Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stark contrast between pre-school education of the rich and poor....

UPDATE 19 Dec 2010 : I want to thank everyone for their comments to this posting. I sense that my main message might not have been too clearly put across. I've nothing against rich parent who want to splurge $20K or $30K a year to give their children an edge before they enter primary 1 although I've serious doubts about the necessity of giving children more than a good solid foundation at pre-school. The main problem is many poor children start their primary school without a good foundation which is now needed because the child will have a difficult time in primary if he can't read and count[Primary School Syllabus]. The starting line for poor children is far behind others and Singapore's severe inequality (worst among developed countries) is passed on from parents to children. We are seeing the growth of an underclass in our society yet we are not doing enough when we have the resources to do so much more - how can we not help poor children to have a more equal start?

Straits Times 17 Dec 2010:

In a report that appeared yesterday, the amount that richer parents were spending on pre-school was discussed. 'High quality' pre-school programmes cost upwards of $6.2K with some schools charging up to $20K per year. Many Singaporean parents consider pre-school very important and are willing to spend tens of thousands preparing their children for primary school.

To illustrate the difference of between being born in a poor family and a rich one in Singapore, I attached another report from Straits Times that appeared today. 300 children from poor family received completed a pre-school programme organised by various self-help groups. Pre-school for these poor children is a 1 month programme that cost $10. Many children from poor families skip pre-school altogether because it is not compulsory and they cannot afford it.

30-40 years ago, the syllabus assumption when a child steps into a primary one class is he has no pre-school and he starts learning to count and his ABCs. The teacher spends the whole year teaching "A for apple", "B for boy" and so on. Today, teachers expect children to know how to read and count when the child enters primary one. For many children from poor families who have no pre-school or a poor quality pre-school education, their starting point is far behind what is needed to keep up with what is taught in school. It is a $10 one month pre-school vs $20K a year for 3 years pre-school.

PAP policies exacerbate the effects of the income gap. Parents having children are given up to $20K per child in the form of tax rebates that must be used within 5 years[Link]. Poor parents whose income are too low to pay taxes get nothing while the highest income earners get the enjoy the full $20K from the govt. Giving benefits to the rich who need it the least and denying help for the poorest members of our society increases the social divide and the disadvantages of children born in poor families. While the govt give $20K to richer parents for each child, they should at least ensure that children from poor families receive a good pre-school education - the the PAP refusal to do this show its ideological leanings and there will be no change to PAP govt policies unless we show more care for our fellow Singaporeans and their children by doing what is right.

------------
[Link]
300 children from lower-income families get a feel of Primary One

by Kavitha Karum 05:55 AM Dec 18, 2010

Three hundred children, some of whom have never attended pre-school, graduated on Friday from a four-week course to help them prepare for Primary One next year.

The graduation ceremony for the K2-One Bridging Programme was held at Bottle Tree Park in Yishun.

Pre-school is not compulsory in Singapore, and some children, especially from lower-income families, may not get to enjoy this benefit.

Singapore's four community self-help groups have been jointly organising the programme since 2006 to help these children improve literacy, numeracy and social skills and also adjust to formal schooling. The course fee is $10. KAVITHA KARUM

173 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought there are kindergarden at some HDB's voideck hosted by the PAP?

Lucky Tan said...

anon 15:46,

Many poor parents cannot afford the fees or take time off to send their children to these kindergarden.

Anonymous said...

"Today, teachers expect children to know how to read and count when the child enters primary one."

Lucky Tan, how you know? You have a child in primary one? Or you hear people say?

Or is it now they also teach how to use computer at Primary 1? Or use calculator to count? So no need to learn how to count? Possible also what.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,

I fully agree with you. This govt has to go. It has sown the seeds of our future destruction with its short-sighted policies. I hope it's not too late to mitigate the damage done by them.

Anonymous said...

I was a volunteer with a self-help group - helping the kids with homework, reading, etc. Every kid in the program is really really in need of assistance.

After a few months, I noticed that on certain occasions the kids will not turn up. When asked, the kids told us that there were no food gifts that week and their parents say they can forgo that lesson !

And so I realised that they have been turning up not for the lessons but for that pack of food to bring home (eg canned food, milk, biscuits). And yes, I have stopped giving so much time and effort to help out at the center.

Sometimes, the intention may be good but if the parents or kids themselves are not going to make an effort, then all the free help will not amount to anything.

Anonymous said...

I do not know the two 13,000,000,000.00 Leegal gaming dens would create how much more such situation,but knowing our people love of gambling,I am sure quite significant!

Would those idiot be responsible,I am not too sure in this world,but I am very sure about the next world

Anonymous said...

anon 15:46,

if u look at the chart, even the PAP run kindergartens cost 7200 per year, which works out to 600 per month. thats quite a sum for the low income!

i think the govt has more than enough resources to provide free or heavily subsidised full time pre-school for all the kids, now that the primary sch syllabus seems to require such education. sad that the PAP govt seems to be exploiting this by setting up Party-run pre-schools probably with the intention to indoctrinate young minds with positive connotations of the PAP image...

Anonymous said...

Interesting point raised by Lucky. The education system we went thru 20,30years ago was a lot simpler and we learnt what we need at right age. These days the govt pushed the young kids so hard in the primary and secondary schools, they still do 4A level subjects at pre-U and study same stuff at uni. After so many tweaks to the educ system, spore has failed to produce a Nobel price winner or invented anything useful. Years of scholars entering the govt, glc & public service, spore is still a lost boat in the open seas - still relying on foreign investments to survive? Worst now they literally gamble our future on 2 casinoes? So what is the point really if in the future all primaryy schoolers know calculus and theory of relativity at age 10?

Anonymous said...

I agree that there is stark contrast between pre-school education of the rich and poor.

I want to add one more.

There is stark contrast between school education of the rich and poor at all levels.

Among the rich children from the rich families, there is a higher percentage of them in the gifted education programme.

Loaded with money to spend, the rich children receive high quality expensive pre-school education, tuition and enrichment programmes.

The poor children are deprived of decent pre-school education, tuition and enrichment programmes. Instead, they have to slog at fast food restaurants or any place allowing them to earn a few dollars per day.

The result is:

Every year, among the students from the rich families, there is a significant higher percentage of them are awarded scholarship.

Whereas, among the students from the poor families, there is a significant lower percentage of them are awarded scholarship.

Eton 1996 said...

blah blah blah, yet again i see this spew of crap. It seems in lucky tan world, it is wrong to be successful! you are blamed for every losers problems.

so what if i send my kids to 20k pre school??so what if there are thousands who cant afford 3 meals a day? there are tens fo millions people living below poverty line. do we need to help their unmotivated ass with our tax dollars??

Every lame article posted here points to one thing. Communism. the author expect resources to be divided evenly in this country so the use of the income inequality whipping boy. it is a communist resurgency after 50 years.

Dont blame the rich for your situation. you are responsible for your own wealth. no govt can stop you from being rich by having unfair polices only you are not smart enough to make it. if people can make it rich in north korea, singapore is a breeze.

And all that lousy noble talk on the internet is cheap. i dun see the author fork out some cold hard cash to effect some changes.

vadhog said...

to eton 1996:
1. lucky is not blaming the successful; he is blaming THE GOVT for not doing enough for our children's (ie, our future, next generation) pre-school education; which most educated and rationale human being would agree is a basic neccessity. so there is absolutely nothing wrong for you to send your kid for a $20k or $200k pre-school education, if you can afford.

2. lucky is also obviously not demanding that we used ALL our resources to help the poor's pre-school education.

assuming our birth rate is 30k/year and pre-school education cost $100/child/month, cost of putting every child through pre-school annually is:
$100 x 12 mth x 30k children
= $36 mil

i estimate $36 mil should be merely just 10% of what DBS pay govt in tax annually.

3. if this is true, then what lucky said is not just lousy, noble or cheap talk. though he could fork out cash for charity, which i believe he does, i don't think he can afford $36 mil annually. so he is using his blog to tell his readers, including our govt, that more should be and can be done for pre-school education.

perhaps, you could try to read his blog again with an open mind and see if you get his points clearer.

Anonymous said...

In all developed countries, the age when the govt expects the kids to start learning ABC and 123, that's the age where education becomes free and compulsory.

Eg. If you expect pupils to learn ABC and 123 starting from Primary 1, then you make education free and compulsory starting from Primary 1.

Similarly, if you expect pupils to learn ABC and 123 starting from Kindergarten, then you make education free and compulsory starting from Kindergarten.

But, in Singapore, the govt expects pupils to start learning ABC and 123 starting from Kindergarten (proof: look at its publicly available MOE-stipulated curriculum for Primary 1), but makes education not-free and compulsory starting only from Primary 1!!

This is shirking of responsibility. The govt shirks its educational responsibility for 2 kindergarten years, and continue to shirk its responsibility by making education non-free even from P1 onwards!

Anonymous said...

the irony is that the parents of these poor kids may need the " pre school lessons" more than their children.

Anonymous said...

lky from rich fam so is lsl and many of MP here. they know nothing abt being poor and suffering from it. if not for sg, they are just another rich spoilt brats.

Lucky Tan said...

anon 7:15,

...which takes away the possibility of home schooling.

Anonymous said...

We can educate these kids,let say for free in their initial years, but when they go back home, their parents will "uneducate" them. LoL.
Proof? After a few generation of "Singapore education", a lot of our people still can't communicate properly.

Anonymous said...

Do not worry!

I think Education minister Ng Ah Hen would do a better job at this ministry.

Although he failed big time at manpower ministry,and some others

Frankly I do not agree with PAP'a policy to put ministers rotating thro' various ministries.

I know some would say this is being done in almost all other OECD government.

But pl name me one OECD country with a government lasting 51 years(1959-2010),there isn't.

In those countries,it is definitely the civil servants who hold the decision power.

Whilst in Singapore,it is w/o LEE cannnot do.

So we need to put specilaistsas to run ministers,Put Ah Hen as Health Minister,see what he can do.

Wong Ah Seng should be Manpower minister,we know HP hires only high flyers

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

Let me go straight frankly as a former MOE teacher, the poor is screwed in education.

I used to taught in NT classes where you just watched students practically bullying the teachers making themselves a revolutionary hero.

Many teachers who dares discipline students are sacked or even hauled to court.

I seen one case where my colleague got 'D' when he was being punched by student. It does not matter who is wrong and as long as this thing happened, the principal deemed the teacher as incompetent.

I heard so many times student using vulgarities on female teachers, and those female teacher is dread to report on student, for fear of being ranked low in appraisal.

PAP has implemented system that makes school impossible to sack students not because they want to educate them, but because putting drop out students on street would spawned lots of gangs.

NT students practically learned nothing for 4 years. Since, there are parallel education system running in Singapore the NT students could be subjected to a different sort of discipline regime, but that is not done. I believe PAP simply do not want all Singaporean to be academically educated.

When all these NT students, goes for national examinations, things would showed up badly, So PAP invented a parallel examination system.

Not all NA and Not a single NT are allowed to sit O level. So PAP come up with a idiot-proof N level creates lots of A students.

Then PAP will go on to brag they are "world class".

Many people has yet to wake up on facts that the bottom 30% of our students (mostly poor and from broken family) are ruined and screwed by PAP.

Instead, we received lots of reports from ST how ITE students succeed in life and how they have became scholar and rich man...etc

Anonymous said...

"Wong Ah Seng should be Manpower minister,we know HP hires only high flyers"

Is the HP now the same HP as in the 80s, when Wong was then its HR Manager and later turned politician?

Is the Wong Kan Seng in 2003 (he was praised by then PM Goh in the ND rally as a capable home minister who can solve tough problems) the same as the Wong Kan Seng in Feb 2008 when Mas Selamat escaped?

I know people change, companies change, political parties change with time. For better or worse, it depends. In fact I also change, physically not as strong as before, but mentally still OK.

Anonymous said...

Like most people I believed that wealth and talent were inextricably linked, with the financial crisis, wikileaks - have realized that this mindset is the fastest way to being poor in spirit and possessions.

A lot of wealth accumulation has been the result of acceptable lying and being lucky in not being exposed.

If we did not believe the sales pitch that high price equals high performance, then we will not be condemning our future generation towards haplessly chasing fiat currency.

Truth wealth is generated by a curious, disruptive mind with a gregarious sociable psyche and a great sales presentation to influence.

What our kids will need are nurturing parental love to be the best they want to be and not the parent trying to live the kid's life vicariously, often creating an overachiever just an edge away from suicide.

anon 19/12/10 07:00 said...

The solution is actually very simple:

The government must bear the responsibility - both financial and curriculum wise - for the education of its citizens starting at that point in time when it expects the citizen to start learning ABC and 123.


In the Singapore context, that point in time is Kindergarten, not Primary 1, as should be clear to anyone who is a parent or a teacher or who makes the effort to read up on the publicly-available primary 1 curriculum and textbooks, before making irresponsible comment here eg. anon 18/12/10 15:59


This is a government which refuses to bear its education financial responsibility, but which prefers to pass the buck to parents.

anon 19/12/10 07:00 said...

This is a typical math question in the middle of Primary 1:

"Ahmad has 2 pencils. John gives him 1 more pencil. How many pencils does he have altogether?"

Tell me, if you don't know ABC when you enter P1, can you read, understand and answer the above question half a year later in the middle of Primary 1?

That's NOT to say that Singapore's math syllabus is too cheem. Not at all. In USA/UK, they ask such similar questions in the middle of primary 1 too. But - and that's a big BUT - their responsible government make Kindergarten education their government's financial and curriculum responsibility. That's responsible - at whatever age you expect the child to start learning ABC and 123, at whatever age the goverment starts taking charge of the education.

Our money-face govt prefers its citizens to fork out money to teach their children ABC and 123 first, before entering government-funded primary school!

Anonymous said...

Even for the four-week "make-up" classes, the govt expects its poor cash-strapped citizens to pay $10!!!!

Can you believe it?

Nothing is free.
Not even when they acknowledge that you are poor.

Even if you are poor, you must pay!

By the way, $10 for a four week course is not cheap. To put things in perspective, the monthly fee in primary school is about $5 per month!!!

Ghost said...

This is NOT a Singapore problem. This happen all over the world. Even if the PAP give more to the poor, the rich will just pay even more to get their kids into even more expensive kidergardens, pre-schools etc. Every parent want to give their kids an advantage. Human nature is NOT a problem the PAP government can solve.

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

Re Ghost
/////////
This is NOT a Singapore problem. This happen all over the world. Even if the PAP give more to the poor, the rich will just pay even more to get their kids into even more expensive kidergardens, pre-schools etc. Every parent want to give their kids an advantage. Human nature is NOT a problem the PAP government can solve.
/////////

How you explain communist finland (ppl hate to acknowledge finns are commie)who perform better than us in education-- and they give much of credit to public preschool.

Our problem is government screwing us.

http://www.examiner.com/public-education-in-portland/universal-preschool-a-key-to-school-success-finland

Our system basically rigged in favor of rich, who use education to show the peasants that they are more clever, so they should rule.

Besides, all our school system has broken down. Yes it is in broken and 95% parents fixed it by sending their kids to tuition. Then thick-skinned corrupt MOE claimed credit themselves of behalf of tuition centre. Its actually tutors who made our system works not corrupt MOE.

Anonymous said...

Wealth, in general, comes tgrough hard work.The thing about hard work is that one does get more brownie points in life for being diligent. And more brownie points means more power. Since diligence is a virtue which is much extolled, we can't begrudge those who work hard to acquire their wealth and spend it to further their interests, can we?

People gravitate to where the brownie points are and that we can't change.

But what can be done is perhaps to create a business around the poor or the "losers" in life.

You see, if there is money to be make from getting INVOLVED with losers in life, our able or talented folks may just seek their "brownie points" with them or in that huge market.

Now this can be a marriage( of winners and losers) of tremendous change that will lift the poor out of their spiral of death - life and world changing.

But how you say?

Use your head lah.

Anonymous said...

I guess it will never be fair, be it now, in the past or the future. Because in this competitive world, there are limited opportunities to excel. What the government can do is to minimise the difference between the rich kids and the poor kids. I do agree with Lucky Tan in a way that the government is not doing anything to help and in fact they are making the situation worse. The rich has the money, the education, the connection and various resourses. Life sucks, the poor always lose.

Anonymous said...

The edu sys is a failure.
It produced somes who are but "高分低能".
Worse, it produced a lot of selfish people. They are only interested in themselves, only interested in their own pays and their own benefits. They are not willing to share or serve others.
Worse, they look down on others who can't score as well as them.
In the past (30 years ago), most schools had a good mix of good & poor students(in term of results).
The top students interacted well with the poor students. Through interactions, the top students knew that even though the poor students may not be able to score in exams, many are also smart and creative.
Nowadays, the top scorers thought the students with poorer results are totall useless, and can be disposed of like rubbish.
Such view amg the so-call "top students" is very unhealthy and is totally flaw.

Anonymous said...

If things are bad as like Lucky Tan and other commentators pointed out, then I am sure the PAP also knows about it.

But then if so, why don't they do something about it? What so difficult to change the syllabus at Primary 1, etc to address the concerns of Lucky Tan?

And why is the PAP not worried about whether this will cost them votes if they don't do anything about it?

Can someone answer the above why, why, what etc?

Anonymous said...

The sys has produced many selfish people who only know how to study.
The top students confined themselves to some so-called "elite schools" and they hv lost touch with the mass.
They are only interested in helping themselves. They are only interested in advancing their own interests.
The people from NH schools are just "dirts" or "digits" to them. They are not interested in getiing to know these common people, let alone serving them.
We hv a lot of "high achievers" who hv lost touch with the people, lost touch with the society.
You expect them to help you?
You expect them to serve you?
Wait LL (Tan KK).
(Of course there may be some (very few) exceptions. If you can find them, you shd quickly give them a chance to help you.)

Anonymous said...

@ Ghost

"This is NOT a Singapore problem. This happen all over the world. Even if the PAP give more to the poor, the rich will just pay even more to get their kids into even more expensive kidergardens, pre-schools etc. Every parent want to give their kids an advantage. Human nature is NOT a problem the PAP government can solve."

Typical Singaporean cannot see the woods for the trees. The focus is on the poor and how the government can help the poor and not about the rich and how much they can afford. Who cares about the rich as they more than enough. Being rich the government gives them more money after the child is born. Why? To have the grant, the parents has to put in a certain amount into the child's bank account and the government will put in an equal amount. The poor cannot afford to have such savings, thus forfeiting the grant. Such schemes only benefit the rich but not the poor.

Anonymous said...

How many of the Singapore rich are worthy of the rich they are enjoying now?

These rich are rich because their parents or grandparents are rich. They are just fortunate to be born rich.

Because the rich inherit a huge fortune and also because they begin their life well ahead of their peers through their rich, they are able to perpetuate their rich elitism through their children.

What do the Singapore rich have?
(1)They inherit wealth from their ancestor,
(2)Without the wealth they had inherited, they are either on par or worse than ordinary people,
(3)They use their wealth selfishly for their own well being.

How many proportion of the Singapore rich can claim that they have built up the rich that they are enjoying now even though they are born poor?

How many proportion of the Singapore rich can claim that they are not stingy enough to share a little bit of their wealth with the poor?


=================================
=================================
=================================
In contrast, the real rich who deserve the respect of peoples are those who can accumulate large amount of wealth from nothing, like Bill Gate and Warren Buffett. They deserve everyone respect because
(1)they don't inherit any wealth from their parents,
(2)they know how to use their talents to build wealth,
(3)they share their wealth with the unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

Some anon mentioned about teachers not being able to discipline kids.

That's a fact. Now, teachers are also not allowed to tell over-the-top rude kids to do push-ups in class as punishment for their drastic misbehaviour. According to my school, this is a punitive measure. We have a lot of greedy and cunning Ps and VPs in schools today.

I left the god-damned service. The way schools are treating teachers, what with the politics of their ranking and inobjective EPMS appraisals, education will remain a fertile ground for recruitment every 6 months.

Anonymous said...

School education is just one small aspect of an individual development. Even if we legislate helping hands to ensure these kids get a good start in school, there is no guarantee they will grow up to be balanced and useful individuals.

Today, educated or not, a lot of families are " broken". It will be shallow of us to think a "good education" is enough to produce healthy and productive individuals without considering the daily influence of a family life on these kids. And a broken family will often leaves indelible marks on children - again,with or without good public education - which will affect their overall development and in turn, beget such individuals when they begin their own family.

We are seeing this vicious cycle now in our society. Unless we have a breakthrough in integration, we will continue to produce fluff and floss and a broken tape recorder.

Anonymous said...

Time for Singaporeans to let their children enjoy the naivety, ignorance and simple happiness of childhood.
As parents, You need only make sure your kids grow up healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. Let them grow naturally and not enforce 'hothousing' them to fulfill your fancy, wish and vanity.
Your children need not be dragged into your(parents') ego. Let them be simple and happy.
It's not a shame or sin to be less intelligent.

patriot
If parents like to compete for fame and wealth, do it yourselves and leave the children alone.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 20/12/10 02:39 mentioned that
"We have a lot of greedy and cunning Ps and VPs in schools today.
...
The way schools are treating teachers, what with the politics of their ranking and inobjective EPMS appraisals,"

The Ps and VPs need to do these to satisfy the KPIs. With good KPIs, they are awarded high salary, big bonus and fast promotion.

Anonymous said...

To Eton 1996.......Sad to say, you miss the point by a mile. Perhaps you need to be strucked by some bad luck, becomes poor (not becos of some unmotivated ass) to understand. And frankly, I pray God make it HAPPENED.

jwl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Money can make "educd" people greedy.
Money can make "Educd" people cunning.
These are not people with real wisdom.
These are not people wit real talent.
"The money is not yours unless you spent it".
Why hord so much money?
Why need to hv so much money for what.
People wld not respect these kind of people!!

Godwin said...

"Many poor parents cannot afford the fees or take time off to send their children to these kindergarden."

Yet they choose to have children...

Anonymous said...

You want to know what our education system has produced over the last few decades?
Go to the ground and eavesdrop on the daily conversation of people or get served by singaporeans in departmental stores such as Best, Harvey Norman, food courts etc etc.

We have taught them math and ABC, that's all.

Anonymous said...

Godwin said...
"Many poor parents cannot afford the fees or take time off to send their children to these kindergarden."

Yet they choose to have children...

20/12/10 12:54

Ya lor, somemore not one or two but 4 or 5. Mana boleh?

Anonymous said...

I don't give a fuk what the elites do with their lives because, they are not the majority neither do they know what's best for the people with their noses stuck in the cloud.

The education system must raise the general quality of the people.Sorry, I don't see that happening on the ground.

Anonymous said...

To Godwin and Anon:

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

Godwin said...
"Many poor parents cannot afford the fees or take time off to send their children to these kindergarden."

Yet they choose to have children...

20/12/10 12:54

Ya lor, somemore not one or two but 4 or 5. Mana boleh?"

To both of you, yes you are right. Both of you had schooling but little education. In the first place, the reasons they are poor is most likely they had no or little schooling and likely low IQ. If they had been smart with higher IQ, they will probably not be poor in the first place. Then we would not be here to discuss about the poor and the under-privileged.

In any society, there will always be a small segment who will be poor. It is downright silly to make comments that do not add value, and obvious to others that the writers enjoy taking cheap shots at those beneath them. A good example one tends to hear are employers saying "my maid is stupid." If the maids are smart, they would not be maids at all. So what do you expect?

Anonymous said...

" If the maids are smart, they would not be maids at all. So what do you expect?"

see what our ecucation system product is?juvenile sheet tok.

Godwin said...

"In the first place, the reasons they are poor is most likely they had no or little schooling and likely low IQ."

Regardless - why should the tax-payers pay for their decision to have children when they can't provide a nurturing and supportive environment to them?

It's easy to blame gahment for this and that and say that the solution to poverty is to put more money into "helping the poor" - where is the place for personal responsibility? Don't forget that the money is your money and my money too - if you and Lucky feel so strongly about the issue, you can always use your own time and money to help - don't be so geenrous with tax money lah.

Anonymous said...

" If the maids are smart, they would not be maids at all. So what do you expect?"

If Ho Ching is being sold into prostitution at 6 years old, she would not be a president scholar no matter how smart she is.

Those idiots of PAP tries to brainwash Singaporean that one's material wealth is related to one's hard work

In fact, destiny and social factor account for 90% of one's wealth.

Many Singaporean are poor not because its necessary so, but because we are force into debt by PAP.

Anonymous said...

Another piece of crap.No wonder the elites are laughing to the banks.

Tian Shek said...

Today's kids appears to learn more than we do during our time but does it make them smarter or more productive when they are adults? That is the real test.

There seems to be lacking in evidence that cramming more things into their little brains as early as possible can make any significant differences to their future ability so far. All those test and results are superficial and hardly any use when we are dealing with real life problems or their future productivity in whatever they do. For example, is a future doctor that we produce much better than one today?

Sadly, this paper chase just gets worse and worse over the years. I do hope that the education ministry can realize this at some point and focus more on quality rather than quantity.

If primary school kids are expected to learn X amount of things. That might take 100 hours during our time to learn but with improved teaching methods, if we can shorten that to 50 hours. It should give kids more time for creativity. Today's system is simple try to squeeze 2X or 3X info into the kids in same amount of time!

If the expectations does not change, whether rich or poor, the stress level for everyone will just escalate. It's just crazy!

Tian Shek said...

Here's an article by the Author of the books Blink and Tipping Point. An interesting perspective into why some young geniuses don't make it big when they grow up and why some "stupid" kids end up among the greatest in history.


http://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/getArticle.cfm?id=2026

Anonymous said...

We need to send the parents back to pre school education so they can unlearn what they have taught.

Start with...

A for Arrogance
B for Bluff
C for Con

and D for Daft

Godwin said...

"If Ho Ching is being sold into prostitution at 6 years old, she would not be a president scholar no matter how smart she is."

Sure.

But just because she wasn't sold into prostitution, does that mean her becoming a president's scholar was not through her own abilities?

Or does that mean that any 6-year old girl not forced into prostitution will become a president's scholar?

"In fact, destiny and social factor account for 90% of one's wealth.

Many Singaporean are poor not because its necessary so, but because we are force into debt by PAP."

I'm interested to know where you got those facts and figures from.

Anonymous said...

Re Godwin 20/12/10 16:34

My father have US$10 billion. I sit at home never study, never work hard, never do anything.

Yet I am MD of big company. Many girls offer to let me piss into their ass saying that I am very handsome, but I know I am look worse than a swine.

I got a big fat Ross Royce and sleep with 1000 woman.

Now everyone say I am talent, though i keep on failing my school.

You think my good life destiny or due to hard work? Of course I believe many idiot PAP bootlicker will say hardwork just like many girls who lick my dick said the same thing.

Anonymous said...

That shows how little you understand the selfish side of human nature. Those who have more will want more. Those who have a headstart will want a bigger headstart.

This has been the way in past Asian civilisations and still is in the present.

Until the masses demand a more equitable distribution, you can be assured that they will have to work cheaper better and faster.

Anonymous said...

The government's message in giving incentives which only benefit the middle-class and above is: "don't have kids if you cannot afford it, only those who can afford it should have kids". It is really targeted at getting the middle-class and above to have babies.

However, the reality is, those who can afford it do not want to have babies, while those who can't afford it make plenty of babies which makes their situation worse.

Anonymous said...

We need to send the parents back to pre school education so they can unlearn what they have taught.

Start with...

A for Arrogance
B for Bluff
C for Con

and D for Daft


........ reading the quality of comments here, I think you are right

Anonymous said...

Err.. "if Ho Cheng is sold into prostitution" is a moot point. Does she even qualify? Who would pay for her looks?

Chappy said...

@Goodwin:
Since you're blaming poor people for having kids, should we blame parents for giving birth to kids with down-syndrome as well? How about giving them Cancer or Leukemia?

Ghost said...

To vonhayek.blogspot.com,
You made a point about parents sending their kids for tuition. That's make my point about parents wanting to give their kids an advantage. I used to work with a female colleague who send her kid to all kinds of tuition because the kid "only" scored above 80 in her tests. She wanted 90s.
Just because parents send their kids for tuition does no mean our education system is broken.

Anonymous said...

If all smart and high IQ people wld be rich, then a PHD holder don't hv to be a taxi driver.
Don't be brain-washed!
Don't be fooled and "daft".

It is usually those with high IQ, cunning, and greedy (& probably with low moral stading?) and some oppr that make them rich.

Pigs said...

E for erections...LoL

Godwin said...

"... should we blame parents for giving birth to kids with down-syndrome as well? How about giving them Cancer or Leukemia?"

I don't blame poor people for having kids, or parents for giving birth to kids with Down syndrome, cancer, leukaemia etc.

However, I don't think they have the right to demand that the state subsidises their expenses for their decision to have kids. No one wants to have kids with Down syndrome, cancer, leukaemia, autism, ADHD, etc, etc; but the fact is *any* kid may be born with those conditions, and when we make a decision to have kids, we take that risk. Is it fair to ask society as a whole to pay for that risk in the form of taxes?

Let me put the question back to you.

If a couple is poor and can hardly get by, should taxpayers subsidise their decision to have a kid whom they may not have the time and resources to care for?

If a woman is older than 40 years old and decides to have a kid despite the higher risk for having a kid with Down syndrome, should taxpayers subsidise her decision to have a kid who may need special care?

If a couple have a strong family history of childhood cancer, should... well, you get my drift.

It's easy to portray people as innocent victims of circumstances and say that the gahment should help, but not so easy when you see them as individuals who made decisions about their lives, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Re Annon 20/12/10 17:31
/////////////
If all smart and high IQ people wld be rich, then a PHD holder don't hv to be a taxi driver.
Don't be brain-washed!
Don't be fooled and "daft".

It is usually those with high IQ, cunning, and greedy (& probably with low moral stading?) and some oppr that make them rich.
/////////////

How can you think so highly about the rich? Behind every big wealth is a big crime. Many of our richest tycoon are scumbags and criminal all out to ripped us off with the help of corrupt government.

Example 1: How Ng teng fong's son involved in a major fraud. In the end the son walk free. Guess is the father involved?

http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=788&Itemid=256

Example 2: Khoo Tech puat involved in banking scam.

http://www.presidiopenthouse.com/tycoonvillage/goodwood.html

I would really like to write a book on our tycoon telling every Singapore that in fact, many of our elite should be lock up in jail.

Anonymous said...

www.presidiopenthouse.com/tycoonvillage/goodwood.html

The Khoo Tech Puat story is here.

Chappy said...

@Godwin:
Somehow that sounds like your life is decided the moment you are born.

If you are born poor and don't marry someone rich, you're condemned to never have kids because you cannot afford it.

If your family has history of cancer or other genetic disorders, you should never have kids too?

So we are encouraging rich couples to have kids and give them some benefits here and there, but punish the poor ones for trying to live their life to the fullest? And what makes you think that children from poor families don't deserve to live?

You're making very selfish comments about how people should live their lives, and that they are just pawns to you.

"If your poor and stupid, you don't deserve to have kids because should anything f*ck up, it's your bloody problem"

Also, if that's the case, why in the world should I even bother to pay taxes if it's not meant to help the citizens? If it's only to fill the coffers of the rich ministers, then I'd say we're no better than the Nazis.

Anonymous said...

Godwin, the dilemma now is, it is the state (acting on behalf of society?) that wants its citizens to re-produce more. And the state is giving out baby bonus in the form of cash, S$6,000? for every new born citizen, plus dollar for dollar match in CDA account to a certain limit.

In this context, should the state be partly responsible for enticing its citizens for re-producing more with cash when clearly the citizens are not in the mood. And obviously such cash will appeal to the poorer more than the wealthier.

I believe the contention here is the unfair starting line in Primary 1. Its either the state make it mandatory to teach ABC and counting in Primary 1 (and risk pissing the parents that gave their children a head start), or make kindergarten part of mandatory education to level the playing field.

Godwin said...

I did not say that certain groups of people *shouldn't* have kids - I am asking whether it is fair for people to demand that taxpayers subsidise the risks they decide to take in their personal life decisions.

By all means have all the kids you want! But why do you insist that we collectively pay for raising your kids through tax money?

"... if that's the case, why in the world should I even bother to pay taxes if it's not meant to help the citizens?"

There are many types of taxes and many justification for taxes. "Helping the poor" is only one of the justifications/reasons/excuses for taxation. I agree with taxation as a means for collective purchase (build roads and other infrastructure that are for common use), but I disagree with taxation to subsidise people for decisions and responsibilities which are their own to make and bear.

Godwin said...

"Godwin, the dilemma now is, it is the state (acting on behalf of society?) that wants its citizens to re-produce more."

I know. It reeks of socialism and is not a policy I support, but I shudder to think of what an "alternative" government will do to try to "level the playing field" given the fact that the "alternatives" sound more socialist than the present one.

The playing field is never going to be level. You try your best to be better than your competitors at work and business, and you try to achieve things in your life that will give your kids a headstart when they have to compete. A "level playing field" is just a cry by sore losers to try to hamstring you to make up for their own lack.

Anonymous said...

Re Godwin
"
... whether it is fair for people to demand that taxpayers subsidise the risks they decide to take in their personal life decisions.
"

What about asking those criminal rich tycoon to donate 80% of their wealth in exchange for a amnesty?

And what about 80% of wealth tax on banking tycoon and property tycoon? Their wealth belongs to us. What belongs to them is what have been ripped off from us.

People like Sim Wong Hoo can keep 100% of what he owns. He is our national hero.

I am not against rich, I am anti-criminals

chatsworth said...

ah ha, it seems stories my dad used to tell me is also made known to the man on the street, so now we know a bit about khoo teck phuat, ng teng fong. but these are my grandpa era stories.

what about someone in his 50s. his rags to riches stories while not that "james bond", is still an enjoyable one to know. A gigoloo and shameless all the way, suceeding through anothers man mistress and now is being hailed as singapore most astute investor, king of _ _ _ _ _ and all sorts of flattering names.

the truth is he was lucky to have the affection of a powerful man mistress and the connections the woman brought him made him a giant in his industry. In exchange, he is known throughout our world as a prideless man, a gigoloo, and a caretaker of other people mistress. up till this day, despite his billions, he cannot hold his head up despite divorcing the women who helped him made it in life.

My dad used to tell me why he buy up all his neighbours in his condo, so that he cannot hear anyone gossiping about him. LOL. sometimes, it is not how much you got, it should be how you got it. no amount of billions can cleanse that shameless past of him.

WHO IS HE??

Anonymous said...

Chappy, i think you misinterpreted Godwin.

i interpret Godwin as meaning that if you have a family medical history or if you are poor and yet still choose to have children, and even having many children, you need to be responsible for your own decisions.

i guess the debate here is how much should the state help, if at all. Would people be willing to pay more taxes to fund this? These are very real questions.

Chappy said...

@anon 18:24 + @Godwin

Ah... but is society even right to discriminate the unfortunate?

In an extreme case, that possibly means that I shouldn't be donating because you are responsible for your own decisions.

I understand what you and Godwin are coming from... But these are citizens of the country... And we are all considered children of the nation, or whatever fancy names they call us... Should be abandon them or treat them differently because they chose "poorly"?

Godwin said...

"Ah... but is society even right to discriminate the unfortunate?

Should be abandon them or treat them differently because they chose "poorly"?"

What?

I am not calling for discrimination of "the unfortunate" - it is the reverse: Lucky and his supporters are calling for society to treat "the unfortunate" differently, by taking our collective tax money to subsidise them instead of spending it on common goods.

"In an extreme case, that possibly means that I shouldn't be donating because you are responsible for your own decisions."

No. You can donate to individuals or to charities - I do - anyway you like as long as it is your own money. What I oppose is people calling for tax money to be used for such purposes.

Anonymous said...

Chappy, its all about balancing to me. If i'm consistently "punished" for helping a brother who consistently fails, i may in turn lose all my motivation. It can result in a vicious cycle. I have faced real-life situations where people around me consistently make silly decisions and seek help. First i spent hundreds to bailout the person, then it become thousands. Where does it end? i do have my own family to care for.

Godwin, it is definitely not a level playing field out there. However the state should not create loop-sided policies that aggravates it, and policies that contradicts itself. i'm personally disappointed with this generation of cabinet ministers for taking the easy shortcuts in crafting policies. While their ideology makes sense, their policy making and execution falls short of my expectations.

The PM sabo-ed his cabinet by raising their pay and trying to justify it. If i raise your pay and tell everybody that you are worth that much, expectations will be raised as well.

Anon 18:12+18:24

Anonymous said...

Re
"
If i'm consistently "punished" for helping a brother who consistently fails, i may in turn lose all my motivation
"

What if "I" am the criminal, who enriched myself by stealing, and robbing off my brother's entitlement?

This is what happened in Singapore. Who can name one tycoon except Sim Wong Hoo who make $ by industrial production?

In fact, 90% of Singapore tycoon got their wealth stealing from us either by property, or fractional reserve banking.

Many of them are even involved in fraud, scam and other other criminal activities. Now, these criminals walk free bragging that they are "elite" and "talent".

The miserable life of many Singaporeans are due to these criminals.

Chappy said...

I guess I'll stop here cos I think it's clear that I'm with Lucky on this. But anon nailed it on that one...

I think that we need the opposition to have more seats... Not for them to run the country, I think they're not ready yet. But at least to voice out should someone suggest something absurd, like raising GST = better for low-income.

Anonymous said...

Chappy, i'm definitely with you on having more ELECTED oppositions in the parliament to have the checks and balances!

Anon 18:12+18:24+19:41

Anonymous said...

The socall "pefr evaluatn", grading sys is just a way to control people and make them more obedience.
It in turn "created" some "cunning & greedy" people (side effects??)

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt in my mind that ordinary Singaporeans are by far the least educated amongst 1st World Nations. Nothing convinced me more than the debate and comments seen in this blog. The many useless digs at the poor, the low EQ of some and the lack of humanism.

In this day and age, there is an aimlessness and lack of direction as to where this society should be heading. The arguments for and against helping the poor and needy is akin to a storm in a teacup. No one has the thought that these children, whether rich or poor will be Singapore's future and will the generation that will bring the country forward. In a platoon competition, the winner of the race will be the one whose last runner crosses the finish line. In this analogy, all runners will assist those with poor stamina and laggards to ensure their last runner keep up with the rest. Similarly, the poor in the society should be given a helping hand to ensure their kids too has a good education, which ultimately will help the family.

There are those that are against this idea and wants some form of filter to make sure their monies goes only to the deserved ones and not those who are lazy and want to live on welfare. These are already in place for your information. Just as there are those who steal and enriched themselves in NKF and Red Cross, which is much worse than those considered as undeserving of assistance, the society cannot therefore expect some not to take advantage of the system.

Going to school is by no means a guarantee of an education, and in fact is also a prefect system. Education of an individual goes far beyond the classroom. Suffice to say that materialism and selfishness will only beget a society of greedy and unscrupulous individuals and we are coming close to that. Pity.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I meant to say:

"Going to school is by no means a guarantee of an education, and in fact is also a prefect system."

should be,

"Going to school is by no means a guarantee of receiving an education, and in fact is also not a perfect system."

Anonymous said...

The babies today are the ones who will pay the taxes in 20 years time to fund all the gov services that you will be enjoying when you're old and feeble. Of course they should be taken care of. The better educated they are the better Singapore will be 20 years later.

Anonymous said...

Anon 21:14

Other than saying all the obvious and making yourself look superior by putting down ALL the rest of the comments here, i fail to see what are you driving at.

Especially when you contradict yourself by first saying:

"Similarly, the poor in the society should be given a helping hand to ensure their kids too has a good education, which ultimately will help the family."

followed by:

"Going to school is by no means a guarantee of receiving an education, and in fact is also not a perfect system."

So should the state provide a helping hand to ensure the poor receive an education of an imperfect system?

Anon 18:12+18:24+19:41

Anonymous said...

To Godwin (a likely pap supporter), here are my simple answers:

If a couple is poor and can hardly get by, should taxpayers subsidise their decision to have a kid whom they may not have the time and resources to care for?

A: YES

If a woman is older than 40 years old and decides to have a kid despite the higher risk for having a kid with Down syndrome, should taxpayers subsidise her decision to have a kid who may need special care?

A: YES

If a couple have a strong family history of childhood cancer, should... well, you get my drift.

A: YES

A country exist to take care of its citizen (who in turn support the country by payig taxes). Only when it is run like a company will these questions be ignored because it boils down to dollars and cents and how to maximize profits and how to be rewarded with high salary in return for maximizing profits.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 22:30

If you cannot read between the lines and understand them, there is no point in elaborating other than to say being schooled is no guarantee that one gets educated. I don't see any contradiction so please clarify where the contradiction is. Anon 22:02 appears to echo my sentiments exactly. As far as I am concerned, those against the idea of helping fellow citizens, but never once mentioned that the rich too are getting the same if not more help from the government are shallow. The elites are using the system for their benefit, like scholarships, etc even though they can well afford it. There are no records available to the public, as to how many Ministers' and MPs' offsprings are getting free scholarships and they are already taking millions from public coffers. It appears what they are receiving annually is still not enough.

Anonymous said...

Godwin, you have got a flawed argument.

Collecting taxes to help the poor educate their young IS for the society's own good.

If the young from poor families are not educated properly, they may grow up to be delinquents. Yeah, delinquents who will exact real costs on the whole society, just like delinquent kids from rich families.

So you see, to appeal to any animal's survival instinct of yours, pls remember that it is more cost-effective to ensure universal education to even the poor, then to spend more tax dollars catching the delinquents and putting them through reformative training.

Vote Oppposition, Out PAP

Anonymous said...

Anon 04:18

You contradict yourself by first saying:

"Similarly, the poor in the society should be given a helping hand to ensure their kids too has a good education, which ultimately will help the family."

followed by:

"Going to school is by no means a guarantee of receiving an education, and in fact is also not a perfect system."

You said that attending our schools is by no means a guarantee of receiving a good education (which is also not a perfect system), yet the poor should be given a helping hand to ensure their kids too has a good education (by getting similar head start in kindergarten?).

First, you put down the entire education system, then you demand that the poor be assisted to enter this very imperfect system. Isn't this a contradiction?

"As far as I am concerned, those against the idea of helping fellow citizens, but never once mentioned that the rich too are getting the same if not more help from the government are shallow."

This above comment in itself is shallow. By saying that "I prefer tea", does not automatically mean that I do not like coffee.

I for one is not against the idea of helping fellow citizens. But it should not be without limits. The real debate is on how much help to the poor and in what form is the most effective and fair. And helping fellow citizens does not mean that I must attack the wealthy and the elite. they can be part of the solution, instead of the scapegoat that you are making out of them.

Anon 18:12+18:24+19:41+20:30

Anonymous said...

To Anon 18:12+18:24+19:41

"So should the state provide a helping hand to ensure the poor receive an education of an imperfect system?"

You went through the system and so do all Singaporeans. You do not agree the system is flawed? OK, whether flawed or otherwise, do any ordinary Singaporean have a choice, apart from some special citizens? Your question about the poor receiving an education (a better term should be schooling), similar to ordinary Singaporeans, therefore need not be answered.

Anonymous said...

Anon 09:37

You need to look at the context under which the question was asked. It was asked with reference to the contradiction found in another comment.

By dismissing my question without understanding its context is a show of arrogance. Arrogance does not help in having constructive debates.

I do not claim to have the perfect solution, nor claim that my views are absolutely correct. What i offer here are just comments to test the soundness of the views of the various commenters here.

Anon 18:12+18:24+19:41

Anonymous said...

Anon 18:12+18:24+19:41

"You need to look at the context under which the question was asked. It was asked with reference to the contradiction found in another comment."

Where, what contradiction?

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of the "rich" originally got rich via public funds via the PAP government..

Using others blood, sweat and sacrifices and yet so proud...

We see in the years ahead...when push comes to shove...those who are belittle and dispise would not raise a finger to help when help is really needed...why...because by that time they either do not care or have "move on"...

From many past historical precedents...societies and yes even empires [the long living roman empire is one] "fell" because they had a class of "way too many" un-productive "elite" parasites living off the systems and refusing to take only their share...they take and take...until society and empire fell..

greed for greed sake.

Oh well...at least their kids and grand kids will suffer for their sins i suppose in the end.

And these humans think they are "intelligent"...foolish at best...ignorant for ignorance sakes at worst.

Sad.

Anonymous said...

Anon 18:12+18:24+19:41+20:30

21/12/10 09:27

"You contradict yourself by first saying:

"Similarly, the poor in the society should be given a helping hand to ensure their kids too has a good education, which ultimately will help the family."

followed by:

"Going to school is by no means a guarantee of receiving an education, and in fact is also not a perfect system."

You said that attending our schools is by no means a guarantee of receiving a good education (which is also not a perfect system), yet the poor should be given a helping hand to ensure their kids too has a good education (by getting similar head start in kindergarten?).

First, you put down the entire education system, then you demand that the poor be assisted to enter this very imperfect system. Isn't this a contradiction?

"As far as I am concerned, those against the idea of helping fellow citizens, but never once mentioned that the rich too are getting the same if not more help from the government are shallow."

This above comment in itself is shallow. By saying that "I prefer tea", does not automatically mean that I do not like coffee.

I for one is not against the idea of helping fellow citizens. But it should not be without limits. The real debate is on how much help to the poor and in what form is the most effective and fair. And helping fellow citizens does not mean that I must attack the wealthy and the elite. they can be part of the solution, instead of the scapegoat that you are making out of them."

It appears you want to have it spelled out clearly to you. Firstly, attendance in school does not always result in a person getting a good education. It is a necessary part of a child's upbringing to have him attend school for as long as he is able to. Although this is the norm, some parents do not agree that going to school is good for their child and therefore they provide home tuition to their kids.

Providing the means for kids from poor families to reach their highest potential will be good for society. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee any child will receive a good education, whether they are from well-to-do families or from poor families. Whether perfect or otherwise, the school is the only source for kids to learn, and they do not have a choice.

Why the school system imperfect, has been acknowledged by many experts. The one-size-fits-all teaching methods may not be suitable for everyone. Anyone interested to know more can gleaned it off from other sources.

The very people who are taking advantage of the policies are turning a blind eye to the plight of the poor, which for you is perfectly ok. They are the problem and not part of the solution.

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

Re 21/12/10 16:06

"
I for one is not against the idea of helping fellow citizens. But it should not be without limits.
"

What about going the Finnish way? What about pre-school are paid by tax payer?

I wish to go further than that. Our MOE is a corrupt organization. A principal can draw S$230,000 a year, more disposable income than Ben Bernanke.

A HOD can draw 10,000 per month conducting just 8 hours of lesson a week.

Besides, there are plenty of managers in MOE HQ that holds appointments of manager, with few, or even without even a single subordinate. These is the result of a broken scholarship system.

PAP may shows us how much they have spent on education -- statistically, but in fact, a significant amount of these monies went to salary of these fat cat.

Our poor students receive not that much of the benefit as most would have imagined.

Meanwhile, the vermin civil servant cheers, tax payer get ripped off.

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

Its not that we do not have the monies to help the poor, our problem is legalized corruption by the whole civil service and politic class.

I have much sympathy for low ranking civil servant, as they did most of the field work.

The middle to higher civil servant are some of the most corrupt and greedy in the world.

5 MOE principal could have cost tax payer 1 million per year, not including many parasite in MOE HQ.

Anonymous said...

Wow a lot of angry peasant some even resort to curse and swear.
Oh well maybe this is how most local peasant behave.
anyway
who the **** care

Anonymous said...

Re

"
Wow a lot of angry peasant some even resort to curse and swear.
Oh well maybe this is how most local peasant behave.
"

Thank you for complimenting (or insulting) us. I think we are not that angry/(no guts) to show the elite the guillotine.

Back 1789, 1917, 1949, we saw "talent", "braghard" got slaugtered like pigs. And at least things happened on 1789 give us a better society, as the people got rid of the parasite.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!
S$10,000 per mth, or 150,000 per year. (Just 3 mth bonus per yr, not counting perf bonus). That is a lot of money.
Just add one mth perf bonus, how much will that be??
Is one mth perf consider good or bad perf? (B or C?)

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ said...

Fat cat Principal's pay in 2007. Guess how much are they paid today?

Many HOD just conduct 8hrs lesson per week.

http://www.asiaone.com/Business/News/Office/Story/A1Story20080103-43468.html

Goh Meng Seng said...

In HK, pre-school kindergarten is heavily subsidized by the government basically because Hong Kongers believe in giving each and everyone at least a fair equal start in life.

Anonymous said...

all the most successful businessmen in this world are not scholars. importance of education is oversold in sg. everyone just need a basic degree to start off. why make the attainment of it so difficult?

Anonymous said...

"Wow!!
S$10,000 per mth, or 150,000 per year. (Just 3 mth bonus per yr, not counting perf bonus). That is a lot of money.
Just add one mth perf bonus, how much will that be??
Is one mth perf consider good or bad perf? (B or C?)

21/12/10 18:21"

And many, many more earn between $5to $10K per month, and in other sectors too, eg stat boards, GLCs,etc and private companies doing business with them. And the families of these people.

Remember the government is a major player in the economy, providing good ricebowls to many people, directly and indirectly.

And still wondering where 66% PAP votes came from?

Anonymous said...

one cold truth. if a woman has a healthy son, he is immediately the property of sg and must do ns. if a woman has a sick son, he is the burden of the woman. papaya policy is selfish, cruel and inhuman.

Anonymous said...

To the nay sayers and to such people as Godwin and Anon 18:12+18:24+19:41+20:30, I will say, you are the guys that supported the PAP. NKF, public and private institutions, all that are there to help the poor and needy, have their hands in the till, enriching themselves on the pretext of charity. Yet you guys are bitching about the small amount needed to help some poor families to put their children through Kindergarten so as to have them get a good start in Primary. How much money are we talking about? Looking at the cost, it does not even exceed $1500 per annum at the most. How many millions are paid to educators, CDC's, NKF personnel and many many more? How many millions are paid for the education of Primary school kids? Yet for Kindergarten, parents are paying for their kids to attend. For the well-off parents, it is not so bad as they have grant that they can take advantage of, but the poor only has $3000 off the grants and no more as they cannot afford to fork out the rest, which is required in order to get the remainder of the grant. When the policy was mooted, were the needs of the poor well thought off, or some stupid civil servant thought the poor too can well afford to have savings.

Then the arguments that poor families should not have kids? Is this the mentality of a so-called well rounded educated person or the mindset of a PAP-trained mind? The kind that sneered at others that are not so intelligent or far-sighted. To them the poor should be removed from society and they can die for all they care. Only those that are better off should be respected and even their balls lick.

Anonymous said...

How to afford?
No wonder the prices keep on increasing!!??

Godwin said...

The good thing about these anti-PAP blogs is how the true colours of "oppo supporters" come through.

To their mind, everyone who is successful in life is corrupt and a parasite (with Sim Wong Hoo being an exception), and everyone who is not is a victim of PAP policies.

Their solution to all their problems is to get rid of the rich and take their wealth.

Take from the rich, give to the poor! - never mind how the rich got rich and how the poor got poor, the former are never rich because they had something of value to offer, and the latter are never poor through their own fault.

If this is the kind of mentality behind the "alternative" government, then I know which is the lesser evil I must vote for come the next GE.

If you think "1789, 1917 and 1949" ushered in socialist paradises where everyone who supported the new regimes were rewarded and happy, you need to read your history books again.

Anonymous said...

Re Godwin

"
never mind how the rich got rich and how the poor got poor, the former are never rich because they had something of value to offer, and the latter are never poor through their own fault....

If you think "1789, 1917 and 1949" ushered in socialist paradises where everyone who supported the new regimes were rewarded and happy, you need to read your history books again.
"

I want to re-iterate, if the rich here make it the same way as Bill Gate, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison...etc. I would hope that they got even richer, I would blame myself for the failure. These tycoons are giants that bring happiness to mankind.

But what if the rich got their wealth by being "Goldman Sachs"?

What if the rich got their monies because they collude in government by putting the people into 30 years of mortgage debt?

What if the rich got rich just because government ask tax payer to bail them out when their speculation failed?

What if the rich got their monies from criminal activities?

I can rightly come to conclusion that those monies Goldman Sachs made belong to the people.

Please read your history textbook properly. The French themselves consider 1789 today as a glorious victory against oppression. Although there are numerous blood-letting, I can conclude that the sacrifice are not in vain.

French are now free of enslavement.

About 1917 and 1949, its a great disaster. But we can put 90% of the blame of the old elite. If the old aristocrat of Russia and China has distributed their wealth to the people (just like what blue blood Rossevelt did ), they would have avoided the revolution.

Its because scumbag elite who disdain the peasants that eventually cause the revolution.

Godwin said...

Do the terms "Reign of Terror", and "The Great Leap Forward" mean anything to you?

Revolutions must be such good things, that the French decided to have two more to install the Second and Third Republics, and China decided to have a "Cultural" one, right?

"Although there are numerous blood-letting, I can conclude that the sacrifice are not in vain."

And what gives you the right to "conclude" whether the blood that was spilled (which were not yours, I am sure) was in vain or not?

Who are these "rich" whom you speak of? Do you have a list of who made their money honestly and who did not, or will all those who own above a certian amount of wealth be up against the wall come your glorious revolution?

Anonymous said...

Why is there not enough money to help the poor to get a fair start in their early education?

Instead,
there is so much money to pay high salary (more than $10000 per month) and
high bonus(13th month bonus + 2.5 months variable bonus)
to principals and vice principals.

Anonymous said...

Dear Godwin

Lucky is a millionaire.

Btw if u are trying to stir up pathetic sinkees into action... Good luck. Mr millionaire blogger is talk only. PAP will win the next election for lack of competition.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter black cat or white cat, if it catches mice it is a good cat. - The late Deng Xiao Ping.

So doesn't matter Bill Gates or Goldman Sachs, or char kway teow hawker, can make money is good.

Legally of course.

Anonymous said...

"""
香港人的收入比大陆人多。更不用说他们看病不要钱,读大学也可以免费,廉租房是真真切切地为低收入人群提供的……他们之所以喜欢来大陆购物,原因是大陆这边便宜。""

How noce, free medical, free education.
Their "low rental flat" is also trulely cater to the lower income group.

Anonymous said...

Silly singaporeans, complained so much but no action.

Anonymous said...

Interesting debate here.

Very enlightening perspectives:
I never saw that
"woman have healthy son, son becomes property of SG gov and NS; woman have unhealthy son, son is burden to society and woman deals with it."

" revolutions were the result of the wealthy not sharing their wealth with the poor"

" 66% of votes in favour of PAP because the Gov is the biggest player in the SG economy"

" Lucky is a millionaire"
( that is very interesting! )

And all this from the comment that education is to be provided to everyone( cost free or subsidised) at the start to ensure a level playing field in life!

So, who or which party should I vote?

I donch noe... maybe the HOD who seems very available since they teach only 8 hrs per week and is sufficiently paid too.

Its a dirty job, this politics.
In fact the only job which is the cleanest is the job our mothers' have.. bringing us up to who we are today.

unless your mother is the one placing the umbrella to 'chope' the queue for a place in the kindergarten.......helping the school so that you get a place..

Hmmmmm

Anonymous said...

i am sure before any great revolution, there was already alot of complaints on the ground. thus, complaints are not fruitless. its a way to ask the current regime to change for the better and kinder or else there will be bloodshed someday to come.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chatsworth,

So who is he? Can give some hints? Is he a Goh?

Anonymous said...

Bloodshed?
Amongst the triads maybe.
Another possibility, the armed forces ordered to shoot at their kins, kiths, neighbours(next door/next block) and fellow citizens.

Anonymous said...

http://vonhayek.blogspot.com/ claimed to be a teacher.

But, your English standard is a serious issue of concern.

Anonymous said...

Educations should be free for all citizens in the first place as long as they passed and are able to advance onto the next stage.

Anonymous said...

Talking about bloodshed, the probability is quite high. Wonder if the armed forces and police are prepared or at least anticipate for it's happening?
The probability could arises from a freak election result or when the people are unable to bear with the exploitation, manupulation, oppression and bullying anymore.
Will the peacekeepers and law enforcers stand on the side of the oppressed and justice or on the side of their paymaster?
UNIFORM MEMBERS SHOULD REASON WITH ONESELF NOW on what to do when activated for bloody duty. It is not too remote to happen!

Worst Singaporean said...

"To the nay sayers and to such people as Godwin and Anon 18:12+18:24+19:41+20:30, I will say, you are the guys that supported the PAP."

It frustrates me when people read my comments out of context, and any views that are not extremely anti-PAP or anti-wealthy are immediately branded as pro-PAP and pro-wealthy.

The world and the electorate are not just simply black and white. There are many grey areas in the political middle ground. I consider myself a centrist that tries to hold a neutral view of all parties in perspective.

I dare say that I'm part of the classic silent majority that holds the power to sway elections silently.

For the record, I voted in the past 2 GEs, and none of my votes went to PAP. Simply because i believe in checks and balance which is lacking in Singapore. I even considered joining an opposition party.

I do see a better chance for oppositions to win more votes, given the PAP's policy failures and fumbles of the past few years.

However, given the extremist responses here towards my centrist views, I begin to have 2nd thoughts about having alternative voices of such extreme views in the government, which might prove destructive instead of constructive to the nation.

Godwin (whom I do not know, and not related to) summarised my thoughts very well:

<"Their solution to all their problems is to get rid of the rich and take their wealth.

Take from the rich, give to the poor! - never mind how the rich got rich and how the poor got poor, the former are never rich because they had something of value to offer, and the latter are never poor through their own fault.

If this is the kind of mentality behind the "alternative" government, then I know which is the lesser evil I must vote for come the next GE.">

Anon 18:12+18:24+19:41+20:30
a.k.a "Worst Singaporean"

Anonymous said...

There is around 200 primary schools and 100 secondary schools in Singapore.

Assuming that there are a total of 700 Principals and VP, each having a mean salary of $150,000 a year, paying these parasite alone will cost tax payer a whopping $105 millions a year.

Assuming there are 30000 kids born to true blue Singaporean a year, these parasite salary alone will be enough to provide $3500 for every Singaporean kid for a 1 year pre-school.

MOE seems to invest a lot in education. Unfortunately, a good significant amount spent went to salary of fat cat instead of our students.

Worst Singaporean said...

http://www.mof.gov.sg/budget_2010/expenditure_overview/moe.html

The 2010 budget allocated to MOE was S$9.6 billion. To look at it with perspective, $105 million is just 1.1% of the budget.

I have many friends who are teachers, some made it to HOD, but I never had the impression that HODs are making as much as 10k per month. VPs and Ps maybe.

Having said that, while we complain about our education system, here's what the Americans are facing, and how they envy us: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/opinion/21friedman.html?ref=thomaslfriedman

I would rather pay our teachers well than to under-pay them. Of course our system sucks for our teachers. My teacher friends all complains about the system, but none of them complain about being under-paid...

Anonymous said...

The high cost is unsustainable.
Then many are unhappy, or even hv ill feeling abt the sys.
Is it intentionally or unintentionally?

Anonymous said...

If it gets too expensive, I believe the education will shift to the internet and it is free!!! Blogs like this have enriched my life. Well done!!!

Anonymous said...

Re Worst Singaporean

http://app.sgdi.gov.sg/listing.asp?agency_subtype=dept&agency_id=0000008305

Above is MOE website to show you how many "Senior Head" officers in just one small section.

I know some of these senior heads which which got their position just 3 years after school posting from my MOE contacts.

How many subordinate under their command? I dont know. How high they draw as a "senior head"? I dont know, but I believe should be way higher than a "executive".

There are so many heads, director..etc in MOE that I wondered how much it cost to the tax payer.

Anonymous said...

Re Worst Singaporean

"
The 2010 budget allocated to MOE was S$9.6 billion
"

Great, Since MOE has so much money, what about allocating 200 million to fund pre-school?

I have idea. Since many poor people cannot afford pre-school, why not make those HODs, P, VP and those fat cat in MOE contribute to "education tax" amount to 40% of their income.

Since they have worked and sacrifice" so much for education, they should be in pain when they see so many poor kids depriving of opportunities.

And also it would be in the good for MOE fat cat that that they will "take over" a adequately educated kids once the children graduated from kindergarten.

Godwin said...

Ironic, isn't it, Worst Singaporean?

They think education is important, but don't want educators to be paid well.

They don't want to be educators, they don't want to give to the poor themselves, but are otherwise ever so passionate about education for poor kids!

They want the money that go to the salaries of educators to go to the children instead...

"MOE seems to invest a lot in education. Unfortunately, a good significant amount spent went to salary of fat cat instead of our students."

... so what is that "$3500 for every Singaporean kid for a 1 year pre-school" supposed to do? Go to "fat cat educators"?

These comments once again reinforce my view that the anti-gahment people don't think through their positions - it's just "take from the rich, give to the poor" regardless of the issue at hand.

No doubt when their wish comes true, and poor kids get a good education and become rich, these now-rich ex-poor-kids will become the object of their ire!

For record I too did not vote for PAP in the two elections I voted in, but reading blogs and websites like this one have convinced me I must prevent an "alternative" party that rises to power backed by these people to form the government.

Anonymous said...

To Godwin said on 22/12/10 22:40,

There are just too many so called "management positions" in the schools this day. There are multiple vice principals, multiple HODs, multiple subject heads, deputy subject heads, multiple level heads, deputy level heads, discipline heads, deputy discipline heads, admin managers, deputy admin managers, operation managers, deputy operation managers, and many other roles that could not be understood in a school.

These "management positions" are supported by multiple layers of reporting lines and commands. With this, a whole culture of bureaucracy is ingrained into the school system. No wonder in this system, the emphasis is on the roles the teacher takes, rather than on the teaching tasks the teacher should focus on.

To support the multiple roles, these peoples have to be paid big salary and big bonus.

Worst Singaporean said...

Anon 19:49

Thanks for sharing the link. After browsing through the org structure, I get the feeling that "Senior Head" is probably around HOD level.

Sometimes titles can be misleading. I for one holds a "Manager" title in the private sector with no subordinates, but with management responsibilities. Similarly, I imagine that a "Senior Head" of a policy section in the Higher Education Division to be responsible for the review and enforcement of a specific set of policies, such as policies around Entry Criteria, School Fees, Graduation Criteria, Requirement of Lecturers/Tutors, etc. Given such a job scope, you wouldn't want someone too junior to handle it, but yet the workload may not justify having help from junior subordinates. I'm just making wild guesses here since there are no details on the website.

Without more insight, its difficult to ascertain whether its excessive or necessary to have all these roles.

Worst Singaporean said...

Anon 00:31

I agree with you that the organisation structure within schools are way too complicated, which is distracting teachers from their core duty of teaching. Teachers are appraised not only on their teaching abilities, but also on the misc roles that they take up.

Personally I see the current Education Minister doing a lousy job. He fumbled with the Chinese language policy, and the PM had to come out to clarify things and clean up his mess... but unfortunately I think he will probably continue to stay in the cabinet instead of being demoted... many people don't realise that there are probably also internal politics and power struggles within the ruling party.

chatsworth said...

Not a Goh... i thought my hints was a dead giveaway. come on, you can do better than that....one more hint...he live in the orchard area

Worst Singaporean said...

Godwin

I still lean towards having more oppositions, hopefully those candidates of good quality from parties with sound policies to provide more checks and balances.

My perception of the ruling party is that they have grown complacent, way too elitist, arrogant, and lost touch with the ground.

The old guards while being elites were very close to the ground. They understood issues at the ground level and did the necessary tough job to fix things. The same cannot be said of the current government. I'm not holding my breathe that the ruling party will be able to fix its own internal problems quickly, unless they suffer a certain degree of setbacks in the next GE. Its only through competition that the ruling party will be motivated to focus on serving the electorate.

I can only hope that the naive extremists here do not represent the real opposition parties.

Anonymous said...

Re
"
I get the feeling that "Senior Head" is probably around HOD level.
"

I got from my contacts in MOE that several of these "Senior Head" are just scholar who got there after around 3 years in the school.

I want to highlight the problems of our "scholarship system" here. First PAP must make sure scholar is well paid, to maintain its prestige and awe on the population, also to make sure it will keep enticing A level students to apply for scholarship... (and many other sinister reasons)

Unfortunately, the deluge of scholarship over the years causes the inflation of management position and salary. What the hell these "talent" are actually doing in their job? Who pays it? you go and guess.

Every years, hundreds of scholarships are awarded for people to go fancy western universities getting fancy degrees-- while they can get the same academic content studying a bachelor degree in local uni.

Can all these monies go to "poor"? Oops, I am stopping here now, someone else someone will accuse me of rich envy and advocating "take from rich".

Anonymous said...

Someone ask the convicted Al Capone whether he regret his crime?

Capone told them, if he is to do it again, he will "legalize it".

Singapore government is one step further. They do not corrupt, they legalize it.

Anonymous said...

Costs going up & up.
Medisave increase every year.
Ask yourself, how much Medicsafe mini sum hv been increased over the past 5 years? Over past 10 years?

Godwin said...

"... hopefully those candidates of good quality from parties with sound policies to provide more checks and balances.

I can only hope that the naive extremists here do not represent the real opposition parties."

I looked at the oppo parties' websites and unfortunately they seem to echo the same sentiments here: tax the rich more, give more to the poor. None of them seem to have a sound economic plan as to how Singaporean businesses can continue to make money in the global economy. It is as though they just assume that the rich will just continue to make money, and their government and "the poor" can just tax the rich. The cynical part of me wonders who really stand to profit from the poor...

Anonymous said...

Re Godwin

"None of them seem to have a sound economic plan as to how Singaporean businesses can continue to make money in the global economy"

PAP does have a "good policy" as I will list below.

1) FT policies.
2) open gambling dens.
3) Open whore house in Geylang.
4) money laundering for criminals, murderers and scumbags.

http://nepalmuku.instablogs.com/entry/nepals-ex-prince-paras-in-fake-currency-smuggling/

5) ponzi HDB and land sales
6) Ponzi CPF
7) Blow up our savings by GLC and Temasek run by loser Ho Ching, LKY, Tony Tan, Ng kok Sing, Goh Yong Siang....etc
8) Hollow out our industrial production to China
9) privatize hospital so that peasants "can die cannot sick"
10) Let the corrupt banks (u know who) take over our POSB and Keppel bank

Let me tell you, the Nazi Germany has even a sounder economics policies if we look at 1933-1939.

Anonymous said...

U always hv the same argument, and u always win the arguments.
U may win all the arguments, but people are now immune to them.
People are now "dumb" and "deaf" to yr arguments.
So u will continue to win all yr arguments but.....u may still lose yr war...

Anonymous said...

The arguments can go on and on. Worse than grandmother, grandfather "loli loso".(repetitive and longwinded).

But PAP will still win the elections with at least 2/3 majority. Then they will continue pass rules and policies that you all will still argue and argue.

Like that where got end? Unless for fun lah.

Anonymous said...

They will always win;;;
not to worry, even the sky collapse they will also win;
so more & more people must do the opposite;
so that ===>
at least there is some checks & balances.

Anonymous said...

With the low wage structure for 2nd language teachers, MOE cannot get good ones as many are paid higher elsewhere. As such, there are many 2nd language teachers teaching Mandarin but cannot speak English. Yet the hierarchy within the organisation itself pay themselves well with many months bonuses for a job well done. The stingy nanny mindset has got to go.

A few questions to those who has made many contributions to this thread:

1. You would not hesitate to send your kids to nursery and kindergarten because you can afford it. So does all those people who set the rules and regulations in the government. Why?

If the response is because in this present age, without having gone through these stages, kids are ill-prepared for Primary One. Apart from the interaction amongst the cohorts which teaches them how to behave socially, they learn the ABCs and 123s.

If it is important for their children, is it not also important for other kids too? Then why set the target of having practically free education beginning at Primary One and not K1 and K2?

Anonymous said...

"Their solution to all their problems is to get rid of the rich and take their wealth."

Wow Robin Hood and his merry man style uh...
LOL only a crook will follow Robin Hood style. In the end no matter how much money the poor receive, they will either in the same situation or gets poorer than ever before while at the same time the rich get richer.

Most comment I see over here is nothing more than bunch of socialist scum ideology.

Anonymous said...

I send my kids to a $400 a term (versus $1000 a month) kindergarten not because I can't afford it but because I think it's better that they are not in such a 'entitled' environment at such a young age. The school does a great job teaching the ABCs and 123s. In fact they said that those kids from expensive kindergartens have the most problems adjusting to Primary one because they did so much 'hands on' and 'untraditional' learning. So by the time they hit Primary one, they have problems sitting down and looking at the board for hours. The 'cheaper' kindergartens are not so bad.

Worst Singaporean said...

"If it is important for their children, is it not also important for other kids too? Then why set the target of having practically free education beginning at Primary One and not K1 and K2?"

Putting on my imaginary "policy maker" hat, i see a few obstacles to overcome to make K1 and K2 mandatory education:

a) The need to establish a common syllabus. The various pre-schools at the moment have very different teaching approaches and ideologies. Each having different emphasis.

b) Number of qualified teachers. The need to establish a pool of teachers who are qualified to cover the common syllabus. From what i know, there is currently already a shortage of qualified pre-school teachers with the necessary diploma. This is an issue that money alone can solve.

c) Policy dilemma. At present, majority (>80%?) of parents are already paying anywhere between $200 to $1500 per month (after subsidy) for either kindergarten or child-care services. Is there a strong reason for the government to disrupt the status quo and at the same time spend more tax dollars here where the middle class and rich will receive an even bigger portion of the additional subsidy than the poor?

While many of the people here ask for free pre-school education for the poor, they fail to understand that in the end to maintain fairness to all citizens, the middle class and the wealthy will in fact receive even more subsidies than present. And the wolves here will cry foul again.

My personal view is that the government should provide free pre-school at designated kindergartens such as NTUC Childcare etc for families with income less than $X. It is not a perfect solution, but it is targeted help that does not cost a lot, and can be quickly implemented.

Anonymous said...

@Worst Singaporean

"b) Number of qualified teachers. The need to establish a pool of teachers who are qualified to cover the common syllabus. From what i know, there is currently already a shortage of qualified pre-school teachers with the necessary diploma. This is an issue that money alone can solve."

So the conclusion would be, we have another boo boo, authorities "caught by surprise" situation. Those who are overlooking Singaporean kids had not foreseen there will be a shortage in line with the welcoming in of our new citizens and PRs. Preparing for a large increase in population, requires good planning, so the conclusion is, the failed in this respect by not having more personnel trained as pre-primary educators and care-givers.

"My personal view is that the government should provide free pre-school at designated kindergartens such as NTUC Childcare etc for families with income less than $X. It is not a perfect solution, but it is targeted help that does not cost a lot, and can be quickly implemented."

You advocate putting all poor families together in the same schools and classes. Is that not a good idea?

Worst Singaporean said...

Anon 24/12/10 13:27

I do agree with Lucky Tan that this government failed to plan and prepare for lots of the downstream effects of surge in population.

"You advocate putting all poor families together in the same schools and classes. Is that not a good idea?"

It is not a good idea, but its better than nothing. The fact is that the wealthy and those determined to differentiate their kids can always opt for something more by paying more for schools with better teacher-student ratio, better facilities, better materials.

So my view is that the government should at least provide the no-frills pre-school, and let those who want more go pay more.

My ideology would be for free well-funded quality public education from K1 to "O" levels. People should be free to opt for private education or even home-school, but if the public education is executed well, few people will have reasons to opt out of the free public system.

Anonymous said...

A free education from Pre-School to A-Level or Poly are essential to all children in Singapore!

JUN said...

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