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Meritocracy snippet January 17, 2013

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, education.
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‘Being an academic elite itself is not a flaw. Getting full score for studies or being at the top tier of a certain subject area would deem one an elite. Being able to enter most of the NUS courses now is considered an academic elite. However, the flaw would be the idea that elites are the only best people to lead everything. That itself is wrong. Everyone has its ups and downs. Today you may be an elite. Tomorrow you may be a scum. A fine system will be one that allows anyone who has developed the level of competence to lead in their field of expertise. That’s meritocracy.’ — Karen Fu

January 8, 2013

Posted by @Karen_Fu in education, human quality, Singapore.
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I don’t know how to react to this because from the grounds today, we have scholars who breech contracts, teachers and principals who do hideous things. So character in this perspective is doubtful. As for scholarship, there is a trend that poor kids do get disadvantaged. Not so much that they are marginalized by the education system on its own, but other factors like the ability to hire the best tutors and tuition to get ahead in class. It really makes you wonder how teaching is done in schools. But without seeing it myself, I can’t say it for sure. Then again, based on the way students coming home for more private learning, one has to doubt. It used to be that all students, rich or poor, are based on this merit system though the problem then was it wasn’t exactly a great environment to nurture the very talented and the gifted. Today, if you were to look at prestigious places of learning, there is a far higher proportion of kids from very well off families. Those who are scooted in cars, sometimes driven by their private chauffeurs. This is, in great contrast, a main difference of what it used to be – if you were studious and very smart, you relied only on what school resources gave you. Everyone had the same resources and teachers were very dedicated though the pay then was much lower than today. As long as you worked hard, and as long as you are typically bright, top schools are at your step regardless of social status. Even when you can only afford old china made canvas shoes with old socks that probably had a tiny hole or two.

Rightways

MERITOCRACY in Singapore is about more than just academic grades, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as he stressed that everyone here has a shot at success.

“When we say ‘merit’, we are not just talking about grades or scores, but also character, leadership and a broad range of talents,” said Lee said in a speech to more than 1,500 students and their parents at a bursary and Edusave award ceremony in his Teck Ghee ward.

He said: “We make sure that whatever your family background, whatever your circumstances, you may be poor, you may be from a single-parent family, you may be having some learning disabilities, but if you work hard, you can succeed.

“It does not matter what your background is. We make sure we identify you, we give you the opportunities and also the resources and the support so that if you succeed, you can do…

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