Thursday 20 March 2014

Bridging the education gap by JunTian

Summary: Like most parents, dad Vincent Chia wants to help his son Josiah, 11, when he struggles with his mathematics homework. The problem is, however, education have changed a lot since nearly 40 years ago. Pupils in primary schools solve maths problems these days by the models method. Still, as the well-meaning Mr Chia, 46, says: “I can’t help but use the method I learnt”. His boy is in Yew Tee Primary School. While parents want to help, for teachers it is a hindrance. “It just confuses the pupils,” says Ms Elaine Tan, 42, a teacher at Xinmin Primary School, who has had to ask parents not to step in and teach their kids algebra., Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, call this a 40-year conceptual and communication gap. Parents such as Mr Chia are in the dark, disconnected from their own children’s learning, as Singapore’s education system switches from training exam-smart children to preparing today’s youth for an uncertain world in which critical thinking and problem-solving are prized.

Opinion: I feel that it is a good thing that the education system in Singapore is changing from being exam-based to training students to be prepared for their future as an adult and for their careers. I feel that this is what education should really be instead of just learning some things that you might hardly use in the future. However, this have caused an "education gap" between parents, teachers and students. While teachers try to bring in new teaching methods, parents might still prefer their own traditional methods. Parents may also be too obsessive with the grades of children, and feel that lessons like moral education is a waste of time. However, these are the lessons that are really important for students.

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