Singapore Expats Forum

Top International Schools in Singapore

Discuss various schooling options for your children here.
User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34266
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 9:00 am

rothhimmel wrote:Both Deux Chaveau and Ferrari are four wheels propelled by an engine. Given a few cosmetic differences, much the same object. It’d be a pity for a person to plan to be a Deux Chaveau because one didn’t know proper fuel is available, eh?


If you put a Deux Chaveau in an environment where there are ONLY High performance engines, the little 375 cc agricultural engine of the Deux Chaveau will burn itself up as it will only be able to get high octane petrol meant for high performance engines. That's why, like schools, there are different fuels one must be aware of. The reverse is also true, if you try to run a high performance car on tractor fuel, it will stumble, buck and otherwise be unable to reach any of it's full capabilities. Children, taken off one diet and fed a totally different diet often will either have drastic responses while others will be able to adjust more readily. Are they changeable, sure they are, but more often than not, not before there are behavioral problems that manifest themselves in various ways.

The parents of Singapore children tend to be the kiasu ones. The poor children of locals will be subjected to tuition and "enrichment" classes often in worst case scenarios, every day to at least one class during ANY school break. This is for kids only 3 or 4 years old! Do the kids WANT these courses? Not really. The parents want the bragging rights. Face is everything. Oh, it's really easy to fall into that trap too. Often peer pressure causes it as well, even though the kids have no real interest in it.

Look up the definition of Kiasu. A sketch of same? Type Kiasu into Utube. Do you, perchance, have a masters?

Here's a good example of Kiasuism at it's finest: http://www.asianewsnet.net/home/news.php?id=20952&sec=3

rothhimmel
Member
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri, 19 Aug 2011

Postby rothhimmel » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 12:26 pm

>> Visit any shopping mall, you will find tons of centers offering enrichment<<

Regrets to report, metroguy, that your writing ... "and never ending kiasu enrichment programs don't help local school make a better alternative."

... led me to imagine you infer "kiasu enrichment programs" are practiced in MOE schools.

Goods and services offered in a mall? Caveat Emptor.

rothhimmel
Member
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri, 19 Aug 2011

Postby rothhimmel » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 12:34 pm

Thanks for your note, moderator, and comments

Though you don’t mention the area of your illustration I imagine you refer to “Maths,”

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9165
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 1:20 pm

[quote="rothhimmel"]Thanks for your note, moderator, and comments

Moderator is a rank. X9200 is a user name that is unique to the user.

Though you don’t mention the area of your illustration I imagine you refer to “Maths,”

rothhimmel
Member
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri, 19 Aug 2011

Postby rothhimmel » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 7:44 am

Thanks for your note, moderator, and comments

moderator wrote: Moderator is a rank. X9200 is a user name that is unique to the user.

Yikes, regrets for my faux pass made in regard to your personal preference in address-style. It is generally held that people who, in officious display, set out rank or title as a component of their public persona are very properly addressed by it. Furthermore I have never known a human that used a digit string as a name though if it appeared we were headed for a long and sparking discourse I’d be happy to use any form of address you choose. By the way, moderator is a job description or title, General is a rank.

moderator wrote: Actually I meant the natural science disciplines. A simple mathematical example was only used to illustrate the problem.

If you “meant”

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9165
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 9:05 am

I am afraid you did not answer anything at least from what was asked neither built any logical and adequate argument but glad to see you know at least when to stop (well, this part we still shall see). The way you did it was pretty consistent with what you already showed in your first response so no surprise and no hard feelings. Sorry I hurt you with your imaginary assault on the superiority of Singapore. I realize it is hard to imagine but this was not my intention. Cheers.

rothhimmel
Member
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri, 19 Aug 2011

Postby rothhimmel » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 9:08 am

[quote="sundaymorningstaple"][quote="rothhimmel"]

SundayMorningStaple wrote:
the Deux Chaveau will burn itself up
run a high performance car on tractor fuel, it will stumble and buck
Do you, perchance, have a masters?

… and a gen-u-ine farm tractor plus over the years, high performance automotive and aviation and marine internal combustion engines of every configuration, size and type.

SMS wrote: The parents want the bragging rights. Face is everything.

No doubt you are correct though I must point out that “bragging rights”

rothhimmel
Member
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri, 19 Aug 2011

Postby rothhimmel » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 11:38 am

Thanks for the note, boffenl

boffenl wrote: The TIMMS is a great yardstick, but as you've obviously found on this board, most information is personal experience--NOT based on an internationally sound educational ranking system.

Obviously I agree that TIMSS is valuable though it is my observation that information on the subject of the xinjapo MOE system rises from hearsay, not personal experience.

OK, OK, IEA hasn’t been in action very long so some, perhaps you, had to take a leap of faith to get to the meat of the matter.

Information delivered by the leap IS personal experience, though information received in hearsay ALWAYS needs to be viewed with skepticism … particularly information about preparation of children for life … an exercise so central, so important to the very core of human purpose.

Here’s my guess: that a significant measure of pejorative comment about Singapore grade school experience and operation has been hatched and supported by private school businesses in operation on the island.

Plus, jingoism is alive and well everywhere and to say “we treat our children-students better”

User avatar
boffenl
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 565
Joined: Wed, 20 Dec 2006
Location: Clementi all the way baby!

Postby boffenl » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 12:09 pm

x9200 wrote:Let me add one more dimension to your basket. I will give you an example how I think the local edu system differs from the Western one. This will be a gross simplification and an imaginary example just to illustrate certain prevailing aspects of the system(s).
The students are taught to be able to provide the result of a simple equation a x b where a and b in 0, 200. The approach:
Singapore: learn by heart all the combination
The Western system: understand the principle and act accordingly.
In any time dependent test Singapore will be the winner.

Do you see any correlation between the approach and the basic fact acknowledged practically by everybody, how stressful, exhausting and time consuming the local system is for both parents and their children? .


I would fundamentally disagree with you x9200. That may have been how math was taught universally (ie in the US as well), but it is no longer the case in Singapore schools. Children learn much more than just the combinations, and I would ask for you to provide examples. My examples of the opposite would be any of the primary exams you can pick up at Popular bookstores.

And I had no idea it was an acknowledged fact that the local system is exhausting. I'd say that's plain crap. You get out of it what you put in-- my daughter attends NO tuition classes or extracurricular basic subjects. She is in the highest class and routinely has about 20 minutes of homework since she gets most of it done at school. Is it stressful, maybe this week since it's semester exams and she wants a cat so if she gets Band 1 for two subjects then she'll get a cat. But other than that--it's no big deal.

Again, maybe because I worry little about my "face" i could give a crap that she doesn't attend XYZ tuition center. My kid's ability to read leisure books, play on the playground and watch some TV when she wants is to much more important to her overall well being and that's the only "face" I care to look into every evening.

User avatar
boffenl
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 565
Joined: Wed, 20 Dec 2006
Location: Clementi all the way baby!

Postby boffenl » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 12:13 pm

metroguy wrote:Unfortunately, it's still compulsory. I checked directly with MoE last week.

It's exempted only for those students who are returning singaporeans who have been away from Singapore education system for a while or those with learning disabilities.


You can still get an exemption--you'll need to ask the mother tongue teacher for the exemption form which will go to MOE. It is not automatically granted--a Phillipino girl who was taking Mandarin was denied since she was getting a passing grade. :)

I have still not applied for the exemption (sheesh I'm lazy) but it does exist for expats. Not sure where you're from Metroguy, but it shouldn't be difficult if you can prove your kid comes form an English only speaking family

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9165
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 1:00 pm

boffenl wrote:
x9200 wrote:Let me add one more dimension to your basket. I will give you an example how I think the local edu system differs from the Western one. This will be a gross simplification and an imaginary example just to illustrate certain prevailing aspects of the system(s).
The students are taught to be able to provide the result of a simple equation a x b where a and b in 0, 200. The approach:
Singapore: learn by heart all the combination
The Western system: understand the principle and act accordingly.
In any time dependent test Singapore will be the winner.

Do you see any correlation between the approach and the basic fact acknowledged practically by everybody, how stressful, exhausting and time consuming the local system is for both parents and their children? .


I would fundamentally disagree with you x9200. That may have been how math was taught universally (ie in the US as well), but it is no longer the case in Singapore schools. Children learn much more than just the

*Sigh*. Do you know boffenl what is an example? What is a simplification? No, I did not mean they learn always and everything by heart. It is much more subtle than this.

combinations, and I would ask for you to provide examples. My examples of the opposite would be any of the primary exams you can pick up at Popular bookstores.

I can give you some examples of the final product of the system: uni students or graduates who can be true masters of a very specialized domain of science and yet have no rudimentary knowledge of the very same basic discipline. It is like you are a master of the chicken rice cooks and you don't know the tomato is red. This is very common. Sorry, I can not be more specific. How would you explain this?

And I had no idea it was an acknowledged fact that the local system is exhausting. I'd say that's plain crap. You get out of it what you put in-- my daughter attends NO tuition classes or extracurricular basic subjects. She is in the highest class and routinely has about 20 minutes of homework since she gets most of it done at school. Is it stressful, maybe this week since it's semester exams and she wants a cat so if she gets Band 1 for two subjects then she'll get a cat. But other than that--it's no big deal.

And this is you only or now you were going to say this was your acknowledged fact? You have your ways to deal with it, good, but is this the reality? No tuition classes for majority of those who can afford this, no enrichment activities?

Again, maybe because I worry little about my "face" i could give a crap that she doesn't attend XYZ tuition center. My kid's ability to read leisure books, play on the playground and watch some TV when she wants is to much more important to her overall well being and that's the only "face" I care to look into every evening.
I am happy to hear it. I feel the same: this is the parents not the childrens race (it always is). Fine if your kids can follow without additional effort or they can accept they are below the average but I am afraid this is again not the universal case, or you also want to disagree here?

User avatar
boffenl
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 565
Joined: Wed, 20 Dec 2006
Location: Clementi all the way baby!

Postby boffenl » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 1:31 pm

The vast majority of children in local schools do not receive extra tuition--it is a luxury and their families cannot afford it. If they could afford it, I think you're probably right that they would do it because the exam score is the only way to value worth in SG, until you can earn money and then that's how you're valued. I won't give an example--this is personal experience.

Extra tuition does not mean higher scores--it just means lining a tuition centre's pocket instead of working with your kid yourself--or giving them the skills to help themselves.

I work with bright and articulate SG grads all day and I'd say, compared to the irritating gimme attitude of Gen Y and Z in the US, they are more well-rounded and understand compromise and sacrifice.

I'll say again--my experience with local PRIMARY school education has been exemplary. I would put the curricula and teachers against any in the world. Is there room to get better--absolutely! Do I think MoE is aware and working to get better--absolutely!

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9165
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 2:07 pm

boffenl wrote:The vast majority of children in local schools do not receive extra tuition--it is a luxury and their families cannot afford it. If they could afford it, I think you're probably right that they would do it because the exam score is the only way to value worth in SG, until you can earn money and then that's how you're valued. I won't give an example--this is personal experience.

And I have exactly the same impression. This is the main contributor to the stress.

Extra tuition does not mean higher scores--it just means lining a tuition centre's pocket instead of working with your kid yourself--or giving them the skills to help themselves.

I work with bright and articulate SG grads all day and I'd say, compared to the irritating gimme attitude of Gen Y and Z in the US, they are more well-rounded and understand compromise and sacrifice.

It is less about the interpersonal attitude. More about exploring different option by themselves. Having some natural curiosity to go one step further to understand something better. Without telling anyone to do this. I guess we work in different environments.
I was asked some time ago by a cab driver, whether I agree that Singaporeans are not creative. This is what he learnt from a number of foreigners (or the Westerners to be more precise). This is of course not true (as for physical ability) but creativity is driven by free exploration and never by pure reproduction of the knowledge and I can see where such opinions are coming from. I blame partly the culture for it but also the local education system. Yes, you can teach your children well to develop this curiosity and flexibility in thinking but IMHO the school should do this too. If you have the knowledge and skills you can do much better than any school but I don't think this is the way it should be.


User avatar
boffenl
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 565
Joined: Wed, 20 Dec 2006
Location: Clementi all the way baby!

Postby boffenl » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 3:25 pm

My point is that as an expat board, we need to give personal experience examples. While I have seen a few (local) families incredibly stressed over local primary school education, the majority of (expat and local) families balance the educational and social needs of their kids. I send my kid to school for both--and I'm satisfied she's getting both needs met there. It would be very stressful to think my kids needs weren't being met and so I'd probably send her to a tuition center or club.

Expats need to understand the local education system in as much as they can "get" from it for their kid--the same with International Schools. International Schools can take over your life and give incredible amounts of stress too. It's all what you allow yourself to fall into.

By giving examples where some of us haven't given into the kiasu culture of some primary schools, we can better model what some expats might be looking for.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9165
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Thu, 25 Aug 2011 7:17 am

Again, we are talking about some inclinations or tendencies, not individual cases. Your example at best proves that sending kids to the local school is in principle manageable or to be precise you think it is manageable. It does not disprove my earlier points.
At the end of the day it is more often the financial choice and I think the local system is not that bad at all but it appears to me with some very serious drawbacks.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Education & Enrichment Courses for Children”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests