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Education, Employers, And Singapore’s Workaholic Culture

An understanding of Singapore’s workaholic culture – given that “Singapore residents in 2015 worked the second longest week in developed cities around the world” (TODAY, Dec. 22) – is not complete without examining the influence of a competitive education system and the role of older employers in perpetuating the need for long work hours, reflected in instances when calls for a better work-life balance is ridiculed as younger workers being demanding or mollycoddled. And because has been established that the long work hours in Singapore compare poorly to the hours of workers from other countries and that blue-collar Singaporean workers still work the longest hours, attempts to improve the status quo ought to focus on the root of these problems. Continue reading

Tweaks To DSA Will Not Fix Fundamental Disparities

The latest round of tweaks to the Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme – making applications free of charge and centralising the online submission of applications (TODAY, Nov. 7) – will not fix more fundamental disparities between students and the families they come from. Furthermore these changes, and how they have been communicated thus far, are not helped by the lack of more precise data and information on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the students who benefit from the DSA: The employment status of their parents, their housing type and household income, and perhaps even their primary schools (and how they were admitted). Continue reading

Test, Evaluate, And Validate Teaching Guidelines To Spot Fake News

Absent from the latest new media literacy toolkit designed for schools ranging from the primary to junior college level (TODAY, Nov. 2) and its teaching guidelines to spot falsehoods – and in fact, from the forthcoming, broader national framework to build information and media literacy too – appears to be robust research attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of these endeavours. Immediate questions which follow include: The extent to which teachers are familiar with and have the capacity to teach the toolkit; how students benefit from the teaching resource; and ultimately whether teachers and students, beyond the context of the classroom, actually put their skills and knowledge into practice. Continue reading

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