Time Table

Ok I have uploaded the new class timetable. Please click on this link if you want to download.

Teach Less = Learn More

Im really sick of Nanhua.

Enough with the NDP; its ending soon in August. Our over-worked sweat glands can finally rest. Whats wrong with NDP? Its doing a service to the country! It builds rapport and teamwork between students. It serves as a extra-curriculum activity to keep students healthy. It is fun!

Well I shake my head at the deluded people who think that way. Not only are we sacrificing our time and energy for this program (free of charge), we are now in danger of not getting anything for all this effort. And anyway, only Mr Foo is benefitting from this NDP, as it might give others the impression that Nanhua has holistic education and should enrol their sons/daughters here. Yeah, we are not performing very well (as pointed out by Mr Loh on several occasions). Face it, enthu people. What can you expect from freebies? We are doing labour with nothing in exchange. If you want to see a good performance, go pay for some concert through Sistic. Their ticketing hotline is 6348 5555.

Nothing? I thought there were 2 CCA points given for our efforts spent from March to August? The so-called 2 CCA points we are going to get are going to be null and void by the time we reach 2008, our sec 4 O levels. Our education system is going through a revision so CCA points would not be counted by the time we do our O levels. This year's Sec 3s are supposedly the last batch that includes CCA points into their O level results. Although this is not 100% confirmed, it is most likely true, and the school will never tell us students to prevent mass-quitting of CCAs. They are virtually useless. The revision is somewhat like the ones on the taxi fare/special school fee/electricity bill rises. And the goverment just can't accept the criticism. Well, if you get so high up there in the clouds you are bound to get a swollen head. Anyway they control the media so we cannot do anything, because the MICA might send us a letter for giving cynical remarks, non-constructive criticism that only hinders the "development" of Singapore. So much for freedom of speech and democracy.

Now lets talk about our Tablet PC programme from Sec 1. Our parents were told that their children are highly encouraged to join, as they will enjoy benefits that other kids don't. This "benefits" basically include enjoying a Tablet PC (which is paid by ourselves). Needless to say, I have also enjoyed other perks such as deteriorating eyesight. We have basically done nothing with the Tablet PC, except for the occasional jotting down of notes and downloading of revision notes from the school's online portal. It is used mainly for gaming in school and/or collecting dust at home. Well, at least the school tried to do something about it.

They introduced this brand new concept of Teach Less = Learn More, Problem Based Learning (PBL). Gosh, it sounds cool doesn't it. And and and then we learn more when the teachers teach less!!

This new concept of teaching was introduced recently in this later half of the year. Wow, it was implemented right when NDP is finishing. What a coincedence. Now we can experience all the new advantages of this cool programme. We have this PBL on Mondays and Tuesdays, the former for Science and latter for Maths. Each session would take up 7 periods (3.5 hours or half of the school day). During this extremely long period of time, the teacher would break us up into designated groups and we would be asked to solve a problem. By the end of the 3.5 hours, we would have to do a group presentation and explain the solution whether on whiteboard or PPT. For example, if we are learning the formula 1+1=2, we would organise information into three areas: What we know, what we don't know and what we need to find out. So if we know what is 1 we put it in its respective colomn. If we are not sure of what + means, we would use our Tablet PC to check it out on the web. Finally, after finding the solution, we would give a presentation to the class. After all presentations, the teacher would explain the solution. This is basically an extended version of Project Work.

This arrangement would give rise to some problems. Firstly, the groups are selected by the teachers to offer all-roundedness, a conducive environment for learning and to build rapport, it might
cause some students to be unable to communicate properly with other members, as they might not be very close or have no idea to break the ice due to different interests. This could lead to a negative attitude towards PBL and the student might not want to participate in the team. If that happens, it would not be very easy to change his thinking. Secondly, this programme takes up a lot of time in the daily curriculum and it would leave lesser time for other important subjects such as languages. Thirdly, this arrangement might not be very effective as some students do not learn as well in a group as compared to the conventional method of teaching, where the student listens to the teacher explain the facts.

In my opinion, this programme is a total waste of time. If I was the head of MOE, I would probably slap you in the face if you suggested this. The reason mainly is due to the undesirable groups. In my case, I have to be with those I am familiar with to be able to exercise peak performance. That aside, I find that teaching us facts and letting us practice is much more efficient than solving only one problem. If you listen in class and practice/revise at home, you would probably have a good understanding of the topic. The areas that you do not understand can be explained again by the teacher. In the PBL case, you simply solve one problem by searching for your own solution. This in itself is very unreliable as the student would not be sure of the solution and would often result in group to group discussion, which is not supposed to happen in the first place. PBL is also impractical as the student might grow to become comfortable with the long period of time given for solving and might perform slower in exams, which the student is given only a short period of time to finish. If you compare side by side, the conventional way of teaching is where the student absorb(2-3 periods) and practice, then ask questions. Whereas in PBL, the student spend a lot more time absorbing through discovery (7 periods), ask questions and then practice. As you can see, the conventional way spends way lesser amount of time for the student to familiarize with the topic than the PBL way. Furthermore in PBL, the student might understand the topic only to a certain extent as the work on finding the solution is splitted up among group members. This shows that PBL is completely inefficient and serves no purpose but to make education more interesting/relaxing, include Tablet PC into curriculum, and most importantly lessen the workload of teachers (they just serve as "invigilators" or "facilitators") for the same pay. Even if they had to test it, they should not test it on us Sec 2s, as we are having streaming this year. Furthermore, they implemented this programme with very bad timing, as it is already the second half of the year and we will never adapt fast enough for the end of years. In my opinion, the best candidates for all the evaluation are the sec 1s. They are free almost everyday and since they have nothing bettter to do, they can waste their time on these evaluations. If their grades drop significantly, they can still catch up on the starting of sec 2.

As you can see, our education system is really lacking. Maybe its just me, or maybe we are just unlucky to tio all these evaluation programmes that give us an "advantage". Seriously, there isnt an education system in the world that puts so much stress on their children at such a young age (previously P4 streaming, p6 PSLE, sec 2 streaming, sec 4 O levels, JC A levels). And knowing all that, they are still trying to cram every single thing they can into our already packed schedule (NDP, SYF) and change the system of teaching (PBL, nulling CCA points). I am almost certain that I have a doomed future. What a sad world.

Disclaimer: This post is absolutely fictitious, and any person or place described above that bears any similarity to that living, dead, demolished, undemolished is pure coincidence. I do not bear any responsibility for any influence of opinions the above has on anyone. Prone to grammar/spelling errors.


We had the SYF performance today. It was nothing much actually, seemed like the usual practice. Teresa was slacking. She was lip-synching the theme song which she was supposed to be singing and made up by waving her hands and smiling. And her dress+necklace seemed to be the same from last practice. He lip-synch sucked like hell. It was like she didnt know the lyrics at all. I know because the video cam zoomed straight onto her on the LCD screen. Didnt see Zhiyang at all. Maybe she read the script while singing for the record. And Nanhua really was the worst in all the performances. The whole thing was not in-synch and stuff. Very disgraceful.

Having NDP practice tomorrow.