also needing the extra caffeine boost.
Public - a week ago
reviewed a week ago
151 reviews
Not too bad. Usual foodfare. The main grip is how stuff and hot this place is all day long even in the evenings and despite having the air-con. One is better off sitting al fresco even in SG. You'd be better off like that.
Public - a week ago
reviewed a week ago
Not particularly well stocked but you can get away with what you are looking for and prices are ok.
Public - a week ago
reviewed a week ago
Convenient but not very well stocked unfortunately.
Public - a week ago
reviewed a week ago