I'm still in a missive-writing mood...
Dear Education Minister,
I came across this startling advertisement in today's Straits Times (Nov 12) and I thought I should share its claims with you. But of course I might have been presumptuous as you -- with your vast bureaucracy of ever-alert, hard-working and dedicated civil servants -- may have already been aware of it:
This ad may well be a game-changer if its claimed methods are testable, verifiable and usable classroom-wide -- that is, in the schools -- rather than restricted to just parents who want to "save thousands of dollars a year on tuition fees". As we have been told, parents are already spending a billion dollars on tuition fees for their children and that does not look good on your ministry, no?...
The ad I mentioned even has this glowing endorsement from a parent:
Frankly, I am not sure if Mr Johnson Yip is:
(a) an ex-frustrated father, that is, he (for some reason) is no longer the boy's father!
or (b) he is, he is... I give up! There can only be one meaning if you call someone thus.
But I quibble over the poor wording above (there is a glaring grammatical error within the quote too).
So what say you? I am certainly not saying that Singapore's school children are not motivated to study. On the contrary, they seem to be, going by the supplementary tuition they are having, instead of playing soccer or netball after school hours.
My point is that, if the ad's claims are so fantastic, why reinvent the wheel? Go find out if those claims really work, school-wide. Singapore always prides itself on adopting best practices, right?
Poor Xinhua. This was the first version of a story sent out by the Chinese news agency, and quickly picked up by foreign media like GlobalPost:
All Chinese media later used the corrected version:
Still on APEC, I have my own correction... to my item on Mr Putin yesterday. It appears that the Russian president is "newly single" (story in ST, Nov 12) so he won't need to do any explaining to his wife about the now infamous "coatgate" incident:
Incidentally, the headline above is excellent! It deserves a Headline of the Month nomination.
But I felt that the Page One lead story in ST ("Apec leaders inch closer to creating free trade area", Nov 12) failed to make the cut...
The reader is left unsatisfied! Okay, the FTAAP is not a Chinese idea. Okay, it was broached in 2004. But who/which country came up with the idea? Such a journalistic lapse is unacceptable.
Fortunately, I found the answer in a commentary piece by Dr Chan Heng Chee (one of my political science mentors back then in university):
So there you are. The FTAAP was ironically an American idea, now eagerly taken by China but now kept at arm's length by Uncle Sam!
Dr Chan's commentary is well worth a read:
But its concluding paragraph was marred by poor copy editing... a grammatical error ("their", not "its") was not rectified: