The true blue Singaporeans are going to disappear from this island in a matter of time. And no, it is not that they are being ousted out by the foreigners. And it is not because they are not working hard enough, not trying hard enough. They are trying very hard to be the best, investing a lot on the young with the ‘best’ education they could buy. They forgot that education is the training of the mind, to acquire knowledge and how to use the brain to apply the knowledge acquired, or at least to think. They believed that parroting or gaming the system is good education. Get a good score, anyhow, by whatever means, is the goal of education. Mugging, go through all the standard questions, know the exam questions and know the answers, buy the results, get the tuition teachers to provide model answers and viola, straight As!
The gaming to get high rankings for tertiary institutions falls into the same pattern. University education is not the teaching and training of the minds of the undergrads, but about getting high rankings for the universities, bring in all the foreigners if necessary, the lecturers and students can all be foreigners, never mind. The goal is the high rankings.
Now where was I? Oh the extinction of the Singaporean specie, the true blue ones. Today’s first page news in the Newpaper reported how angry parents were when their children could not answer a PSLE question. What is the problem? The maths question too difficult? Not like that. The question is a commonsensical question, but not found in any model answers. The question is not taught in class or by the tuition teachers or the parents themselves. What does it mean? It simply means that the children would not know anything they is not taught. Yes, the chicken comes from the supermarket, got no feathers.
Now what is this outrageous question? Guess the weight of 6 one dollar coins. And this is multiple choice question with 3 answers provided to make a good guess, 60gm, 600gm and 6kg, which is the right answer or nearest to the right answer? The students drew a blank. The parents were furious, went mad and in a way challenged the MOE for setting a question that could not be found in any past exam questions. This question is as good as asking the students the colour of the sun with answers like black, blue and orange as possible answers. And bet you, the children will cry to their mama and papa, never heard of such question, how to answer? They would not try to figure it out. They are not taught to figure things out when in a fix and facing a new situation. Their minds will go swirling and swirling to find an answer stored in the memory. Can’t find it there means no answer, cannot answer, dunno how to answer.
Is this how we train our young, to memorise answers, memorise scripts? Anything not taught they would not know how to react? Life is about the unknowns and the surprises and the many things not in the text books.
At the way our children are taught to ace examinations by gaming, they would soon end up as biological robots, waiting for input in order to produce outputs. No input means no output. How are they going to survive in the real world? Soon they may not know how to eat, what to eat other than the hamburgers bought from MacDonald by papa and mama. Did MOE forget to teach them how to make babies? Maybe that is the reason why fertility rate is so low.
How to compete with the survivors from the rough and tough world that have to learn to live with whatever problems in their way, to overcome them by any means?
What do you think?
PS. The older generations used to bring a dice to the examination hall and if they could not think of an answer, at least they would throw the dice and hoped for lady luck. They would still do something to make the best out of a bad situation. The last thing they would do is go crying to papa and mama. They grew up earlier, learning to survive in the uncertain world.