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SEA isn’t the issue

Published: 
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It’s that time of the year when parents must figure out the choices and how it all works.

Ensuring I am always up to speed with all things parenting, means that I sit and read through many groups and from time to time I even post things to start discussions for “research purposes”.

What seems abundantly clear to me is that everyone seems to have an opinion on how this whole SEA placement thing works and the Ministry of Education would do great justice if they were to develop a series of one-minute YouTube videos that can effectively explain the system.

I would also like to make a plug for them to use a young and dynamic creative director who would develop the series in a manner that appeals to the masses.

The fact that so many people think the system of placement is archaic is evidence enough that it is simply a matter of misunderstanding. From the moment I explain that Singapore uses a similar system at a similar age, I hear the stutters.

So, if SEA isn’t the problem what is?

Well for starters, if schools were developed in a more standard manner, then there would not be such vast differences between schools and the demand for a handful of prestigious schools, would even out.

We cannot have one school without teachers while another is using smart boards.

We cannot have one school having bathrooms with liquid soap, air freshener, paper towels and long mirrors, while others just hope for lights so they can close the door and see where they are doing their business and as such, happily fight up with the fowl smells and faeces on the floor—at least the light would help them to avoid it.

We cannot have some teachers well equipped to explain how the choice sheet should be filled out while some parents are left wondering when, where and how. Why aren’t all Standard Five teachers sent to a seminar at the start of the term? (While we wait for the use of modern technology to take effect and the YouTube series be created).

So, before we shout and scream to remove SEA, let’s dig a little deeper and work towards fixing some of the root causes. After all the same system works marvellously in Singapore.

MARSHA L RILEY
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