Came across this article in the NY Times that I found interesting. Always keen to see how Singapore is viewed from the outside. The article left me amazed at how far we’ve come with our primary school Science lessons. When I was in primary 5, we just had the teacher reading to us from a textbook. We didn’t have any science labs then till we got to Secondary school. It also makes me wonder wether this is a regular class or a special one in view of the visit. If it was a regular class with 11 year old learning about DNA and taking fingerprints, I am impressed.
Here’s an extract of the NY Times Article, Serious in Singapore which flatters our government quite a bit. It’s all good, and I guess I sound hard to please, but I would still want minimum wage and welfare measures in place. I also get a feeling that our kids have too much on their plates at school. It just all feels very stressful with kids starting off as early as 15 months in nursery classes:
I am in the Gan Eng Seng Primary School in a middle-class neighborhood of Singapore, and the principal, A. W. Ai Ling, has me visiting a fifth-grade science class. All the 11-year-old boys and girls are wearing junior white lab coats with their names on them. Outside in the hall, yellow police tape has blocked off a “crime scene” and lying on a floor, bloodied, is a fake body that has been murdered. The class is learning about DNA through the use of fingerprints, and their science teacher has turned the students into little C.S.I. detectives. They have to collect fingerprints from the scene and then break them down.
I missed that DNA lesson when I was in fifth grade. When I asked the principal whether this was part of the national curriculum, she said no. She just had a great science teacher, she said, and was aware that Singapore was making a big push to expand its biotech industries and thought it would be good to push her students in the same direction early. A couple of them checked my fingerprints. I was innocent — but impressed.