Changes to Secondary Education

A number of fundamental changes to the way our students are taught at secondary school has been the highlight for me in Parliament today. The changes are welcomed and as Minister Ong spoke, my memory took me back to Telok Blangah close to 30 years ago. Two issues in particular came back to me as if it were yesterday.

When I was making the transition from Secondary 2 to 3 back in 1990, the choices were limited, and sometimes non-existent. History or Geography. You were not permitted to take both, either at the secondary level or junior college. I eventually followed my heart and took both subjects in my first year at University – but inevitably I was a little too far behind in Geography! A pity since it is such an amazing subject that quenches ones thirst for the human and physical aspects of the world we live in.

So History it was through the secondary and JC years. And I had to to take other subjects I wasn’t too thrilled about. SubjectS!

On Mathematics – I didn’t have the best experience in Secondary 2, and would have benefitted from a slower pace to develop a better foundation with some core concepts. But things changed in Secondary 3. A god-send of a teacher was assigned to teach my class. Mr Lee Siow Tong’s style of teaching the subject and his infinite patience reinvigorated a genuine interest in Mathematics in Secondary 3 and 4, not just for me for me but a few of my football-focused friends too. In fact, the few of us would regularly tackle Mathematics problems when other subjects were going on! One day, Mr Lee found out what we were doing as he saw us fiddling with our mathematical instruments when he walked by the classroom (a dressing-down duly followed). Mr Lee gave me and some of my friends a Parker pen at the end of the year for scoring well in Maths at the ‘O’ level prelims – something he didn’t need to do, but the pen reminded me how important a factor luck can be to determine the roads we take. I was lucky and grateful to have Mr Lee as my teacher.

With the new changes announced today, the choices available to our children in secondary school are likely to increase. Secondly, a more suitable pace to learn in subjects where a child may not be strong (but can become better in due time) without having to rely on the luck of having an outstanding teacher, is welcomed.

While there are still areas to look at to improve the education system, parents need to come on board too. Children should be encouraged to pursue excellence. This goal is usually achieved only when they love the subject. I hope the changes announced today make us parents think twice about excessive tuition and consider the importance of other life-long skills that are equally important in raising successful children. It would be travesty if the education system is evolving, but we are not.


*Facebook post by Pritam Singh




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5 Responses to “Changes to Secondary Education”

  • LIONS:

    Whatever,education or another aspect of life in Sg,these blinking $cholars/general$ think they can do anything they FANCY or tickle their mischieviousness?

    Frankly,they have NO IDEA WTF they are doing!

    All they probably know is to TALK COCK N ACT ARROGANTLY while COUNTING $$$ OR STEALING TOOTH-PICKS AND,THEN,GRIN N GRIN if they cannot push blames to sgs?

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  • KristenBrandtEssenceOfChickens:

    Tell me about it. We ALL had to take subjects we did not like. Doing something you liked was anathema in Spore education system. Honey, you all have to suffer.

    Signing off
    Kristen Brandt Essence of Chicken Shit

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  • HarderTruths:

    $G school system is taild for one purpose and one purpose only – a nation of obedient workers.

    Workers too scared of losing jobs, not enough education or understanding of why their lives are being railroaded, and no option but to depend on government for food housing clothing and …education.

    So what if we cannot achieve anything or are unable to function? That is not what they $G locals are bred for.

    $G government has made sure FT will come in to fill in all the positions the $G are not allowed to. The world has so many qualified people – all eager to work here. The prefect society.

    Since how does education then matter?

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  • Bobo:

    In my opinion, 2 yrs in kindergarten (learn, play and social), 5 yrs in Primary, 4 yrs in Secondary then straight to University is ideal. Why complicate study journey and depress the young as well as the parents? We do not need a suka suka system manipulating and jeopardising lives of Singaporeans. Wake up men!

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  • N.Jungne:

    Giving the benefit, but after 4 decades how many of our own, are kept away from the Job Market?

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