A teacher told my son to go to ITE instead of completing his 'O' Levels


My son talked to me yesterday evening about what happened on his first day of school for the year and what he told me really worries me about the quality of teachers in our schools now.

That day, the discipline master in charge of upper secondary level students for Shu Qun Secondary School picked a handful of students to talk to. Instead of encouraging the selected group of students to work harder for their 'O' Levels, he discouraged them by suggesting other alternatives (eg. ITE or private 'O' Levels) for them to continue their studies. He told this group of students that they actually don't qualify for promotion to Secondary 5. Now, what is the point of saying this when they worked really hard for their 'N' levels and were already promoted. He told them that they will be kicked out of school if their personal conduct aren't good as they had already completed their mandatory 10 years of education and this is just an extra year for them; as such they should seek another course to pursue their studies.

I am very curious about teachers nowadays. They do not seem to have the passion to teach anymore. Teachers in my generation were all so motherly and caring. They cared about our future and always encouraged us to study no matter how bad we fared. Did the standards of educators MOE subscribe to dropped so drastically over the years?

Also, are teachers allowed to sign a private contract (T&C) with students? Because that particular discipline master also mentioned that and told the group of students not to disclose this matter to anyone else.

I am very concerned with the above issues as the education system in Singapore affects the younger generation and will to a significant extent change the outlook of our society and cultures in future.

A very sad thing to say, my son went to school happily, but was discouraged and felt so down and quiet at home. I fear the year ahead will be unpleasantly tough as he will always be bothered/reminded by this and feel that he is rather redundant in school. Not all students will tell their parents what had happened in school, hence my sharing here.

This was reproduced with permission from editors of The Real Singapore.


Big class, small class or one-to-one?

Adjunct teacher explains why kids need tuition in Singapore

Diploma and ITE graduates: One race to the top