PDA

View Full Version : De-politicization of education system?


rachelheng
07-09-2009, 12:04 AM
Here is a speech by Lee Hsien Loong in 7 July 2009

http://www.news.gov.sg/public/sgpc/en/media_releases/agencies/micacsd/speech/S-20090707-2.html

Under point 24,

Lee Hsien Loong believes that education system should be de-politicized. Does the benefit of de-politicization far outweigh the costs of doing it?

UCLA_Lim
07-10-2009, 02:07 AM
What do you think is meant by "shielding the education system from politics"? It's a rather vague description.

rachelheng
07-10-2009, 01:12 PM
What do you think is meant by "shielding the education system from politics"? It's a rather vague description.

U scolding Lee Hsien Loong:D
It means preventing politicization of our students and teachers in Singapore. Examples are banning CCAs that are affiliated to political parties and teachers not talking about politics in the classroom.

LockT31W
07-10-2009, 06:48 PM
U scolding Lee Hsien Loong:D
It means preventing politicization of our students and teachers in Singapore. Examples are banning CCAs that are affiliated to political parties and teachers not talking about politics in the classroom.

hmm i think that current system's a good idea actually. i don't think kids are old enough to make up their minds about their politics yet :P

rachelheng
07-10-2009, 07:26 PM
hmm i think that current system's a good idea actually. i don't think kids are old enough to make up their minds about their politics yet :P

But not engaging them in politics encourage indifference to it. In Swiss, students are heavily encouraged to vote and have a stake in the school. At their age, they may not be mature. But if there is a whole group lobbying for a certain action to be taken, then i doubt the problem is more than mere immaturity.

koo86
07-10-2009, 09:15 PM
Our education system is good at its current standards ?? =/ hmm i beg to differ, just look at youths and peers of this current age today , how many are even interested in SG politics ?? or even care about what's going on around the world. Most youths are just apathetic about political issues, when are we ever going to have an opinion of our own and start looking things from a different perspective

rachelheng
07-10-2009, 11:20 PM
Our education system is good at its current standards ?? =/ hmm i beg to differ, just look at youths and peers of this current age today , how many are even interested in SG politics ?? or even care about what's going on around the world. Most youths are just apathetic about political issues, when are we ever going to have an opinion of our own and start looking things from a different perspective

Yes. I agree with you. The government should focus more on how to create consensus and consultation across different perspectives than just mere de-politicization of our education system.:)

UCLA_Lim
07-11-2009, 01:39 AM
It means preventing politicization of our students and teachers in Singapore. Examples are banning CCAs that are affiliated to political parties and teachers not talking about politics in the classroom.

Hmm...I had a different reading of "shielding the education SYSTEM from politics". To me it sounds like minimizing political influence on educational policies, and to allow educators do what is pedagogically sound as opposed to being restricted by political needs. If true, this would be a welcomed change and direction.

From this point of view, "banning CCAs that are affiliated to political parties and teachers not talking about politics in the classroom" sounds exactly like politicizing of the educational system.

But we have to read it within the context of his speech. The point was mentioned under the need for "strong political leadership" to "drive the process", then turning to add a caveat "BUT also shielding the education SYSTEM from politics". To me, this is a little contradictory (how are you to impose political leadership while not politicizing the process?), making it sound like lip-service to pro-actively prevent criticism of totalitarian management by the government.

rachelheng
07-11-2009, 11:32 AM
Hmm...I had a different reading of "shielding the education SYSTEM from politics". To me it sounds like minimizing political influence on educational policies, and to allow educators do what is pedagogically sound as opposed to being restricted by political needs. If true, this would be a welcomed change and direction.

From this point of view, "banning CCAs that are affiliated to political parties and teachers not talking about politics in the classroom" sounds exactly like politicizing of the educational system.

But we have to read it within the context of his speech. The point was mentioned under the need for "strong political leadership" to "drive the process", then turning to add a caveat "BUT also shielding the education SYSTEM from politics". To me, this is a little contradictory (how are you to impose political leadership while not politicizing the process?), making it sound like lip-service to pro-actively prevent criticism of totalitarian management by the government.

Banning CCA affiliated to political parties and banning teachers not talking about politics is not politicizing of education system. It is to prevent political issues from being a topic in the classroom. It bans rallies and mass gatherings after their lessons. Hence, it is not politicization. It is removing politics from education.

Imposing political power not necessarily politicizing something. In fact, political power means the ability to exercise decisions. Hence, the government is trying to use its power to prevent the permeation of politics into classroom, and the ultimate aim in the exercise of political power is de-politicization.

However, I do agree that these politicians made these speech a bit ambiguous so it could be interpreted in different way

UCLA_Lim
07-11-2009, 12:57 PM
Somehow your logic defies me......

To me, the very act of imposing political power to influence decision within a system has already rendered the system tainted with political needs, even if the political decision is to "not talk about politics".

What is even more amazing is, though you advocate that "The government should focus more on how to create consensus and consultation across different perspectives", you fail to see how a political decision to "de-politicize" (in your own terms), or to prevent discussions on politics, is already in itself politicizing the educational system, meaning that educational policies is now based on directions from politicians instead of educators and sound pedagogy.

Or....has "de-politicization" of education already been so deeply rooted in JCs such that it is difficult to see how not being allowed to talk about politics could actually be politically-motivated? :)

rachelheng
07-11-2009, 06:04 PM
Somehow your logic defies me......

To me, the very act of imposing political power to influence decision within a system has already rendered the system tainted with political needs, even if the political decision is to "not talk about politics".

What is even more amazing is, though you advocate that "The government should focus more on how to create consensus and consultation across different perspectives", you fail to see how a political decision to "de-politicize" (in your own terms), or to prevent discussions on politics, is already in itself politicizing the educational system, meaning that educational policies is now based on directions from politicians instead of educators and sound pedagogy.

Or....has "de-politicization" of education already been so deeply rooted in JCs such that it is difficult to see how not being allowed to talk about politics could actually be politically-motivated? :)

Ok. But de-politicization could also mean removing politics from the education system in Singapore. It is a known fact that Singapore's education is deeply intertwined with our politics. Because of certain sensitive issues in Singapore and Singapore's government reluctance in encouraging a shift of focus from economy to politics, the government is trying to discourage politics in schools and sensitive issues would not be discussed. This is essence means a depoliticization in classroom, where the teachers are not allowed to explicitly voice out their own views.:D

UCLA_Lim
07-11-2009, 11:08 PM
I agree with your assessment of the current climate in schools with regards to allowing discussions of politics and sensitive issues.

But we're debating on a term you have coined yourself (namely de-politicization), and if it is an accurate interpretation of what the PM has said in his recent speech and purportedly will do in the future.

Going back to his original quote which is "But SHIELDING the education system FROM POLITICS". It's clear to me this is talking about assuring the populace that politics is not going to interfere or influence educational policies unnecessarily. I now understand that your term of "de-politicization" is meant as removing political talks FROM EDUCATION. However, I believe this is an inaccurate interpretation of what the PM has said.

If discussion with relevance to the PM's speech is to ensue, I think we should be more concerned with how the balancing act of political leadership and avoidance of political interference can be achieved.