Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Caste system in education?

Recently I've been hearing a lot of talk just by sitting at the coffeeshop eating my meal. Common topic of the day? The hawkers were lamenting that whatever that is being taught to their children is so advanced that even they have problems understanding it. Since then, I've been finding out more about this and even my colleagues have reservations about the current education system. What's the problem? It seems that there are certain questions being asked to a Primary 1 kid that even a grown adult with a degree couldn't answer.

Seriously... I remember my childhood and I do remember doing homework at home. However, I do not recall having a question that even my parents couldn't answer, and my parents are not very highly educated. How has the education evolved to its current state? I've seen some questions in the forums and seriously, since when did education become a place where they test your IQ? Some of the questions are obviously IQ questions. Subjects like maths test your command in english more than your command in maths.

To top it off, recently I heard that teachers have been giving homework to the parents so that they could teach their kids. This is to me, the icing on the cake. Regardless of the workload that is given to the current teachers, giving homework to the parents to teach their kids shows only 1 thing. Either the syllabus need a very serious review or the teacher is in need of a performance review. May I ask what's the use of going to school? If this is the case, the school might as well just give me a list of textbooks for that syllabus and I'll teach my kid myself.

Bring it back to the real world. This is equivalent to you telling your customer to do the work that you're suppose to do. Try to do that in your work and you'll  get a complaint letter directly to your boss, or even to your CEO depending on who is your customer.

When I heard of this case, immediately one word came to my mind. Caste. Definition of caste? I found one that describes the current education system I'm hearing.
Caste is an endogamous and hereditary social group limited to persons of the same rank, occupation, economic position, etc., and having mores distinguishing it from other such groups. 

How to relate this back to the education system I'm hearing? It means your child's growth is restricted to the level of the parents. Why is this so? It seems that the teachers are only in charge of teaching the basics and the rest is suppose to be covered by tuition or parents. Therefore if the parents are not well-off and not very educated, the child will definitely not do well in school, and deprive of chances to further their interests. Hence, the caste system.

What is happening to the education system? Or is this problem I'm hearing from the ground from a minority?


Anonymous said...

No you are right in pointing this out. Our govt takes pride in saying we have the best system, they tell us to see our international scores. See how other countries want to imitate us. But we do not so much teach our children each and every child, but to set a standard so high that those 1 pct can do it but the rest either give up or struggle on their own. We simply want to sieve out the weaker ones, and will focus on the 1 pct. Is that education? We are all fools to spend money and time if we our children do not fall within the 1 pct. Think about it. This one percent carry our flag and give us the illusion that we are doing well. In any society there will be one percent who are born smart, the normal genetic distribution. spending much of our resources on this one percent is silly and wasteful. the 99 pct either have to cope in their own way or be content to stay outside the system.

Anonymous said...

You are right. Do you also see the govt doing likewise financially? They also want the top 1% rich of the world to be in SG. All their policies are aimed at turning this place into a Monaco of the world, a playground for the rich.
Of course, politically, they cannot expel all the below top 1% rich people. So they craft out policies that are designed to force out the poor.

theonion said...

the only topic which parents needs to relearn is maths.
as the algebra method learnt is different than the model.
if you have learnt additional maths or higher maths in secondary school, you should be able to pick up quite easily.

That is because of the different methodology used.
all other topics in secondary school, if someone has reasonable education, will be able to answer

chantc said...

That is exactly the reason why I mention the caste system. Look at it the other way around, is it fair to penalise the child if the parents are not good in mathematics? By asking parents to teach their child lessons that the teacher should spend more time teaching, aren't you shifting the responsibility back to the parents, and if the parents are not well educated, that would mean that the entire generation will be "stuck" in that education level?

If the lessons are tougher, then more time should be allocated for the teachers (or hire more) to teach these subjects and streamline the syllabus, not "offload" the teaching to the parents, who are by the way trying to be "productive" at work.

That's my main bug bear.

Rhinestic said...


It's one thing to know a subject, and another to know how to teach it properly, especially to a child who's at primary school level.

Rhinestic said...

And that's what teachers are trained to do.

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...