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A Child's Life in this Country
music, anime, peace
I wonder if MOE realises what torture it puts children to.

And at the end of the day, its America and all those other countries that produce the Bill Gates of this world. And I don't think he even got a degree or something. Forgot. There was some super rich successful person who didn't finish primary school. And was it Einstein or Newton who never did his homework?

Maybe it's because they didn't grow up in such a rigid system. Because they weren't caged in and taught to only learn one way of describing the scientific inquiry method. There's this famous physics teacher who's really good at explaining physics, and how does he teach scientific inquiry? "You guess it. Then you test it." Because that's what it is. You guess what's going to happen then you see if it's true.
Here we are memorising "Hypothesis" "Dependent variable goes on Y axis" "materials, procedure, conclusion". Ironic; I still can't remember which stupid variable goes on which stupid axis.

How is stressing us out like this helping at all? What, preparing us for the real world?
We can learn that later. Why must we learn how to read at age 4? Caucasian kids learn when they're what, 8+? Double that age. Someone should do a case study. For all you know, the caucasian kid grew up to be a successful lawyer while the other asian one reading at 4 is a kopitiam uncle.

My dad is a doctor. I was talking through the definitions of diffusion and osmosis with him and he gives me this shocked look and goes, "I didn't even learn that til my first year of medical school." Today I told him the Bio question in the exam, the one that I didn't know how to do, and guess what? He didn't know how to do it either.

So honestly, what's the point?

By the way, did you know that in Perth, we had no exams? And very little homework. What homework there was was a lot more interesting and fun. FUN. WOW. I'VE FORGOTTEN THE MEANING OF FUN IN THE CLASSROOM. THANKS.
Does that mean that kids going to school in Perth all their life turn out unsuccessful?
Because they get to have more fun. Because they learn in a much more intuitive way.

The greater the mass of an animal, the lower the heart rate. Bio paper, I don't know how to explain that, but my common sense and intuition dictate it. I'm sorry.
That girl compared dish B with dish A and not dish E because well, ... common sense. Sorry if I cannot put common sense into words.

Maybe one day I should write there, "because common sense dictates it". See what the marker writes in response. A big red cross? Yeah, that'd be typical of this country we live in.

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Well, one's perspective of fun is relative. To be honest, I find school fun. I always have. From P1 till now. But then again, I like reading encyclopedias and maps and I used try to read one chapter ahead of the class but end up reading the entire textbook cause I found it interesting. So 'fun' is an annoyingly relative term.

Also, those scientist did not suceed in school due to rigid schooling of that time. They had learning difficulties and the teachers did not have to patience or training to deal with them. Back then, truly effective and patient teachers were scarce and a real blessing.

Singapore has to push us because they desperately need their people to do well. Education breaks the poverty cycle. We need what we have and we have bright kids. The government tries to make the most of us and pushes us in a way that they see fit. They didn't have this and as you said, they probably don't understand. Here, you have to give them the benefit of doubt because they probably don't know any other way.

Anyway, the proof of at least some degree of success of the Singaporean education system is shown here by two 13-year-old girls arguing about the Singaporean education system logically and calmly.

Welcome to LJ, Sarah ;D

P.S. I hated those qns too >

Thanks for replying so calmly and nicely. I hate it when people reply posts like this getting worked up and pissed off me. And what you say actually makes sense too! :D

Heh, I hate it when people get worked up over a little thing and get angry, then don't make sense too. Well, good to know, since most of the time, my reasoning is highly flawed and disjointed >< (But I spent the entire morning reading Sherlock Holmes and I'm watching Criminal Minds so that might help~ ^.^)

LOL Ronnie! Of course you make sense! You're a 13 year old product of this Singapore system ;D

AGREE :D Like some things we learn are just completely unnecessary. And pushing us too hard is just going to make everyone hate school and hate learning. And exams are NOT an efficient way of testing understanding. Well, most exams anyway. Because sometimes it's not that we don't understand, but it's more like our brain doesn't have that much space to memorize every single detail. And there's actually no need for memorizing stuff that people already know, because that's what the internet is for. Google it, and you'll get your stuff. So all you really need is to understand and apply.

They make a big deal about everything. That's what's killing the fun in learning. Like, Ronnie enjoys reading and I'm sure many other people would too if not for school. Because when you mug you're just memorizing for the sake of doing well in a test, and not because you're interested.

And we're all expected to use PEEL to explain stuff. But that's not the only way you can use. You can not use PEEL and still come up with an organized answer. Like Mr Ganesh said xD

I think the least annoying way to answer questions in a test is to pretend they're all idiots and you're smarter than them so you gotta explain in great detail.

The bio paper was kinda stupid. :/ I hope they don't laugh at my answers xD

Somehow I feel like I'm spamming and interrupting a very deep philosophical discussion >

Nah, joycelyn, I totally agree with what you said about testing understanding and killing the fun in learning. Let's all be deep and philosophical together ;D

a ramble xD (can ignore xD)

I don't know Sarah....I think subjects are there to be studied, hard, if at all. Wasnt it a lot more fun in GEP with projects and stuff? I mean in mainstream it was like -.- we come to school and learn stuff we already know. Hey what's the function of the heart? Pumps blood, duh. Yay! Correct, im so proud of you -.- So to me, i guess learning intensively and being tested intensively is fun. Different definitions of what's fun in the school system.

I think what you believe of the singaporean school system rly depends on what you experienced, i mean ronnie you and I have rly different ways of looking at it. Perhaps it's all in the mind, i mean, if we all forgot about marks, then everything would be a lot more fun. (not gonna happen haha xD)

Also, Singapore produces many bright scholars from our education system. Apparently there's at least 100 or so ppl from s'pore who go to ivy league colleges every year. (moe website xD) i think starting early helps somewhat. I guess to some people, singapore remains an education centre(a shinnning beacon of hope xD) for them to get to as high a level as they can, despite stress and stuff.That's why there's a school like rg, which is soley geared towards intellectual pursuit.

I think you have to find motivation.(: I mean externally la. Something to live for despite this crap you have to endure every day. I dunno, get your parents to reward you if you get certain marks and stuff.
haha maybe your dad didnt know because the science syllabus was different then. As in, i think he learnt stuff we didnt in his time.

And i think rg puts in effort to be more fun, like with pts and stuff as opposed to normal schoolwork, just that when it's graded it loses all its awesomeness. but ppl like me wont rly work hard on it unless it's graded. (haha my fault xP)
oh and it's mostly our generation that got the full brunt of rigidity. I hear they're abolishing exams for the p1s! ehh so cool. Though whether they can spice up lessons remains to be seen.

Experimental procedures are kinda used all over the world...including america. And besides, China's gonna be the new superpower in a few years. they have rigidity and brainwashing - what could beat that?

Oh dont forget CCAs! Lessons arent there to make life fun but CCAs ARE. :D

A ramble. Sophia, please don't ignore :)

Self motivation. In Perth, I was self-motivated, honestly. In Singapore the motivation is all exams, exams, exams. There's nothing else. If it's not graded, "YAY DON'T DO!!!!" Is that the mindset children should have? If it's not graded, it doesn't matter? So it's not the learning that matters, it's the marks. I laugh.

There's been more than one incident where I tell my parents something I've learnt in school and they say that they'd never heard of it til much higher learning education. My mum's an accountant and she couldn't do my P6 PSLE practice papers. Go figure.

RG puts in more fun, yes, but personally, it's not fun anymore. Every single thing they throw at us has become added stress for me, so I can't enjoy myself while doing it. Not properly, anyway. I look back on my History PT and think, "Gosh that was quite fun actually" But if I think back to the time when I was working on it, it was this huge burden.. lifted only when the submission date came.

I feel like talking about Singapore and incorporating "soft skills" into the classroom. We had music lessons in SHPS, but still more than half my class doesn't know music. Can't read notes. Can't read rhythm. The music lessons did not teach us anything at all. Because the teacher was incapable of teaching properly and because the subject was non-examinable. We run to do well for examinable things, but even to me, music lessons were a time of slack in primary school. Soft skill failure. Why? Because children these days have been brought up with only one source of motivation for work: exams.

Look at yourself, Sophia. Did you learn much during music class in RGS? The teacher we had during the glockenspiel class didn't even grade us properly. Because it was a non-examinable grade. Just something to put in the report book to say, "Look. We give an all-rounded education! We are teaching soft skills! Your daughter got "Excellent"!" When in fact, we only all got "Excellent" because we completed some survey. True, at least we get exposure to handling instruments and are opened a little bit to the different types of music in this world. But think about it; we probably learnt less than we would if it were examined. Why?

Haha Soph I should call my dad in to argue with you over whether India or China shall be the next superpower ;) He and my mum were arguing over it...and going around in circles...and I just wanted to shut them up with 2 sentences summing up the whole thing xD

I don't enjoy my CCA because they push us so hard. Motivation? Competitions. SYF. The equivalent of exams. And during those three hours, I'm falling off my chair (and endangering my clarinet) because I was up the previous night doing a PT. And I'm thinking about all the work I could be doing, and then that I could be moving on to Facebook or blogger or chatting with friends. And then I could be showering and curling up in bed. But no. CCA finishes at 6. I go home, study, do work. Shower. Eat. Sleep. No social life! :D Oh the joy.

(Of course, I go on facebook while I'm studying .__. Must keep a social life!)

And I don't even have time to practice piano. Or guitar. Or voice. And my piano/voice teacher wonders why I'm learning at a relatively slow rate.

Oh the irony. I thought MOE wants to cultivate soft skills?
I ask you, *a lian accent* "where got time?"

MOE, if you want it to happen, you need to address WHY it's not happening :) That is: children are too exam-oriented, and too stressed out to have time for anything other than study.

That reminds me. If I fail History or Math, it'll be because I am passionately writing this out. Self-motivated to write an essay on Singapore's education system. Whoopee.

I am continuing this in a post. Sophia, go see :D

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