Thursday, October 16, 2008

Revamping Sg primary education

Got the following from here.

"The Ministry of Education (MOE) has formed a Committee, led by Senior Minister of State for National Development and Education, Ms Grace Fu, to study ways to enhance primary education. The Primary Education Review & Implementation (PERI) Committee would like to seek the public’s views on how to shift towards a more balanced education system, in order to produce students who are more work-ready, world-ready and life-ready.

In particular, we would like to seek your views on the following questions:
1. What do you think should be the desired outcomes for students at the end of primary education?
2. What would you like to see taking place in a typical primary school classroom and outside of the classroom?
3. What are your views on single-session primary schools?
4. What do you think are important qualities of primary school teachers?

Please note that this thread will close on 15 Nov 08."

Too late for most of our kids, but those of you with babies, there's still hope yet, charge forth with your views!!

14 comments:

monlim said...

*raises hand* Don't scrap badminton from a school CCA just because it doesn't win medals!!!

See, I'm still sore...

monlim said...

Actually, not too late for Sean, right? You guys might be back in SG when he's in pri school.

Lilian said...

Very telling isn't it how much faith I have in the Sg civil service when it comes to this effort! Won't happen within the next 6 years!

monlim said...

Actually, they're very quick with changes. Usually once they announce something, it takes place very soon. Eg. calculators for math exams, changes in Chinese curriculum, 30 kids in a class... all very quick.

What I have less faith in is the quality of the changes... remember the study less learn more tag for Chinese? What rubbish, after the implementation, the words Andre have to learn are way more than Lesley-Anne 3 years ago!!

Lilian said...

Yes yes, PM Lee talked about Teach less, Learn more; I think I was still in Sg, and I went YES!! Alamak, from what I hear, the message didn't get filtered down that well to teachers and principals.

Do you know in what way PSLE math questions will change now that they allow calculators? Tks.

Anonymous said...

I want to point MOE to this & Monica's blog! Can or not? keke..

YY.

monlim said...

Not that the message didn't get filtered down, again the kiasu mentality at work. The focus moved away from writing to speaking and reading(Chinese oral at PSLE now accounts for 25% of marks, more than compo). But instead of reducing the no. of characters they have to know how to write, they INCREASED the no. of characters they now have to recognised! adoi...

Re: calculators, some sections in maths paper now allows use of calculators. It's good - it's so they can test understanding of concept instead of just whether the kids calculated correctly. Not much changes that I can see except for those sections, sometimes the answers have odd numbers or numbers with many decimals. Possible I guess since got calculator.

Lilian said...

Yes yes, I was all for allowing calculator, even though some friends say it's not good, kids will rely on it. I said they only allow use of calculator at upper primary, by which time kids should already have their counting skills down to pat. And with the calculator, kids focus on solving conceptually instead of worrying if they calculated wrongly.

Lilian said...

Hehe YY, you are the best person to compile everything we've said the past week or so and submit them to MOE! You've gone through the system with your stepdaughter, we've not, and you've seen how different things are in Canada.

So funny huh, here we have been talking up a storm about Sg's primary schools and now we see this. Eeeks, do we all have civil-service mindset?

monlim said...

YY, go ahead with MOE. But if they come sue me, I will delete everything and plead innocence!! The 2 of you far far away, cannot catch, I'm still here...

Yup, calculators good. Anyway, not allowed for every section. Aiyah, some pple just don't like any changes. Eg I thot hanyu pinyin was quite good for p1 cos it shifted the focus away from knowing how to recognise every character before you can read a passage. The naysayers said, "then the kids will over rely on hanyu pinyin!" I think if kids want to be lazy and not learn characters, it's their own bloody fault, not hanyu pinyin. Anyway, the old system has proven to have FAILED - our entire generation learnt 12 years of chinese and is still largely monolingual. And yet people still want to cling on to it!!

Alcovelet said...

Can't believe. Like a dream come true! Exactly! Not work ready!

How about extending at least the rules of the GEP to the general population of students, ie, no ranking, 70% hurdle with a tiered hurdle at 50%? Without the competition, the camaraderie and teamwork among kids should improve.

Even the curriculum of the GEP looks interesting for everyone, but I don't know if that will add stress.

Zowies!

monlim said...

Ad, you know with all the complaints that GEP and mainsteam kids don't mix enough, at St Hilda's this year, they tried to mix GEP and mainstream kids for Chinese class. Initiative stopped after less than a month. Why? Because mainstream parents complained, said they scared GEP Chinese too difficult, don't want their kids to do it. Aiyoh... not even higher Chinese some more... So even when you want to open up GEP curriculum, people donwan!!

Lilian said...

Monica: You mean GEP chinese is different from mainstream chinese? I didn't know that. I thought differentiation was only in the instruction of Math, English and Science.

monlim said...

Yup, it's different. They use the same text book but the lesson plan is different. It's not that much harder but they go more in-depth eg. how the words came about, how a particular word might be linked to another word etc. I think it's in line with the GEP language concept of widening overall knowledge instead of just learning words. L-A enjoys it much more than mainstream Chinese.