At first glance, I think this issue affects several parties. But first, to start us off, we need to know what NMP is.
NMP refers to Nominated Member of Parliament.
And Nominated Member of Parliament Chia Yong Yong is the lady behind the suggestion of a full school day.
Why the suggestion?
Ms Chia made the suggestion for 2 reasons:
- Level the playing field for children from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds
- Break out of the country’s tuition culture
Let’s look at both in greater detail.
Level the playing field for children from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds
In Ms Chia’s Budget debate speech in Parliament on 28 February, she was concerned with the current academic model.
She says that the current model “runs the risk of not harnessing the potential of all our young people” who do not have access to enrichment and tuition classes.
So in layman terms, those who are poorer and cannot afford extra classes out of school will lose to those who are more well-to-do and can afford it.
She also adds that “every school is a good school, but not every home is equal”. The current system has been “abused” such that now there is greater inequality.
So in order to counter this issue, full-day curriculum in schools would be a “good tool to eliminate a part of that inequity”.
“(That way), we have children study together, grow together, spend time together. (It creates) greater opportunity to level up, greater opportunity to bond,” she said.
Break out of the country’s tuition culture
We all know that most kids in Singapore go through tuition because of kiasu parents, right?
So Ms Chia is concerned with this issue and encourages parents to “reduce reliance on external contractors in providing additional teaching and hothousing” so that more time can be used for family bonding.
Again, in order to move away from the current model of reliance on extra tuition classes out of school hours, full-day curriculum schools are the next best option.
In addition to that, she proposes to review the academic curriculum and make structural changes to our education landscape.
Reviewing the academic curriculum
One of the changes she’s recommending is to simulate real-life scenarios across subjects.
In other words, instead of relying on “clearly defined experiments” all the time, students should be challenged to think out of the box, using their own knowledge and skills to innovate.
“It is imperative that we build this psyche. If we cannot, whether as businesses or individuals, we will have neither the courage nor the drive to innovate. We will be nothing more than buyers and users of technology, machines, and skills,” Ms. Chia commented.
Reviewing the scholarship criteria
(Sorry guys, I promise this is the last proposal from Ms Chia.)
She asked for a review of the scholarship criteria used in the Government, commercial sector, and institutes of higher learning.
She pointed out that there was too much emphasis on grades and not character traits.
“Are we prepared to grant a scholarship to a student with a B scoring, in place of one with straight A scoring, if the first student had scored his Bs because he had to overcome an illness, or because he had to work to supplement family income, or because he had to care for a sickly parent or sibling?”
In short, the government should be prepared to grant scholarship to a ‘straight B’ student than a ‘straight A’ student if the former scored Bs because of his circumstances.
Suffice it to say that Netizens weren’t too appeased with the suggestion.
And the list goes on.
Although to be fair, some supported the decision.
Yet, even so, one can’t help but point out everyone’s thinking.
“But having said all, if this happens, I pity the Teachers…”
Lots of suggestions and reviews from NMP Ms Chia but in my opinion, this is not beneficial for everyone.
Full-day schools mean more manpower needed to ‘watch over’ the kids. Speaking on behalf of the teachers, this means extra work.
Extra work also translates to lesser family time. So this means that these kids and their families are having more family time at the expense of the health and well-being of our teachers.
Is this the direction you wish we’ll go towards?
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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