Wednesday, December 14, 2005


This letter to the editor in today's newspaper gives a different perspective on the difference between the "elite" and "neighbourhood" schools locally. I have heard of similar views from a friend of mine whose child goes to one of these "elite" schools.

I had been grousing to her about my dissatisfaction with the education that my kids were getting in the local system, and had thought that perhaps, it was because they weren't in one of the "elite" schools that the quality was lacking. She then replied that the only difference between these schools & a neighbourhood school was that most of the kids in the elite had the resources available to them to go for extra tutoring & "enrichment" courses; hence they managed to get better grades in their exams.

It was certainly an eye-opener for me that the education system has changed so much from the time that we were in school till the present time. Come to think of it, I remember getting a phone call from my son's Chinese teacher when he was in Pr 1, asking if he had anyone tutoring him in Chinese. At the time, being newly from the US, I had naively thought that putting a 6 year old child through extra classes outside of school was ridiculous, so had resisted doing so. The teacher had been shocked when I said no, & insisted that I should engage a tutor for him, as it was not possible for her to bring his grasp of the language to the acceptable standard without outside help.

Which brings me to the next question: if the teachers themselves think that they are unable to teach a child adequately & requests for the child to get extra tutoring, and if schools ROUTINELY schedule remedial/supplementary classes in addition to the normal school hours, does that not mean that something is not right with the system???

And another thing...I wonder why these "elite schools" tend to be grouped in districts where the affluent live? I know of at least 3 "neighbourhood" schools which have been displaced from their previous locations within these affluent districts (they still maintain their original names a couple of which were taken from the street names where they were located), & their sites taken over by the "elite" schools. Another form of social engineering, hmmm?


*//vanessa//* said...

RIGHT ON! and now, they've got another excuse... that stupid, nonsenscical "learn to learn" thing they adopted from LHL's speech. which basically takes away what they weere emplayed to do in the first place.

aliendoc said...

Well, let's hope that after all these comments & discussions in the news, MOE will do something about it. :)

jay said...

actually you can't really blame the teachers. my sister's a teacher and she very stressed out because of the changes a certain person has been recently implementing. every yr they introduce something new, and as teachers they have limited resources to handle discipline, cca, curriculum etc, on top of lots of admin work teachers previously never had to deal with.

it's an entirely top to bottom thing. no one on top gives a hoot what the teachers have to manage, and i can only say that it's the students who will suffer most, because they have to learn and take the exams, not the teachers.

as for elite schools, i was from one myself, and i can say that elite schools attract good teachers who spurred me on to achieve what i have achieved so far. the environment was also essential - cutthroat, intense and a true reflection of life in the corporate world. that's why they're good, cuz they give you experiences other schools will never be able to.