My wish for Singapore is very simple. I hope that my children will have a more family oriented and less stressful society and the government is more people focus, rather than result driven. In other words, let’s not forget the social ecosystem as we build up our country’s economy. Let’s focus on developing our own people organically and not through shortcuts. Take soccer as an example, out of the eleven players who played against Malaysia last July, close to half the team were not locally born in Singapore. Don’t we have enough local boys to be fielded? Do we really need to ace everything we do? The population of Uruguay is about the same as Singapore (about 3.5 million) and yet they can win Copa America for the 15th time. Did they rely on any foreign talents?
Maybe it’s time we relook into our core education system. I came from a school whereby our principal promoted volleyball strongly. He would, at times, read news on volleyball during our assemblies. He would, for example, make arrangements for us to buy concession tickets to see world-class volleyball matches. I remember I had once watched the China volleyball team playing in a tournament in Singapore. The chief “spiker” then was Lang Ping (郎平) and I almost got her autograph! These were just some exposure that we had and it was enough to generate such a strong interest among the students. In fact, all my friends and I spent most of our free time in school playing volleyball. I believe that passion will drive good results… naturally. Rather than relying on foreign imports (which seems like a short-cut to me), why didn’t we focus on organic growth?
Another flaw that I find in our education system is the classification or ranking of the primary schools. Why do parents have to send their children so far away for their primary school education? Why do parents have to do volunteering work in order to increase their chances of getting into a primary school? Is this “volunteering” system a potential loophole for any abuse? In my opinion, all students should just be assigned to the nearest primary school. I hope the Ministry of Education will abolish this elite school structure and treat all primary schools equally and assign primary school teachers equally. The first real classification/grading of the primary schools should be at PSLE and not at intake of its students.
Last but not least, I wish that we will have a more gracious society. Let’s not fight with the needy for seats, lifts, etc. Let’s be more patient and considerate on the road. Let’s begin with ourselves, with a smile. 😉