gear-grinding (metaphorically, not literally)

so, I just got on my computer after reading what could possibly be the most preposterous news article I’ve read in the whole of this year (or the thirty-four odd days of it, at least):

this could possibly be the BIGGEST load of b/s I’ve ever come across from our dearly beloved ministry of education in my twelve years of schooling (or, the six years in which I actually learned to form a sensible opinion)

there are just so many things in this article to nitpick, and I don’t know where to start. granted, I’m not an alumnus of any of the six schools mentioned, but these new policies and restrictions affect my alma mater and those fortunate enough to walk the path after us. (in case you don’t already know, our dearest ACJC is a missionary school and she is also rather affected as ACJC conducts her own fund-raising efforts by various means such as the biennial Fun-O-Rama carnival)

how about I start with the fact that the MOE is trying to imply a correlation and causation effect between worsening student diversity and school facilities, of all things? I mean, come on, surely you can do better than that. personally, I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum regarding schools’ standards and their facilities: I came from a neighbourhood primary school (and I really do mean that it is tucked into the very confines of the neighbourhood), progressed to a ‘good’ but small secondary school with run-of-the-mill facilities, and finally to an awesome junior college (in size, spirit, and numerous facilities) where I didn’t have to worry about facilities because the school had literally everything, and it is with my experience that I can say this: we in the schools without the extra facilities certainly didn’t place any weight on the fact that our schools did not have the facilities! I certainly did not believe that TK was lousier than the better schools simply because of the facilities. if I did believe so, it had more to do with the character of the students and the individual rather than our physical surroundings (oh how I am tempted to roll my eyes at the thought of that)

and then there’s the need to seek approval for fund-raising by independent and mission schools. why limit what a school can or cannot raise? why put restrictions on schools and their campus upgrading? surely it is the decision and to the discretion of the schools as to whether they ascertain the need to upgrade their schools? if schools had to wait on MOE’s direction, (and multiply that by the number of independent and misison schools in Singapore), they’d be waiting so long (I’m always under the impression that some sort of pissing match goes on behind closed doors) that their campuses might all deteriorate to the point where it all looks like (insert name of junior college in the north here)’s school building?

last but not least, the commentary by this supposedly ‘enlightened’ parent, Annie Lim, who must have supposedly made a very sensible decision by not sending her son to an independent school:

“Why should some schools have pools and tennis courts? I’d rather taxpayers’ money is spent building such facilities for a cluster of schools.”

(the highlighted portion sounds like a very serious case of sour grapes)
/sarcasmon/ geez, I don’t know, so that their students can swim and play tennis in a familiar environment, maybe? /sarcasmoff/

in all seriousness, this parent makes it sound as if the lovely swimming pool, tennis courts and gym that our sports complex has been blessed with is a God-given gift from the big-daddy MOE itself. does she not know (or not care enough to overcome her ignorance) to realize that it is the fruit of the labour of various generations of alumni of the school, who are looking to do what they can to ensure that future generations of students will not be held back by something such as a lack of resources or opportunity? that those who have walked the path before want to show their love and appreciation for the school by doing something for its future students? and that the current students actually pay for its operating costs and maintenance fees as well?

dearest Ms Lim, it is certainly not any Tom, Dick, or Harry’s taxpayer dollars that has gone into the construction of the pool, its facilities, and operating costs, and I’m pretty sure it is not yours as well. it is laudable that you believe taxpayers’ dollars should go into building such facilities for a cluster of schools, but in the case of independent and mission schools, they raise their own funds to build such facilities for their campus. if you find that so objectionable, why not initiate a fund raising effort for the cluster of schools your son is in to ensure fairness at this level? or will you be a perfect example of typical human psyche and not do so because it is too much effort to invest in a project that will not benefit you, but others whom you do not even know and care for? some schools have pools and tennis courts, because their alumni care enough for the future students and their accessibility and opportunity to want to do something for them. I don’t know if you would care enough to want to play a part in the schooling lives of those after you or after your son, but I know that I would. and if I had the means of showing my care/concern/love for them by giving them a swimming pool or tennis courts, then I will damn well give them those facilities.

just… what the hell?

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