The Ministry of Education (MOE) has slammed alternative news website Mothership.sg for posting a “fake news” story, which claimed that an MOE Director-General of Education had said that Singapore students do well in international academic tests because of a pedagogy emphasizing “standardized test drilling and a culture of compliance.”
In an article published in the August edition of Australian Teacher Magazine, it was claimed that Director General Wong Siew Hoong had allegedly made comments to an audience of educators telling them that Singapore’s education system has been “winning the wrong race”. He allegedly blamed standardized tests and drilling pedagogy for “building compliant students just as the jobs that value compliance are beginning to disappear”.
Wong had allegedly also juxtaposed Singapore’s academic results in the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study with data on student well-being and innovation in the economy, which placed Singapore in the lowest quartile.
The comments attributed to Wong were attributed to Wong in Mothership.sg’s news article, but this earned the site a rebuke from MOE, who clarified the news on Mothership’s Facebook post about the story.
“This is fake news,” MOE wrote on Mothership.sg’s Facebook. “We are disappointed that your website would circulate such false comments. We would appreciate it if you could remove the article immediately or at least print a correction.”
This is the second time the alternative news website has gotten into trouble over its news reporting.
Earlier this month, Mothership and the fake impersonator page, Salleh Marican For President, came under fire from the presidential hopeful’s team after the troll page published remarks about the hijab under his name without authorization, while Mothership wrongly attributed those same comments to him.
The remarks were on how the hijab was not part of the Malay dress code before the 1970s and increasing religiosity in the Middle East and around the region has eroded Malay culture in Singapore.