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Education of the elites & its flaws - Took Them a Long Time to see This

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  • mellaniehewlitt@yahoo.co.uk
    Million Dollar Ministers but Peanut Performance and Monkey Vision. You can view it in the context of the entire discussion by going to:
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 22, 2005
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      Million Dollar Ministers but Peanut Performance and Monkey Vision.

      You can view it in the context of the entire discussion by going to:

      Forum: the Sammyboy.com's Alfresco Coffee Hub Forum
      Subject: Now the gahment finally realised it
      From: (ZENRA2003)
      To: (ALL)
      DateTime: 28/12/2005 11:49:04

      Finally they realised it.

      Time is GMT + 8 hours
      Posted: 28 December 2005 2035 hrs

      MOE announces measures to promote GEP, non-GEP student mingling
      By Pearl Forss, Channel NewsAsia

      The Education Ministry has announced new measures to facilitate
      mingling between Gifted Education Programme (GEP) students and their
      non-GEP peers.

      So much for the so-called helicopter vision of government scholars.

      Earlier this year around June, someone posted an article on Singapore
      Review about the problems with the current GEP program and
      proposed that students of different talents should mingle with each
      other. 6 months later, the education ministry did a rethink and did
      exactly as suggested by the writer.

      So much for the million dollar scholar talents. Maybe, we should hire
      the writer of the article to head the education ministry at one-fifth
      the current salary that a minister is drawing now.

      Title: Education of the future elites and its flaw

      From: "tan aloysius" <aloysiustan1981@...>
      To: Melllanie Hewlitt
      19 June 2005
      Singapore Review

      Hi Melanie:

      I noticed the anomaly in those MOE driven programs, which will
      produce so called future elites. Just giving my 2 cents worth of

      Enjoy the article below.

      Best regards, Aloysius Tan

      Written in the yellowing past issues of Straits Times Forum and even
      in the most ubiquitous Internet forums are gripes of the common man �
      the lack of empathy shown by those at the top for the common folk.
      These days, popular forums are abuzz with phrases like �so and so are
      living in an ivory tower, how would they understand our difficult

      Reminiscing about my school days, I believe this is just the tip of
      the iceberg. The root of the problem could go far deeper than
      imagined. I was a typical Average Joe, and the Natural Selection
      process of our education system dictated that I was destined for the
      express stream.

      However, my school was designated a SAP (Special Assistance Plan)
      school. The elite students among us were placed in the GEP,
      otherwise known Gifted Education Program. In recent times, the term
      GEP has become defunct, while the label �through train program� has
      become in vogue. They were the cr�me de la cr�me, either making a
      clean sweep of book prizes or simply topping the chart in every
      examinable subject.

      The GEP curriculum was designed in such a way that the students
      attended enrichment courses whose content were simply beyond what
      many of the ordinary lads like me could grapple with. An observation
      I made with regards to GEP students was that they hardly interacted
      with the ordinary Joes out there. As their curriculum was markedly
      different from the rest of the cohort, when we were getting ourselves
      sweaty playing popular sports or simply munching away with friends
      from other classes during our recess time, they were having their

      It was not surprising that they eventually formed cliques of their
      own as they hardly got to interact with the rest of the cohort due to
      the constraints of their curriculum. Given their academic abilities,
      many of them went on to earn prestigious scholarships, destined to
      reach the higher echelons of civil service.

      The way in which these future so called �elites� develop is indeed a
      worrying trend. Cloistered within their own cliques brought about by
      the fact that they hardly get to interact with other ordinary
      students, I really wonder how they can understand the ordinary Joe
      ethos if they spent majority of their development phase segregated
      from the common folks.

      And to think that they would some day make important decisions, which
      will have ramifications on the lives of the common folks out there.
      Little wonder that the �living in an ivory tower� remarks surface now
      and then! I am firmly opposed to any programs which results in
      segregation of students, especially in the case of the GEP, which
      filters the �elites-to-be� from the rest.

      I always believed in a wholesome development, whereby students of
      diverse academic abilities and talents coalesce and interact with
      each other in a classroom.

      If we were observant, we would realize that the most successful
      people out there were those who could really understand the psyche of
      the common folks. A browse through Forbes.com into the background of
      the World�s top 50 billionaires would indicate that these people have
      curriculum vitae quite similar to that of the average Joe in the
      street. Some were ordinary graduates, others were high school
      dropouts. However, what brought them success was their understanding
      of the common folks� psyche, and thus market sentiments.

      On the other hand, I will shudder if an ivory tower dwelling civil
      servant out of touch with the ground, who has zilch knowledge of
      market sentiments, is to make a business-related decision involving
      the blood monies of Singaporeans. Even great leaders exhibit empathy
      for those whom they lead. The real movers and shakers, who can
      really make a big impact, are those who can identify with the common
      folk ethos. That being said, whatever the raison d��tre for having
      the �Through-train� Program in place, there is no denying that our
      future leaders will come from there.

      Maybe time has come for either U-turn or a rethink in the education
      policies as far as the Gifted Education Program or the �through-train
      program� is concerned. Only the planning officers at our education
      ministry have the power to effect changes.



      Wednesday December 28, 10:17 PM

      MOE announces measures to promote GEP, non-GEP student mingling
      The Education Ministry has announced new measures to facilitate mingling between Gifted Education Programme (GEP) students and their non-GEP peers.

      In the coming years, GEP students will be taking part in community involvement programmes with their mainstream peers.

      The Education Ministry is also looking at letting primary school GEP students take music, arts and PE lessons with the rest of the cohort.

      At the same time, non-GEP students who display aptitude in certain subjects can sign up for related GEP enrichment programmes.

      Right now, this is limited to the creative arts programmes in secondary schools, but other areas such as mathematics will soon be offered.

      Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced the measures in an interview with Channel NewsAsia.



      Forum: the Sammyboy.com's Alfresco Coffee Hub Forum
      Subject: ST: LKY's GIC screwed up in Seoul!
      From: MIW are Leechers! (SGSAMSTER)
      To: (ALL)
      DateTime: 22/12/2005 20:39:58

      I wonder how much GIC wasted... Sad for Sinkies... All their CPF monies....

      Dec 23, 2005
      Seoul seeks $27m from GIC over property purchase
      Investment firm incurs bill related to acquisition of Star Tower, says report

      By Erica Tay

      THE Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) reportedly faces a huge tax bill, including penalties for late payment, over its purchase of a Seoul building last year.

      The South Korean authorities have told GIC to pay about 16 billion won (S$26.9 million) after an audit found that GIC did not pay acquisition taxes when it bought Star Tower for 930 billion won in
      December last year.

      The tax bill payable to Seoul's city government includes the original tax plus additional levies and penalties, said a report in South Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo.

      The amount will not only cover the acquisition tax - 2 per cent of the building's book price of 590 billion won - but also include penalties for failing to report the transaction within 30 days and
      for failing to pay dues.

      Two aspects of the deal reportedly attracted concern.

      One was the use by GIC of two subsidiaries to buy shares of Star Tower from its owner Lone Star, a United States private equity fund.

      The newspaper reported: 'GIC is suspected of using two subsidiaries to take over 50.01 per cent and 49.99 per cent of Lone Star's stake in the building.'

      It did this, the paper said, because local law stipulates that an acquisition tax must be levied on the shareholder which owns 51 per cent or more of a company. GIC's strategy would have meant it
      paid no tax on either acquisition. The newspaper said it was a common method used by foreign investment funds.

      But the South Korean authorities ruled that the two subsidiaries had a 'special relationship' so GIC was not exempt from the local taxes.

      The other aspect of the deal to attract attention centred on the fact that GIC bought the building, one of Seoul's largest office buildings, in the form of a stock takeover.

      The law states that if the subject of the trade was not real estate, but shares, then acquisition and registration taxes do not apply.

      But the Seoul authorities ruled that GIC exercised ownership of Star Tower, and so had to pay the taxes, reported Dong-A.

      The tax shortfall came to light, reported the newspaper, during a tax probe into property buys by foreign investment companies.

      Dong-A's report quoted a Seoul city official as saying: 'If GIC does not file for an objection, it will pay its dues next month.'

      The spokesman for GIC's real estate investment arm, GIC Real Estate (GIC RE), Mrs Tan Chor Hwa, told The Straits Times last night: 'We are not in a position to comment, because we don't have the
      official announcement from the Seoul metropolitan government.'

      However, she confirmed that GIC has been under investigation by the Seoul authorities: 'Yes, they do regular audits. This is one of their regular audits.'

      News of a probe for possible tax breaches in GIC's Star Tower deal emerged in May.

      Back then, a GIC RE spokesman was quoted as saying it was 'unaware of this allegation'.

      GIC RE, which holds a multibillion-dollar portfolio of properties around the world, has been one of a handful of foreign investment funds snapping up top-grade commercial buildings in South Korea's
      booming property market in recent years.

      Singapore is the No. 1 foreign investor in South Korea's real estate market, surpassing US funds.


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