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.
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 http://byang.info/2016/06/06/a-case-of-why-schools-suck 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.
I was initially elated that NMP Kuik Shiao-Yin actually stood up and raised concerns (see video http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/08/16/nmps-vote-yes-to-new-law-on-contempt-of-court-despite-no-clarification-to-concerns). 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 http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/technology/as-technology-shifts-more/3053152.html 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.
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 http://news.asiaone.com/news/education/new-school-charge-expat-kids-half-usual-fees 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 http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/cant-keep-a-good-woman-down 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 http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/05/asia/singapore-smartest-kids glowing reports of the education system in Singapore consequently.
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.
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/cant-keep-a-good-woman-down Some however, find their way out of the doldrums and refused to be defeated and go on to achieve much later in their lives.
- LSHTMClinical Trials
- University of BristolBSc Hons (pathology & microbiology)
- Learner's LodgeEducation Specialist, 2015 - present
- MADucation LPTraining Consultant/Entrepreneur, 2011 - present
- Epigami Pte LtdDir, Business Development, 2014 - 2015
- DocDocDir, Partner Management, 2013 - 2014
- Singapore PolytechnicLecturer, 2004 - 2011
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