RJ Confessions: Two contrasting views on ITE graduates

2013 will probably go down in Singapore social media history as the year of confessions, where everyone scrambled to put their thoughts on the table protected by the veil of anonymity. On the Raffles Junior College Confessions page, two souls (clearly with a lot bottled up within them) offer their possibly honest, unblemished opinions on students who study in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE):

Confession #1

" To the topic about ITE students, I would like to give my two cents on this issue.

Just face it man, the average RI student IS going to do better than ITE students. I believe that people should stop running away from the truth. FACE IT.

If you have more education, you definitely have a higher chance of being successful. It does not matter whether some ITE students do very well. Undeniably, there will be exceptions to the norm. However, the few cases does not prove anything. They may be late-shiners, or they may just be given a chance to which they grasped well. They may also have other talents which brought them where they are, and some put in enough hard work and reached where they deserve.

But the fact remains that in current society, education is of utmost reason. There is a reason people study in current society. Who goes to school willingly, and loves going to school, going to tuition, forking up tons of money for tuition, spending all his time studying? No one! But then, why do people still study? Well, its because studying gives you better prospects, the better you do well in school, the higher people in society regard you, the more pay you get, and you are more successful in life. (refer to appendix 1). In current society, education is everything, it is the safest route to success. Sure, there are many routes to success, but education is just the safest, it grants a higher chance of success if you study well, and it is the least talent-based, (refer to appendix 2). Because of this, most people are driven to study hard to have better futures.

I think that whatever he said was true (Admin note: I guess he was concurring with someone else who wrote earlier on the confessions page, though we were unable to trace it accurately to the source) disregarding the tone and language he said it in. People should stop living in their fantasy world and face the truth: you definitely get better prospects in life if you study better. Period. (appendix 1)


1. People may flame this post as overgeneralizing, but all views expressed are in terms of the general trend, disregarding some exceptions that are anomalies to the current situation.

2. Education is the least talent-based because it is mainly the amount of effort you wish to put in. Sure, there are some people who just cant study or have problems studying, however they work, they still do not do well. In that case, it might be a problem with their studying technique, or other factors, and I will not dwelve on this topic. But education is clearly more reliable then the arts, for example as that may require some form of talent and most parents think so also."

Confession #2

" I'm the first one in my whole family to enter a JC through JAE. It was something very honorable for my whole family as I was the the source of hope for those younger than me as it was possible to enter JC, even Raffles.

My cousins were from ITE/Poly/Normal-acad/Normal-Tech. Some even failed their O levels and did not further their studies. My cousins are what Singapore society will label as 'The Hopeless'. I bet some of our schoolmates will feel the same. This is the stereotype most people has. I don't disagree with you. Some are, but not all. Some of our schoolmates are too, just that the stereotype of Rafflesians is 'The Elite' so they are overlooked by the public. Everyone, regardless of their academic background, has equal chance to fall in the category 'The Hopeless'. It is just how our society is shaped to label people according to their academic achievements, ever since the child enters the education system. This is the only 'reliable' yardstick most people uses to compare with each other.

I want to ask a question. Did anyone ever think about the cause of those who cannot excel academically? Other than medical reasons, are there other reasons for it? My answer is definitely yes. Family background plays a major part. Before some people start to bash me for being elitist and tell me other students coming from humble background can enter RI too, so what etc. My parents stopped schooling after secondary level. I don't know a word of English until I went to school. I managed to squeeze into RI, after being humiliated by my English teachers ever since young and finally graduated from secondary school with an A1 in English. Yes, it's possible, but it is very tough. Some children with similar background as mine may just give up after failing to understand what the teacher is saying. This will eventually lead them to lose the confidence to study. Not everyone is as fortunate as most of the students in RI, with parents graduating from university, some even have are PHD holders, doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other prestigious jobs. Hence, please show more understanding to them.

Some people may say, so after all these explanations and irrelevant points, what exactly is my point. My ultimate point is, they are not useless or dumb, they are just a piece of unpolished jade, well hidden in a rock. They can be smarter than you but they just don't have the chance to utilise their intelligence. Therefore, before looking down at them, sympathising them, we should just treat them like just any other schoolmates. We are all humans and are all born equal. There is no reason for us to treat someone differently.

Thank you."

To end it, here's quoting one compassionate (again anonymous) individual reminding us humility and acknowledgement of one's faults are qualities that make us human:

"I just want to give a hug to everyone who's hurting right now. I just hate seeing people sad because I know how it's like to be so tormented. I'm not perfect and I've definitely hurt people in my life before whether intentionally or unintentionally and I'm really sorry and I want to take all this horrible unhappiness away and toss it out of the world."

Carefully harvested by the Czar (Site Founder)

Dated 13 May 2013


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