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On 19 June 2007


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    Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    Elitism in Singapore

    I read last saturday's articles regarding the issue of elitism in Singapore.

    I am extremely concerned over the issue as I come from one of the "elite schools" mentioned by straits time. They mentioned that many people felt that the elites are those who excel in academic area. Wow. I never knew I was an elite since primary 1 when I topped my class, and primary 4 when I topped my cohort. Being young as I was, I never really did despise duller or slower peers.

    From a personal experience, a first hand account I can offer you my utmost honest opinion after entering an elite school. The values taught was no doubt one of the best and complete. We are taught the J-TIGER

    J - Joy

    T- Teamwork

    I - Integrity

    G- Global Perspective

    E- Empathy

    R - Resilence

    Now, now, stop yelling that there is no HUMBILITY in the values, we still have other school values, mission and all that will include our EQ which pretty much have humbility encompassed it in.

    In my primary school, though I was always in the tops, I never felt that anyone was beneath me. However after 2 years of studying in my high school, i had always felt that I was better than any of the neighbourhood school students out in Singapore. I felt that I had more chances and oppurtunity and my experience would certainly be far better than theirs. That was probably until Secondary 3 which many of my peers had the same sentiments.

    Is that an act of elitism? More like a thought of elitism. That was in my lower secondary. My mindset slowly matured over the years and in Secondary three, I felt more towards normal students. I came to an understanding that neighbourhood students can have their good "apples" in it as well. However, after the emotional struggle in the first two years I had also experienced the mindset of elites in Singapore

    Note, I am not only studying in one of the top school of Singapore, I am not an elite who lives in mansions and have maids serving me daily.

    First off let me start off with the mindset of a student in the Elite school.
    He is being fed with information and propaganda that he is given a world-class education. He is under the impression that he is in the best school in singapore (which is true la duh.)

    So naturally, he will think : hey, I am one of the best among others of my age, why should I bother with the delinquents with neighbourhood schools? It is their fault that they did not study hard in the first place. Thus as time goes by, the student would slowly stop mixing around with other students. This will only lead to a deeper misunderstanding if any conflicts happen.

    Now, let me move on to the mindset of a regular student in a normal neighbourhood school.
    He is under the impression that he is beneath the elite students by leaps and bounds. He feels that all elite students are rich ass who are able to study in luxury and comfort. He envies them, and the envy slowly morph into jealousy. He feels that the elites are threatening with their strong command of english language, he felt compelled as he is not capable of producing the same academic result.

    However both student had missed out the fact that academic is only part of their life. A student in a neighbourhood school may not perform as well as one of an elite school, but he may be strong in other areas, for example, in arts and sports. Even if it seems that the student had no strength at the moment, he should not despair as he had not find his strength just yet. Everyone comes to earth for a reason.

    Thus who's fault is it that cultivate such a culture in our students nowadays? You decide.



    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i just thought i'd point out the fact that elite schools not only rule in terms of academics but in arts and sports too. in almost all interschool sports tournaments and syfs, you'd almost always see schools like raffles, acs, hwa chong among the top positions. and i believe thats really because they have the money. i was from an elite secondary school and i joined a sports cca, and i realised that the students themselves had to fork out large sums for school coaching fees. besides that, almost everyone in the team spent even more going for individual training sessions. and everyone went for tuition classes to maintain their good academic results. eventually, they graduate with flying colours and an excellent cca record. how can the neighbourhood school students ever measure up?

    5:55 PM  
    Blogger pris said...

    Ironically, when I was in primary school.. one of the top primary schools... I got 97/100 for my exams, I thought I was very dumb because three people from my class had 100/100.

    I felt that way all through my primary school years until after my PSLE came out and I was allowed to attend one of the top 10 secondary schools in Singapore.

    Being in a top school not only breed elitism, but can also be damaging to one's esteem =(

    1:20 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I feel that the main reason why elite schools seem to top in all areas is due to DSA. I disagree with anonymous. Neighbourhood school students can match up if they are willing to work hard. Tution is not a must to help you excel in school. Fyi, I was from a neighbourhood secondary school, but with hard work and some luck, I was JAE-ed into my desired JC. :)


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