Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Should students be terrorised in school?

Another day, Xiaoran forgot her Maths textbook, Ms Loh made her bring all her textbooks to school the next day. Imagine my skinny ward bent under the weight of her heavy, bulging school bag. The silly terrified girl really brought ALL her books!

Two months later, after lunch one day, Xiaoran asked for permission to shop for Bata white shoes. She had just started school and her 2 pairs of white shoes were bought just 2 months ago. She said Ms Loh wanted the whole class to wear only white canvas shoes which must not have any other colour or accessories on them. Xiaoran's shoes had some white trimmings on them.

The shoes failed the teacher's expectation. So my frightened ward went shoe hunting. She spent one whole afternoon searching from Parkway Parade to Suntec City to Orchard Road. She came back that evening happily with 2 pairs of all white, plain canvas shoes.

I had another Indonesian ward in the same school, in Secondary 2. Her teacher didn't make the students wear all white canvas shoes. This ward's shoes had blue trimmings. So this is not the school's policy. Someone made her own rule.

Before my ward was admitted to the school, she was asked to give a donation. The Principal, Mohd Said Bin Jaafar, assured us,"This is a one-time payment." Several months later, Xiaoran came home with a letter appealing for contribution to the school by advertising in the school magazine.

Ms Loh told the foreign students, everyone had to buy a one-page advertisement space. I spoke to Xiaoran's father. He didn't want to advertise as he had already donated a sum of money to the school. I returned the letter, turning down her request.

The letter came back again with the message,"All foreign students must place an advertisement."

I returned the letter again with a note referring to the Principal's assurance. My ward was the only foreign student in her class who didn't advertise in the school magazine. Ms Loh took it badly. I wonder,"Was someone trying to excel in this fund-raising exercise?"

The worst nightmare commenced after the June holidays.............

......./Page 2


  1. Yayy.. Number One!

    I salute people who are trying to make a better life than the current one by going to a foreign land. It takes a lot of guts.

  2. Bernard,
    Yes, you're first to comment today!!! :)

    Yes, it does take a lot of guts to go to a foreign land to start anew. I would love to do that, but I must finish my battle first. :)

  3. I salute people who dares to voice out their dissatisfaction for the sake of justice and the welfare of his/her own countrymen...

    Err...Number Two..

  4. Hi eve,
    Number 2. :)

    aiyoh, malu saya. Dulu saya takut.

    I was one of those cowards who dare not speak up, even though those people were abusing their authority and power. I closed my eyes. I watched some innocent people get bullied. I'm a bastard.

    NOW!? they can try again.
    *sharpens my chopper*

  5. The part about "buying advertisement space" just reminds me of my NS days. If I never remember wrongly, it was for Army Half Marathon which they had this donation card.

    We were being "forced" into asking for donations and there's a minimum sum that we have to achieve. Each donation card MUST come back with at least $10 of donations. I don't know if this is a rule of Mindef, or is it the rule of some individuals who want their dept to look good. I am not sure if there is still such a donation drive right now in this era.

    NS boys will always be afraid to protest. Nobody want to get "marked" for nothing. Being the boys that we were... from the pathetic NS allowance we get back then, we had to take out our own $10 and throw all kinds of names in there. Just for the sake of "complying to orders" and saves alot of trouble asking people to donate.

  6. lb,
    I allowed her to be Commandant for 10 months.
    *hangs head in shame*

  7. Just noticed that there is an option now to choose the *other* as my identity - I like!

    And I also like your style of speaking up! Go ECL go!

  8. Ed,
    There are so many donation thingy going on every week or month.

    My foreign students' parents were complaining about their children having to stand on the streets with tin cans to ask for donations. They come from wealthy families, so their parents felt paiseh. Already they had given to so many types of donations in school.

    So I changed S$2 notes into 10-cent coins and put 20 10-cent coins into the tins. No need to stand on streets liao lor.

    Donation is supposed to be a willing contribution, nobody should be forced to make one.

    It's all to make someone looked good for promotion. cheh!

  9. Hi giddytigers,
    Yes, have to modify a little because many friends and readers cannot comment. :)

    Speaking up can land me in terrible trouble ar. But cannot think too much or else I crawl back to my shell. hehehe....

    All the way, ecl!

  10. donations ah... i think parents are the one collecting on behalf of their children.

    every now and then, you get colleagues who walk around asking errr want to donate or not? daughter's school..... or son's .....

    p/s, hopefully work as food taster! hahah

  11. keropok man,
    Oh yes. My staff and frenz think I print money, every now and then got donation cards pushed under my nose. All sorts of excuses the schools, clubs or associations give.

    Food taster? You are welcome to taste my food if you are not afraid of food poisoning.

    wei... my food is yummy leh. I should start a food blog.

  12. Hmm... part 2 is getting juicer, I can't wait for part 3...

    On donation, well, the teacher is obviously very backward in her thinking. She should had realised that donation is suppose to be voluntary. In fact, she should just take a page from our "esteem" leaders like how they make all Singaporeans "voluntarily" pay for their obscene salaries through GST, CPF, COE etc.. How can our children ever be the entrepreneur type when all they have are un-innovative teachers like this one?

    Sexy mom, don't tease us like the lousy channel 5 and 8 leh... must wait for daily episodes. ;)

  13. Hi Chew!
    This incident happened some time ago. Now the schools are smarter. I think the teachers got special training lah. And some more got 'mountain' for backing.

    The story quite long, so have to break it up into a few parts. I try to shorten it , ok?

  14. Hey ECL
    I remember when I was young I got whacked with a book on the head for not signing(chian ming) my chinese spelling book(Ting Xie)..And another time because I was talking in class, I got my textbook thrown four storeys down.

    Seriously, I enjoyed being in a local school. I like to grow up with rules and regulations, as in a proper way to act, a proper way to behave,but teachers need to set good role models for their students, not using their students as a means to vent their frustrations just because they have not been getting their recommended weekly amount of sexercise, erhmm I meant exercise.

    Anyway take care ECL, you're one hell of a woman. You're a woman right?hehehehehe...

  15. Jon,
    Yah, I remember the flying books part! Not my books but my other classmates'. And the smacking of palms with a wooden ruler or pulling of ears for failing Spelling. *shudders*

    Quite a number of teachers are not married, so the sexercise part is quite teruk. :)

    So many people are doubting my sex until I also start thinking,"Am I a woman? Should I go for a sex change?" I will answer this in a separate post. hehehe....

  16. I can't believe S'pore schools still haven't EVOLVED! So many-faced, disgrace to the country, man!!

    But this is scary, 'cos I was considering bringing up my kid in S'pore in the near future but stories like that remind me of my own crappy school days, in particular the school i attended that you also taught in, better not mention names, i think you know which one i mean..*wink*

  17. shilpa,
    Some teachers are die-hard fans of Hitler. hehehe....

    I should write about my son's secondary school and what he went through. But the silly boy knelt in front of me and begged me not to write about it until his graduation.

    I shan't discourage you but you would know how it is with our education system these days. sigh.....

  18. Hmmm ... this is a sort of tough calling. In some way I think foreign students should be paying more than the locals (I was once a foreign student elsewhere). However, all these "hidden cost" should be made upfront and communicated to foreign parents before they bring their children to Singapore and study. Granted that each school may have different prestige. But to the least, the same standard should be applied within the same school.

    Just my humble thought.

  19. err.. wonder why suddenly got question about ECL's sexuality. Haha

  20. My angel,
    Yes, Money talks. No money no talk and no honey. :)

  21. wilfrid,
    I have no problem with schools asking donations from foreign students. Many foreigners are used to giving money to secure a place in good schools in their countries. And I think foreigners should pay higher fees and contribute to the school building funds too.

    But here in Singapore, it is not a written rule. Some schools really have big appetites, while some schools don't ask for donation. The amount of donations vary.

    What I cannot tahan is, some schools use donation as a condition to accept students. The amount of donation also can determine the class you go to. A student who scored only 23% for English 'gave' S$10,000 and was given Express class! What type of educator is this who allowed such a thing to happen? And if she allows the Singaporean parents to do this too, I think it's fair.

    The thing is : a lot of this nonsense is done behind the backs of Singaporeans. Many Singaporeans don't know they could entice schools with donations.

    It is like a zoo in MOE. The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing and when things happen, they push to one another and the amount of taiqi here is horrendous.

    Read on, man......

  22. yenjai,
    yalor. I need to go for a full medical check-up and let a doctor determine my sex. hahaha....

    Any doctor?

  23. I hate the way schools try to roll parents for money. They pull these same things over here. Already paying them tuition. Cannot manage the budget? Hire me and I will show the school how!!!

  24. Way to go, simple american!

    Principals and most civil servants are not trained to handle money. Do they know the difference between S$10 million and S$40 million? That is Ah Gong's money, so they can spend it freely.

  25. I cannot believe it. I don't have to go through 50 million comments to comment. How are you? Listen...I was given an award...believe it or not? And I pass this award onto you dear!!!!! Here's the link to it:

  26. Hi one wacky mom!
    I'm good. Thanks for the award. :)

  27. Sigh.... Its sad to see such things as "compulsory" donations, geezzzz

  28. Wow.. schools are now losing the very soul of what a school is for. Education! And not what donation, what advertisements etc...

    I don't know how true it is, but I remember hearing that XXJC used to ask for donations often as well - not from the foreigners only, but their local students as well! And normally only the rich kids go into XXJC cos only they can afford it. Maybe it isn't like that now, but it's all these stuffs that make me despise these money-face schools.

  29. arzhou,
    Yes. I was so pissed off by the teacher's high-handedness.

  30. kev,
    It is sad, isn't it? If we don't keep this in check, it would get worse by that time your kids or my grandchildren get into schools.

    I know which JC you're talking about. It's in my book too! :)

  31. Hi,

    I came to visit you after you came to visit me from Ev's site :-)

    I applaud you for what you're doing with your blog, no small wonder that Ev mentioned you.

    I don't have kids, so I don't see what's going on in the schools first hand like this. Wow, what an eye opener!

    While I was here I noticed you're in the blogging to fame competition...seems I famed you and your blog a while back. Seeing what you're doing here, you really do deserve it :-)

    Nice to get to know you better, and thanks for stopping by my site.

  32. I hate teachers and schools with that kind of attitudes - and they should rather be a role model!

  33. Hi Deborah!
    Thanks for stopping by. You are one great lady. You are gorgeous!

    Thanks for faming me. Congrats for making it to Top 500! You are going to Chicago. lady!!!

  34. Hi Renny,
    Yes, teachers, well..... all educators should be role models. And those in leadership positions too.

  35. hi I dropped in here from Tom's blog ... I don't understand .. is there any significance of "East Coast" of Singapore as opposed to the West Coast or anywhere else? Is it posher or less posh? Is the water colder or hotter? I don't get it... I always assumed Singaporean teachers would be really strict, I've heard about chewing gum being banned in public!
    Anyway, great blog u got...
    ... all the best 2u ...

    "vol 2" ...

    ps do drop by mine!

  36. Hi gledwood,
    Thanks for the visit.

    The east coast of Singapore is more populous. Our universities are located in the west. It cost more to buy a house in the east. These are the superficial things I know. hahaha.....

    We do have good teachers in our school. There are too many silly rules in our schools actually.

    Hey, Tom's a great guy, isn't he? :)

    See you around.