Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lui tio kan! LOL

One of the most cannot-make-it ministers in SG (IMO hehe) recently defended a school principal. The principal had harshly told her Sec 5 students that they might as well apply for ITE becos they can't make it to Poly or something like that. Seems like parents and students are not taking the principal's remarks too well and so dear Rear Admirer (pun intended) Lui who is MOE minister stepped in.

Apparently Lui told the press that the people should pay attention to the principal's message and not her tone. So i started thinking, what if some one go tell Lui off? Will he be able to pay attention to the message and not the tone? Can he practice what he preach? For example i think he cannot make it as a minister bcos someone like him who spends his whole career in the assfucked SAF has zero private sector experience and only got into politics "through the backdoor". What's my message?

Anyway some one shoot him liao, will he get the message? LOL

Jan 19, 2008
Principal's tone to Sec 5 students plainly wrong

I REFER to the article, 'Principal's ITE advice 'had to be delivered'' (ST, Jan 17).

I cannot believe Minister of State for Education Lui Tuck Yew expects students, parents and the concerned public to 'separate the 'tone' from the 'substance' of the message'. He states the obvious that students 'need to be told that if you don't work hard, you won't make it'. He has missed the issue completely.

No one is suggesting hiding the fact that 40 per cent of Sec 5 students will not do well enough in their O levels to qualify for the polytechnic. We all agree that this message 'had to be delivered'.

The issue at hand is all about the tone. The tone of the principal in question reflects her true intention when communicating this message to her students. Did she intend to encourage her students to work hard? Judging from the effect she had on the majority of the students, it is extremely difficult to believe that she 'meant well'. Her students were discouraged and went away with battered self-confidence. Parents had to do 'damage control'.

By downplaying on the 'tone', Rear-Admiral (NS) Lui adds salt to the wound. While he shared that educators can 'calibrate', 'soften' and 'improve' on the message delivery, he fell short of acknowledging that this principal's tone was plainly and simply wrong because the effect it had on her students was far from nurturing.

Perhaps the principal indeed 'meant well' but somehow her tone was misinterpreted. Being able to communicate effectively so that both the message and intention are clearly understood is paramount for educators.

Lastly, Rear-Admiral (NS) Lui shared that he had 'interacted with enough educators' to know that they 'are far more ambitious for their students than they are for their career advancement'. This is a sweeping statement. No one will commit career suicide by appearing otherwise when interacting with their boss.

I would suggest to the minister to conduct an independent anonymous survey among teachers to check ground sentiments as to whether the school ranking system is working against the Ministry of Education's mission of nurturing our youth.

It has happened in the past when schools had students drop difficult subjects, in an apparent attempt to improve their rankings.

Lawrenz Sim Chee Choon

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