I refer to ST’s “Heng Swee Keat as education minister: A study in bold moves” 4 days ago. PAP just can’t resist using the mainstream media for self praise. But does Heng deserve to be praised to high heavens?
But ESaGS had been launched by Northern Ireland’s former Education Minister on 30 April 2009, 4 years before Heng and others parroted the slogan. link Hmm… maybe it was another coincident. It’s not possible for our highly-paid civil servants to have simply copied and pasted for Heng and others to parrot the slogan right?
Singapore’s ESaGS is a joke and has been pointed out by Jurong West Secondary vice-principal Pushparani Nadarajah who had to state the obvious. When children of ministers, MPs and wealthy Singaporeans don’t attend neighbourhood schools, are Singaporeans expected to believe that a slogan can transform undesirable schools into good ones?
If our scholars were not engaging in another session of TKSS, they should walk the talk by exchanging half the staff of every elite school with neighbourhood schools. MOE should also allocate all resources evenly.
PAP thrives on our elitist educational system which has benefitted them for decades. How could there not be any distinction between the schools attended by the children of aristocrats and commoners?
Let’s look Heng’s experience prior to becoming Education Minister:
– 1983 to 1997 – served in the Singapore Police Force
– 1997 – joined the Civil Service’s Admin Service
– 1997 – a short stint at MOE
-1997 – Principal Private Secretary to Lee Kuan Yew
– 2001 – Permanent Secretary, MTI
– 2005 to 2011 – Managing Director, MAS
– 2011 – Minister for Education
Besides a very short stint at MOE in 1997, which Heng couldn’t have learnt much, he did not have any prior relevant experience before becoming education minister. Could anyone without relevant experience make a world of difference to a system in less than 5 years?
It appears Heng has been promoting cosmetic changes because:
– elites are still sending their children to elite schools
– private tuition industry is still raking in big bucks
– schools are still exam-oriented and less interested in the well being of students **
– Singaporeans’ rigid view of success through education, conditioned by PAP’s elitist education system, has not changed.
PAP’s ‘bold’ moves are in fact only cosmetic changes.
Credit should be given where credit is due. Heng really does not deserve any because the important underlying issues have not been addressed. If Heng really believed in the ESaGS slogan, ministers would have walk the talk by sending their children to Bukit Merah or Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary or any neighbourhood schools. How many Singaporeans believe in ESaGS, keechiu! Told you right, nobody.
Not only is ESaGS unoriginal, it’s really just a joke.
** There are exceptional teachers who truly care for their students.