Wednesday, November 21, 2007

To stream or not to stream... that's the question.

British education scene is now at crossroads when the Conservative party outline their vision for public education if they were to come into power. From what they are saying, I believe that the Singaporean Govt (or at least LKY) is conservative at heart.

The Conservatives proposed to bring back streaming of students according to their abilities and to establish 'grammer schools', which is essentially for the academically elites. Also, to enforce school uniforms and 'greeting of teachers' at the start of every lesson to bring back the respect for authorities.

Presently, the mainstream British schools cater to classes of mixed abilities, where streaming is outlawed. I believe the rationale was that it is detrimental to the self esteem of the child to be 'streamed' so early in his/her life. As a result of which, academically inclined students are not mentally challenged and get bored easily and weaker students struggle to catch up.

Now, that's a dilemma that Singapore's facing, isn't it? Except that it's coming from the other direction. Perhaps we can learn from the British experience if we were to abolish streaming.

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