Not Every School is a Good School

By UncomfortablePrawn

I honestly don't think that every school is a good school - and I'm sure many will agree. But I'd like to raise the idea that it may not actually be a failing of our students, but rather with the education system itself?

I've noticed that there is a significant difference between teachers in "elite" schools and teachers in "normal" schools. Recently, I've been helping out a younger friend of mine with her homework in Secondary 3 (she's in a "normal" school). What I realised was that some of her teachers were not only being unclear in their teaching, worse still they were actually outright imparting concepts wrongly. And this was some really, really basic Physics stuff for 'O' Levels mind you. I don't expect every teacher to be perfect and absolutely correct all the time - my classes in secondary school have definitely pointed out mistakes made by our teachers on a few occasions. However when you can't even get the basic concepts correct as a teacher, there's something severely wrong here.

So perhaps the answer to the quality of education isn't to keep blaming the social divides that segregate schools, but rather to create a more homogenous quality of teaching? Even in an elite school, I've heard stories from so many of my teachers saying they took up teaching scholarships as a last resort because their 'A' Level results were too shitty to enrol into a decent university course.

Another criticism of the education system is the social divide between elite schools and normal schools. I heard about a recent study that was done showing that elite school kids don't have many normal school friends, and vice versa.

I was like, no f**king shit? How would you expect meaningful friendships to be forged between students of different schools when there aren't any opportunities to even do so in the very first place? In my four years of education in an "elite" school, I never encountered a programme that gave me a genuine chance to interact with those from other institutions. Of my friends who took part in such programmes (MUNs and stuff), the 90% of the other participating folks were pretty much from elite schools too. And let's face it, with Singapore's culture where taking the initiative to engage others is frowned upon, hardly anyone is going to actively talk to someone from a different school for the sole purpose of "making friends" on the street, if they were complete strangers in the first place. Without any opportunities (like a nationwide camp - too ambitious?) for interaction between schools, the social gap between normal and elite schools is gonna be much harder to close.

This first appeared as a response on Reddit Singapore. Do join in the discussion over there if you have thoughts to share.


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