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Education

This tag is associated with 389 posts

Singapore’s Social Divide Problem Extends Beyond The School

While class- or school-based integration is not guaranteed by “putting students of different learning abilities and socio-economic statuses in the same classroom” (TODAY, Mar. 4), Singapore has to confront an inequality and social divide problem which extends beyond the school. In fact, it could be argued that primary and secondary schools – by bringing together students of varied demographic and socio-economic backgrounds, to some extent – already offer one of the country’s most important sites for social interactions. The policy focus, in this vein, should shift from streaming within secondary schools to distinctions across schools, to greater engagement between students of different schools and institutes of higher learning, as well as to increased porosity across these educational pathways. Continue reading

Like Grades, There Is No Perfect, Bias-Free Indicator For Hiring

The eagerness of employers to justifiably reduce the disproportionate reliance on grades for their hiring practices overlooks the important point that there is also no perfect, bias-free indicator for this purpose. Yet instead of adding more application requirements or subjecting job applicants to a battery of tests and assessments – which likewise have their own deficiencies and which are likely to overwhelm applicants in an increasingly competitive job market – improvements should focus on a more holistic evaluation, not in the antiquated sense of making the process more onerous or piling on factors in a never-ending list of employee expectations, but in terms of accounting for the backgrounds and trajectories of applicants, to consequently reduce bias. Continue reading

Beyond The Templatised, Individualised Singaporean Notions Of Success

What stood out in the summarised experiences of more than 300 business undergraduates at the Singapore Management University – published in two volumes and which highlight many of their anxieties over success and failure (ST, Jan. 9) – are the templatised, individualised Singaporean notions of success, and the extent to which those who chose different pathways are held up as exceptions. Templatised, and arguably as an extension of our education system, because there are implicit expectations for students to adhere to predetermined pathways leading to stable lives and careers, upon which there are checklists to follow. And individualised, because besides the references to their parents or immediate family relationships, there was little to no mention of how they position themselves in their communities (and even in the country or the world), and how they may contribute to improve the lives of others beyond their personal circles. Continue reading

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