Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fearful famiLEE LEEgime backing out of their own lame policies

We may make at least the 2 following observations:

1. famiLEE LEEgime is really scared of the drawback they faced.
2. The Old Dog Thief Lee Kuan Yew dare not come out, he is hiding behind his son this time.


You should watch the video of the faces of Ass Loong Son & Ng Eng Hen on TV at press conference tonight. :D
The opposition should move against them on this issue and take it towards the GE.



PSLE Mother Tongue exams should motivate students to attain proficiency
By Hoe Yeen Nie | Posted: 11 May 2010 2100 hrs

SINGAPORE : News that there will be no change to the weighting of Mother Tongue at PSLE has brought about much relief from teachers.

But some observers said the challenge now is to create a new examination structure to provide a clear recognition of effort.

There should also be incentives for students to move up to the next level of proficiency.

In recent weeks, the internet and mainstream media had been abuzz over news that the weighting of the mother tongue subject at the PSLE could be cut.

It also sparked at least two public petitions against the proposal.

And now, with the government clarifying its stand, the response is one of overall relief.

In statements to MediaCorp, unions representing Malay and Tamil teachers welcomed the government's aim to maintain Singapore's bilingual policy, stating that it has worked well so far.

The Chinese Teachers' Union added that the move would help raise morale among its members, some of whom had felt discouraged by a proposed cut in subject weighting.

Writer and former DJ Danny Yeo, who had helped to publicise the petition-signing at Hong Lim Park on Sunday, said it was a positive outcome, adding that bilingualism has always been a strong point of the education system in Singapore.

The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry also expressed support for initiatives to improve the teaching of Mother Tongue languages.

Teachers said the focus now should be on how mother tongue languages are taught and tested.

"The emphasis will not be on scoring well for the exams, but on achieving a certain level of proficiency in the language," said Lim Chin Nam, president of the Singapore Chinese Teachers' Union.

But some said as the focus shifts towards more creative lesson tools, like drama, the question is how should they be assessed?

"Once we move away from pen and paper tests, subjectivity becomes more present. How (do we) ensure that some subjective assessment, being present in the system, does not compromise fairness & equity across the system? This is something that has to be thought through," said Josephine Teo, Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Education.

Mrs Teo added that with lessons pitched at different levels for those with varying language proficiencies, another challenge is to develop a system of benchmarking one set of tests against the other, in a way that is fair and that will motivate students to excel.

In this light, she noted that reducing the subject weighting at the exams would not have helped students who are struggling with the subject, because they would still have to sit for the exams.

It would also discourage those who have made the effort and produced results, only to see the subject account for a smaller percentage of the aggregate score. - CNA /ls


Mother Tongue weighting for PSLE to remain
By Hwee Goh | Posted: 11 May 2010 1511 hrs

Photos 1 of 1

Primary school students in Singapore. (file pic)

SINGAPORE: The weighting of the Mother Tongue language will not be reduced at the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). Instead it will be taught in a new way to cater to differing abilities and to meet the dynamic needs of the student population.

Right at the top of an hour-long interview, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong set the record straight on the weighting issue.

But change is still ahead in a big way.

Mr Lee has stressed many times the fluidity of the situation in terms of new research and IT in the teaching of language.

And this year, Primary Six students will take their exams based on a new syllabus rolled out after a review as recent as in 2004.

PM Lee said: "We have to look ahead because if we don't, by the time the situation is upon us and we start thinking and then we make changes, it's another five years and we will be chasing our tail again.

"And meanwhile another five years of students will have their less optimal experience with Mother Tongue, and to put it bluntly, we will have quite a lot of trouble with Mother Tongue."

Mr Lee also addressed the huge debate after media reports that the Education Ministry was looking at whether to reduce the weighting of the Mother Tongue Language (MTL).

Education Minister Ng Eng Hen explained: "In my interview, I said MOE was looking at options to address the overemphasis on exams, where 'MTL counts for so much in the PSLE'.

"Singaporeans became concerned that MOE was proposing to reduce the weighting of MTL in PSLE. This is not the case. I think I should have chosen my words more carefully and apologise for creating the wrong impression."

Mr Lee said: "We watched the reaction develop. ... We knew we needed to respond but at the same time we wanted to make sure that we put the whole picture out and not just put out a quick reassurance - sorry everybody is upset, therefore we are not doing anything and fall back onto the status quo because the status quo is not tenable.

"We have to move, we have to change the content, we have to change the resources, we have to change the examinations."

In fact, in February at the Istana, the Prime Minister and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew met key Education Ministry officials and 50 Mother Tongue educators to share with them the need to change and to tap their ideas, moving forward.

PM Lee said many who have benefited from Singapore's bilingual education had spoken up this time and that he shares the goals of these parents to keep bilingualism alive and yet give students their best head start possible. - CNA/vm

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