During secondary school i loathe the idea of memorising & spitting out whatever memorised onto paper during tests & exams. During industrial age it may makes sense but with advent of internet with answers readily 'googleable' & walkthrough tutorial videos on youtube it makes memorising pretty much useless.
School system is perhaps the slowest to reform & is primarily a tool by govt to churn out primarily worker cogs to fill the economic machine. In the past govt promote engineering (which has pretty much hollowed out), then biotech, then waferfab. I see casinos as last ditch effort after the above mentioned industries didn't take off.
After being exposed to taiwanese dramas & current affairs talkshow is apparent creativity & educating the public is higher than in S'pore. Is also a reason i don't watch local shows & buy local papers.
Road to creativity
MR TAN Jiaqi's letter ('No template for creativity'; last Saturday) makes the excellent observation that the considerable absence of creativity among Singaporeans stems not merely from the pressures within classrooms but also from our socio-economic circumstances.
Far from being an exclusive Singaporean problem, educators around the world are beginning to recognise that a system that emphasises rote learning & the regurgitation of information in tests stifles young minds & limits the application of creative methodologies.
Situation is far more pronounced in Singapore - with our limited manpower - where parents' & students' expectations are premised on the need to be economically productive, fuelled by materialism and pragmatism.
Conformity is encouraged from the moment a child enters primary school. Not only are children exposed to standardised assessments & pressures, but they are also forced to go through a framework which places disproportionate emphasis on rigid teaching-learning processes.
Our society treats differences with disdain & expects everyone to turn out exactly the same. The message we should stress is this: Not every child is meant to be an academic, & so should not be trained or educated as one.
Problem is compounded when education is seen merely as a means to an end - the end being landing a good job & enjoying the comforts brought by material gains.
Co-curricular activities & leadership avenues are there to help students further their interests, but many have become obsessed with beefing up their portfolios to 'look good' in scholarship & college applications. Even something like community service has been abused for personal, pragmatic purposes.
Creativity can be nurtured only by giving a child the space & freedom to pursue his strengths & interest himself in endeavours or areas that he is passionate about & talented in. An educational institution's role should be to equip the student with the right skills to achieve his dreams & aspirations.
-Kwan Jin Yao