We have conducted a paper poll with our friends and some members of the public over the issues related to the education system in Singapore. A copy of the survey is available here.
We have polled a total of 25 Primary School students, 50 Secondary School students and 30 Tertiary Institutes students. The students from the Tertiary Institutes are equally distributed amongst the various post-secondary education institutes.
Results and Analysis
Question 1: Do you consider students designated as members of a lower stream as inferior?
The trend observed might be due to the fact that as students grow older they tend towards being more mature and more understanding to others and are less likely to judge people by mere academics only. Furthermore the younger students are more likely to be influenced by the presence of Streaming exams in primary 4 that pressure them; achieving a higher stream would thus become their main focus for most of their Primary school life. These factors combine to give prejudice to younger students, which eventually dispels as they get older.
Question 2: With reference to question 1, why do you think so?
Many given reasons for yes are because they are more intelligent and because they score higher for tests. On the other hand, reasons given for no are that the students from lower streams have other abilities, and that academic abilities are not everything.
Question 3: Do you think that the idea of an elitist society has a negative or beneficial impact on society?
The large difference in primary school results might be partially because the students are young and therefore have not really thought into the matter seriously. The general response from the Primary school students was that an elitist society would cause haughtiness, or more accurately, “people will be proud”. However as they grow older the idea is considered more carefully and the split between the opinions is now much shorter as the arguments for an elitist society and a non-elitist society have their respective followers, though many do not believe in an elitist environment.
Question 4: With reference to question 3, why do you think so?Reasons cited for this is that there might be unfair treatment of less capable students or it might be considered undemocratic. Reasons that support elitism however say that elitism spurs competition and thus progress among students.
Question 5: Do you think that the education environment in Singapore is too stressful?
Majority of students feel that it is stressful. Reasons for this are elaborated on in the next question's responses.
Question 6: What do you believe are the leading causes of stress in Singapore's schools?
Younger children have more free time and are more constrained by their parents because of their youth thus more of them feel that their pressure comes from their parents. For secondary school students there is less parental constraint as parents would now feel that they are mature enough to handle their own responsibilities and thus they feel more pressure from the immense workload. Tertiary school students have another outlook because they are fast approaching the end of their education and thus would feel the urgent need to do well to get qualifications for their future jobs.
Question 7: In the future would you wish to enroll your child in a single sex school or a co-ed school?
We have discounted the results for Primary schools in this question because we believe that they are not eligible to answer this question as they have not yet seen the difference between the two systems. The results are quite equally matched in both secondary and tertiary categories. However, a noticeable percentage shifted over towards the negative after secondary school. We believe that this is because in tertiary schools when both sexes are brought together again, the differences between same sex schools and co-ed schools become more noticeable.
Question 8: Please state your reasons.
Some reasons cited for are: Same sex schools are better than co-ed schools, same sex schools got no distractions.Some reasons against are: Co-ed schools got more exposure to opposite sex, same sex schools teach children to be sexist.
Question 9: Do you think that initiating compulsory CIP is a good way to encourage students to participate actively in community service?
We have discounted the Primary school results because Primary schools do not have a significant amount of CIP. A lot of students say no because they believe that forcing students to do such activities will only increase their dislike for CIP. Furthermore, many students regard it as a waste of time because they are simply not interested in such activities.
Question 10: Please state your reasons.
Most of the surveyed replied that even though they participate in the CIP, they do so only out of gaining materialistic points and thus do not gain much in terms of moral education. Many also do not voluntarily participate in community service despite the CIP.