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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 07 Apr 2014 8:19 pm

taxico, you sure have pegged that one. But you must admit, Singaporean who go to the officers command school in the US usually fare pretty well. But that is to be expected as it's an exam environment. Not one where you have to think on you feet and only get ONE chance as the alternative is dead.

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Postby taxico » Mon, 07 Apr 2014 9:11 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:taxico, you sure have pegged that one. But you must admit, Singaporean who go to the officers command school in the US usually fare pretty well. But that is to be expected as it's an exam environment. Not one where you have to think on you feet and only get ONE chance as the alternative is dead.


you are right, but most of the candidates that actually go to the US (or any foreign military academy including sandhurt) are the cream of the crop (eg, SAFOS soldier at west point) physically and academically. you will not see a moderately obese TOA PAYOH SECONDARY and CHONG PANG JUNIOR COLLEGE (3 A level subjects passed) alumni headed to the USMA.

as for SF... all the SG SF candidates have actually completed a battery of comprehensive tests, analyses and exams known to singapore psychologists and behavioral scientists prior to being ACCEPTED for q course (locally or abroad).

this means these soldiers have been vetted in every which way possible for problem solving and leadership skills, initiative, discipline, dependability, reliability, as well as physical ability BEFORE a panel decides that yes they are also the cream of the crop and can go off for green beret or SEAL training in the US.

if these people don't do well, they'd better shoot themselves... in the foot?

i have no doubt the smart ones can do well in all sorts of tests - but realistically (and perhaps unfortunately), most of the singaporeans you and i deal with or meet in our day to day lives are not the top 10%. and then there's the sheer number of low-wage FTs that get trained by the not-top-10%-singaporeans. OMG, shoot me now.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 07 Apr 2014 9:35 pm

:-k ](*,) :shooting:

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:03 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:And yes, my kids when through the whole system here so I am not just spouting hyperbole.

They were lucky. They had a father who was not a product of this system and who taught them how to think independently.

sundaymorningstaple wrote:But give me a Singaporean who got his basics here and then got their tertiary educations overseas? They are a force to be reckoned with and I'd hire them in a minute if I had the position available

They are surely better to those unexposed but still they suffer a lot from the specific working culture issues. I know few really excellent local guys but they count to maybe 5-10% of the overseas educated population. It is really difficult to knock down the habits learned in the child/teenage-hood. To do this, or better say attempt to do this, one would need to assimilate within the new environment. It does not happen frequently. Chinese stick to Chinese, etc etc. I've seen it first hand.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:12 pm

You are probably right, but I was actually leaning toward the hard engineering sciences (where I spent a good portion of my life myself). I forgot to add that those I was referring to were those who also had two years experience in overseas companies where they had to work with primarily western engineers.

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 08 Apr 2014 7:19 am

Working in Western (and alike) companies helps in my opinion much more than doing any type of overseas studies. I've seen locally educated guys transformed this way over a period of a few years to a very reasonable employees. Here, in Singapore. Not all companies could do this. It has to be the right working environment.

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Postby movingtospore » Tue, 08 Apr 2014 8:22 pm

Totally agree with the international experience. Some of the most amazing people I have met are Singaporeans who've lived abroad and come back. So to the young man with the original post who has been patient enough to listen to us whinge about our perceived shortcomings of your compatriots - travel far and wide. You'll be better off for it and should you return you will be one of the those the MNCs are falling all over themselves to hire.

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Postby movingtospore » Tue, 08 Apr 2014 8:30 pm

korrpui wrote:
Brah wrote:+1

There was something making the news rounds late last week about how Singapore was came first in PISA, some kind of problem-solving exercise.

There must be a reason why everyone is surprised at that.


Honestly, Singaporeans not knowing how to think is a really cliched sterotype. Just like recent British graduates who reportedly can't read or count (using an example).

What would you prefer, the outgoing British smirker who claims to solves the problems and hands in the poorly written / incoherent report with mathematical errors, or the quiet Singaporean chap who sends in a well written / coherent report detailing the solutions to the problem, error-free?

True answer - you want the British guy to do the presentations, and the Singaporean to do the work.

Just because the Brit guy presents well doesn't mean he can solve issues, and just because the Singaporean who doesn't present well doesn't mean he can't solve the issues. :?

There is a reason why Singaporean students have consistently outperformed their peers globally. (Note, this assertion is backed by quantitative data normalised across international students at a similar age range.)


Well that's the thing. Taking an exam and dealing with life are two very different things. I've come to the conclusion that it's less about the education and more about the environment - when you grow up in a very restrictive, myopic (and increasingly xenophobic) and small space - by nature it limits you until you can move beyond that and open your eyes to a wider world. Singapore is a small town in Asia and it's not much different than many small towns around the world that way.

I've had endless fights with my HR trying to explain why I don't give a rat's a$$ how candidates did on their exams..

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Postby earthfriendly » Wed, 09 Apr 2014 1:21 am

movingtospore wrote:
Well that's the thing. Taking an exam and dealing with life are two very different things. I've come to the conclusion that it's less about the education and more about the environment - when you grow up in a very restrictive, myopic (and increasingly xenophobic) and small space - by nature it limits you until you can move beyond that and open your eyes to a wider world. Singapore is a small town in Asia and it's not much different than many small towns around the world that way.



When my niece came to visit, she loved looking out to the ocean and the natural landscape, wide open space and said "maybe because I am from Singapore and we don't have that". All those tall buildings can become a mental road block, preventing you from seeing what is beyond.

There are simple changes that can be made to the living spaces. E.g in the classroom, rather than having students sit in rows, all facing and looking toward the authority (i.e. teacher) for guidance, they can break it up into smaller groups of, say 6 students. Each group will have their own table. This creates a more collaborative environment. Things do not have to be set in stone. Let them learn about flexibility. Introduce changes, add some spice to the classroom. Make it interesting e.g. rearrange the seatings to form a heart shape for Valentine's Day. Or oval shape for Easter :mrgreen: .

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Postby Brah » Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:45 pm

Then there was this
http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2014/04 ... sed-tests/


"The PISA test involves students solving pre-defined problems individually online.

How well does that translate to real world problem solving scenarios where you have to make sense of incomplete information and data; define the problem; collaborate and debate with others who have differing perspectives, cultures and styles; work with and around systems, processes and organisational dynamics; use intuition as much as logic to formulate a solution; market your solution to stakeholders to get buy-in; and finally drive relentlessly towards an outcome you want?"

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Postby korrpui » Sat, 12 Apr 2014 4:56 pm

Brah wrote:Believe what you wish, my perspective is based on many years of living here, and you have not changed that with this post. And while it may be a cliche, it still bears relevance. Your generalization however, does not though makes you appear to have a chip on your shoulder about Brits.

korrpui wrote:
Brah wrote:+1

There was something making the news rounds late last week about how Singapore was came first in PISA, some kind of problem-solving exercise.

There must be a reason why everyone is surprised at that.


Honestly, Singaporeans not knowing how to think is a really cliched sterotype. Just like recent British graduates who reportedly can't read or count (using an example).

What would you prefer, the outgoing British smirker who claims to solves the problems and hands in the poorly written / incoherent report with mathematical errors, or the quiet Singaporean chap who sends in a well written / coherent report detailing the solutions to the problem, error-free?

True answer - you want the British guy to do the presentations, and the Singaporean to do the work.

Just because the Brit guy presents well doesn't mean he can solve issues, and just because the Singaporean who doesn't present well doesn't mean he can't solve the issues. :?

There is a reason why Singaporean students have consistently outperformed their peers globally. (Note, this assertion is backed by quantitative data normalised across international students at a similar age range.)


Don't be daft. I am using an example.

I've lived here in the UK for many years as well; that doesn't give me the authority to say Brits are as described above. Much as I can clearly see that based on my own personal experiences in dealing with recent graduates as well. In the same breath, I could bring myself to your level and degenerate the locals / natives (Brits) but I won't.

Why not you read The independent or the BBC website occasionally to see how the lack of reading and writing skills are frequently brought up by the Education Minister Hove?

As we used to say in SG "not I say or u say, it's the garment say"

Cockney anyone?

:shock:

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Postby korrpui » Sat, 12 Apr 2014 5:07 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:But give me a Singaporean who got his basics here and then got their tertiary educations overseas? They are a force to be reckoned with and I'd hire them in a minute if I had the position available.

or the quiet Singaporean chap who sends in a well written / coherent report detailing the solutions to the problem, error-free?


That one really made me chuckle. If you get that from a local, you can almost bet is was plagiarized. They are world famous for their test scores and the amount of plagiarizing that they do from their O levels up through their degrees.


SMS,

I do not disagree with you.

But there are Singaporeans who have succeeded overseas, reaching senior positions in Investment Banks and Asset Managers.

The above is a generalisation.

Most of my peers (growing up) are like that. But there are those who evolve as (or if) they leave the country for an overseas stint. I have admittedly not been coherent in report writing in the early days in my career, but am much better now. I write, present and defend reports to the Group Executive Board for a major Swiss bank (not that their English should be used as a standard bearer, but nevertheless, an SEC listed entity with a requirement to issue annual reports)

To bring a balanced perspective to a viewpoint is important here and I cannot see this amongst the posters, even from "moderators".

You did have a valid point about overseas exposure bringing an additional dimension to the Singaporean skill set though.

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Postby korrpui » Sat, 12 Apr 2014 5:18 pm

My apologies to SMS as I have now seen your later posts which support my point.

And to the OP - yes, go. See the world. Get out of the myopia and the frog. There is open space for creativity and thinking outside SG. The litmus test of Darwins theory is how you will get out of your comfort zone and evolve.

Now off to have a short stroll to Richmond Park due to the amazingly superb weather today before a picnic in Barnes and dinner in Chiswick. Enjoy your day, people!

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Postby taxico » Sat, 12 Apr 2014 10:33 pm

korrpui wrote:...To bring a balanced perspective to a viewpoint is important here and I cannot see this amongst the posters, even from "moderators".


as i'm sure you've astutely observed: generalizing is not limited to the participants of this discussion (or this forum... or within the confines of singapore, even).

they may be moderators, but are not acting on behalf of any entity or groups of persons but themselves...

the "moderators" are entitled to their opinions, as are you and i.
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Postby Brah » Sat, 12 Apr 2014 10:58 pm

taxico wrote:
korrpui wrote:...To bring a balanced perspective to a viewpoint is important here and I cannot see this amongst the posters, even from "moderators".


as i'm sure you've astutely observed: generalizing is not limited to the participants of this discussion (or this forum... or within the confines of singapore, even).

they may be moderators, but are not acting on behalf of any entity or groups of persons but themselves...

the "moderators" are entitled to their opinions, as are you and i.

I don't give this cat very long, for he is daft. Daft Cat.


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