Friday, 22 November 2013

Every school is a good school

Schools Should Instil Spirit Of Service: PM Lee


PM: "you have been lucky enough to live in Singapore, to be born here and to be in this good school system"

All schools should instil the “spirit of service” in students, especially among those who have done well, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday as he reiterated the importance of Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools and called on them to ensure their students are well-integrated into society.

Speaking at the 80th anniversary celebration of CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School, Mr Lee described Singapore society as one that cheers those who succeed and does not try to cut them down.

He added: “You may have succeeded through talent and hard work. But remember it is also because you have been lucky enough to live in Singapore, to be born here and to be in this good school system, where you get rewarded for your abilities and develop to your full potential. That’s what we try to do when we talked about meritocracy.”

Despite criticisms, education system delivers, says PM Lee


PM Lee Hsien Loong with a student from Chong Boon Secondary School during the school’s 20th anniversary celebrations yesterday. Photo: Don Wong


 Although the education system here has often been criticised, it is essentially a good system that has delivered good results, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

“We often see and read or hear criticisms of Singapore’s education system — it’s too structured, it’s too pressured, it’s too competitive, it’s too much hard work, (it’s) so stiff,” he said.

While he acknowledged the pressures faced by parents and students, Mr Lee said the Government had taken steps to address the issue and reduce unhealthy competition, such as ending the practice of publishing the names of top Primary School Leaving Examination performers and using a banding system, instead of grades, to assess students’ performance in co-curricular programmes.

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S'pore will raise quality of all schools: PM Lee



Be it special needs or neighbourhood schools, tertiary institutions or those for special talents -- Singapore will raise the quality of every educational institution, said Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.


The aim is to help every student do better, especially those from less-advantaged backgrounds, he said. The Singapore education system has had its fair share of criticism.

Mr Lee said: "It's too structured, too pressured, too competitive. It's too much hard work. So... stiff. Sometimes, we ourselves complain.

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Every school a good school means every school's good in its own way


Education Minister Heng Swee Keat reiterated the philosophy behind this during his ministry's Committee of Supply debate

Every School A Good School does not mean every school the same school.

But it does mean that every school's good in its own way, seeking to bring out the best in every child.

He says that good schools can be places of discovery, to nurture students and bring out the best in them.

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Jurong West Secondary vice-principal takes issue with ‘every school is a good school’ ideal

Jurong West Secondary vice-principal takes issue with ‘every school is a good school’ ideal. (Screengrab of Google Maps)
Yahoo Newsroom - Jurong West Secondary vice-principal takes issue with ‘every school is a good school’ ideal. (Screengrab of Google Maps)

"How many of our leaders and top officers who say that every school is a good school put their children in ordinary schools near their home? (Only) until they actually do so are parents going to buy (it)."

Those were the exact words of Jurong West Secondary School (JWSS) vice-principal Pushparani Nadarajah, who was responding to speakers and teachers’ discussions of making every school a good one at the inaugural AsiaEducationExpo (AEX) 2013, according to a report by The Straits Times.

The neighbourhood school’s vice principal’s startling remark drew applause from those who attended the event.

related: How school vice-principal's daring question won the Web

Should Every Singapore School be an ACS?

What do parents want when they send their children to schools in primary one?

With images of parents bursting into tears with  helpless six year olds watching mummy and/or daddy cry, when their child fails to win the ballot for the coveted few spots left in a “good” school, this must be the question asked.

For those seeking a coveted place in a brand name school, a lot of it seems to be about ensuring their child is able to enjoy the same traditions as they did whether it is a Chinese tradition of discipline or the holistic, character formation approach typified by the mission schools.  These are all traditions worth keeping as they are about transmitting good values.

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VP: How many SG leaders put own kids in heartland schools?

“In an elite school, they have so much (more) money; they are able to hire the best coaches and the ratio of the coaches to the students is very low. In neighbourhood schools, they don’t have the extra money. Sometimes, neighbourhood school coaches are the parents,” said Mdm Wee.

She added that students from elite schools are also able to go for more excursions as “a lot of support for elite schools comes from the alumni and parents who are wealthy”.

Academically, she feels that students in elite schools are able to immerse in an environment where their peers are from more educated and well-exposed families as compared with students in heartland schools. In other words, it’s a vicious circle.

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Every school is a good school? Not yet!



But I will like to applaude one news this week to a brave Vice Principal for giving a crucial view about the different levels of education and 'branding' of the schools in Singapore

"How many of our leaders and top officers who say that every school is a good school put their children in ordinary schools near their home? (Only) until they actually do so are parents going to buy (it)."

These are simple but yet powerful words which highlights the issue that there are preferences of certain schools that we believe that by attending them our children will excel in them. I'm not too sure how our country's leaders respond to that. It is still a stigma that is sticking on to our education system rolled over by the past.

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'Soft skills just as vital as exams', say educators at AsiaEducationExpo


Speakers and teachers at the inaugural AsiaEducationExpo (AEX) 2013 discussed moving away from an exam culture to focus also on soft skills - such as developing empathy

The first panel discussion, of a three-day programme organised by Sphere Exhibits, was a spirited one attended by about 200 participants. In particular, the thread of making every school a good one struck a chord with teachers, with several hoping that parents would recognise the efforts of all schools to bring out the best in students.

Jurong West Secondary vice-principal Pushparani Nadarajah remarked, to applause: "How many of our leaders and top officers who say that every school is a good school put their children in ordinary schools near their home? (Only) until they actually do so are parents going to buy (it)."

The session was moderated by Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) English and Malay Newspapers Division managing editor Han Fook Kwang. It followed a keynote lecture by Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy's adjunct professor S. Gopinathan, who addressed changes in the education landscape. Also on the panel was National Institute of Education principal officer Quek Jin Jong.

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JURONG WEST SEC VP OPENLY CRITICISES MINISTERS WHO SAY ‘EVERY SCHOOL IS A GOOD SCHOOL’


Jurong West Secondary School (JWSS) vice-principal, Pushparani Nadarajah, has openly criticised the Singapore Ministers that say that “every school is a good school”.

The VP had said “How many of our leaders and top officers who say that every school is a good school put their children in ordinary schools near their home? (Only) until they actually do so are parents going to buy (it)." in front of about 200 people at the Asia Education Expo (AEX) 2013.

Upon hearing this, the crowd had applauded the vice prinicpal’s remarks.

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All pupils can continue education in a good school regardless of PSLE results: PM


Regardless of how a child performs at the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), he will be able to continue his education in a good school, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday

In a Facebook post ahead of the release of the PSLE results on Friday, Mr Lee said: "All the best to students receiving their PSLE results tomorrow! Whatever your results, I am confident you can continue your education in a good school, with dedicated teachers who will help you achieve your best."

He added that it is also important for the young to pursue their interests, besides striving for academic excellence. "Above all, I hope you will grow in resilience, drive and determination. For when all is said and done, these will help you succeed in life."

On Thursday, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat also urged parents not to overly focus on the results of their children. "When the results are out, please do remember not to judge your own child, or others' children, by a number," he said in a Facebook post.

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PM LEE: PSLE RESULTS DON’T MATTER BECAUSE EVERY SCHOOL IS A GOOD SCHOOL


In a facebook post yesterday evening ahead of the release of PSLE results today, PM Lee wrote that students should not worry too much about their PSLE result as they will still be able to continue education in a “good school”.

Seeing as there are some schools that have minimum PSLE result requirements, it can only be assumed that PM Lee means to say that every school is a good school.

It seems that PM Lee is also touting the PAP’s new favourite line when it comes to education.


Backtracking 'Every school is a good school'


Jurong West Secondary School vice-principal Pushparani Nadarajah has been hailed online as a "hero" for saying in public:
How many of our leaders and top officers who say that every school is a good school put their children in ordinary schools near their home? (Only) until they actually do so are parents going to buy (it).
I'm not sure if it's heroic, but it's certainly brave in a career suicide kind of way, although I don't think she expected her remark to go viral.

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PSLE results out on Friday - MOE will not be releasing highest and lowest aggregate scores


The Ministry of Education (MOE) has decided not to include the highest and lowest aggregate scores for this year's Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), which will be released this Friday

The results of the 2013 Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) will be released on Friday, Nov 22 2013. Students may obtain their result slips from their respective primary schools from 11.00 am on Nov 22
Eligible students will also receive option forms to select secondary schools when they collect their results slips. Students are required to complete the option forms together with their parents.

In every sealed Secondary One (S1) Option Form, there will be a unique S1 Personal Identification Number (S1 PIN) which will allow parents to submit the secondary school options for their child online via the Secondary One Internet System (S1-IS).

The S1-IS will be accessible from 11.00 am on Nov 22 to 3.00 pm on Nov 28 2013 through the Ministry of Education's (MOE) S1 Posting website at www.moe.gov.sg/education/admissions/secondary-one-posting.

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Don't judge kids by their PSLE scores: Heng Swee Keat


It's not about the exam results, but the journey of learning, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat in a Facebook post on Thursday afternoon, ahead of the release of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results on Friday

The PSLE results come out tomorrow. I understand it feels like a big day for many parents. Do remember though that it has been a 6-year learning journey, and there are many more days ahead.

Our students have worked hard and most have done well throughout the year. When the results are out, please do remember not to judge your own child, or others' children, by a number.

Give them a hug for the good work they've put in all year (and to yourselves too, parents, because I know you've walked this journey with the children), and continue to motivate them to learn and to develop their confidence. I'm sure our teachers, who also want our children to do well, will appreciate your thanks too.

related:

SAP students need to be well-integrated: PM


PM Lee (above, at the 80th anniversary of CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School with principal Tan Wai Lan on his left), on nurturing students who give back to society and strengthen Singapore's meritocratic system

Almost 35 years ago, Singapore set up Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools to nurture bicultural and bilingual students.

Today, these schools continue to play an important role in the education system, as they maintain the values of the old Chinese schools adapted to a new age, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Tuesday.

But he stressed that they must produce students who are well-integrated into Singapore's multiracial and multi-religious society.

related:

PSLE Results tomorrow



Academically we are one of the peaks in the world and this allows us the flexibility to invest beyond books. We are finally taking advantage of it seriously under this minister.

Even if it is very slow to win many parents over to a more holistic education, it is important that they are prepared to endure with it long enough for superior results to show.

Now only the most kiasu parents would research the numbers which were once easily available. Tomorrow result slips will not print the lowest and highest scores.

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How Is Singapore’s Education System Unequal?

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said at the National Day Rally 2013 that the PAP government will, “do more to keep paths upwards wide open to all. Keeping paths wide open has been a fundamental principle for Singapore for a very long time. It is how we have enhanced our human potential. How we have created hope for every Singaporean and is especially true in education and that is why we have invested in pre-school, adding 20,000 places in the next five years as I said just now in Chinese.”

He also said that, “Whichever school you go to, whichever class or principal you have, you will get a good education. And we give every school the teachers, the resources, the backing. We help many of our schools develop niches of excellence. We make sure that the whole system is of a high standard. Every school is a good school.”

This was also echoed by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat in parliament, when he said that it, “is also MOE’s concern (that all children should be given equal and good opportunities in education). That is why MOE is committed to providing a high quality of education in our schools for all our students.

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Of Singapore, Private Tuition, and Aung San Suu Kyi



It was a leading question posed by a journalist to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in her first visit to Singapore: what aspects of the Lion City might “The Lady” like to recreate in Myanmar? The question seemed fairly innocuous, albeit arguably loaded. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate dodged the bullet and fired a salvo of her own.

“I don’t think ‘recreate’ is the word, ‘learn’ yes,” said Ms Suu Kyi.

Singapore’s “work-oriented” education system, for example, leaves something to be desired.

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related:
Every school is a good school
Our SG education
Tweaks in Our SG education
Mad About Tuition: The Singapore Dilemma
Too many graduates in Singapore