Revised Social Studies Syllabus: More Brainwashing than Critical Thinking?
The MOE has revised the upper secondary social studies syllabus with the proclaimed objective of promoting "active citizenship and critical thinking".
Part of the updated content include a case study of the Little India Riot in 2013.
As the account conjured up by MOE goes, within minutes of the outbreak of the riot, the police was informed and the Civil Defence Force was activated. Subsequently, Special Ops Command was deployed and the crowd dispersed.
The authorities' swift action, according to MOE, shows the importance the PAP Government places on maintaining internal order in Singapore.
Anyone who has followed the COI in the aftermath of the riot would have noticed that a large chunk of the events is missing in MOE's account.
This chain of events revolves around how the initial police response team had failed to act resolutely when it arrived at the scene despite threats among the onlookers to kill the timekeeper whom they blamed for causing the death of their fellow countrymen.
Their lack of action emboldened the crowd causing it to spiral out of control with the scene of some of the officers fleeing the scene an indictment of the deficiencies of the Home Team.
25 emergency vehicles damaged, 5 set on fire, 39 police, four civil defence and auxiliary officers injured.
The above glaring gap in MOE's account begs the questions: is it more interested in brainwashing than encouraging active citizenry and critical thinking?
If it is sincere about promoting critical thinking, shouldn't it lay out all the facts and let students question and think about what went wrong?
This first appeared as a post on the Facebook wall of The Alternative View on 7 January 2016. Do join in the discussion over there if you have thoughts to share.
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