Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Heng Swee Kiat responds to Janelle's open letter

Janelle, A sixteen year old girl from Nan Chiau High School wrote an open letter to the Minister for Education Heng Swee Kiat. Now the minister has responded on facebook as follows.

  • Heng Swee Keat 
    Dear Janelle, Many thanks for taking your time to share this. I am deeply impressed and encouraged by your thoughtful remarks about what education should be – esp. your points on curiosity, creativity and character development! It cheers me, esp. coming from someone so young. Several students have also emailed me interesting ideas. I am gathering a group to discuss these ideas – I’d very much like to invite you to join us...hope you agree. Cheers!
    9 hours ago ·  ·  6 people

Have you caught the rat yet? It is so "Yes, Minister" style and strategy. They will gather a group and discuss these ideas and then nothing will come out of it. They have used this strategy for more than a decade. Janelle, for your sake and all millennials, I hope I am wrong and things are changing.

By the way my children hate and do not memorize their textbooks and notes. In fact one of their teacher remarked that she learns and studies differently from the rest of her classmates. Her academic performance has been credible. You do not need to study like everyone else. Nobody forces you to memorize and the teachers by and large discourage that.


  1. I agree ! you do not need to memorize . I am a student in a junior college and we are encouraged to UNDERSTAND rather than memorize .. maybe rote memorization can work for the O lvls (to obtain A1) , but never for the A levels .

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  3. Heng Swee Kiat doesn't look like the type to rock the boat. I think he got the easiest portfolio. Wah lau, who his godfather get him this easy rice bowl? If he wants to make an impact, teach philosophy in the schools. Even in primary.

  4. The ruling party will not test the boundaries set by Kuan Yew. They will of course do lots of consultations and be sincere about feedback they receive. The boundaries however will not be moved and the basics will remain unchanged. Only dynamic and bold leadership can bring about the necessary changes. Such leadership is non existent and will not be encouraged amongst the elite. No one from the elite is about to tinker with a system which has benefitted them. The 2 year national service will never be reduced to a year; huge profits will still be the rule of the day for public services. And maybe one day they might convince Janelle, when she is older, to be their candidate at one of the GRC's

  5. Mr Heng

    I am in the process of my kids S1 posting. I call up MOE and there is one question i asked is the selection criteria besides the merit points. I told them that they are a number of over-aged students around (more than 2 -3 years old). Isn't the age must be considered as one secondary consideration as well. As sec 1 education should be mainly for a 13 years old kid, shouldn't it be given more consideration than a 15 years old kids. The MOE said : no, the merit points is the only consideration. I hope as the new Minister of education you may like to look into it. Thank you.