Sunday February 19, 2012
THE creation of High Performance Schools (HPS) appears to be the flag-bearer for transforming our educational system. What the authorities seem to be doing is to look out for best performers in examinations and place them in schools (HPS), which I regard as expensive government schools.
Managing such schools can be “costly” as there are additional facilities provided in such schools. While most of them may be day schools, there are also some which are residential schools which means the students are separated from their families. Will this not have an impact on family ties and relationships?
Are these detrimental or for the better of society? Have there been studies done?
The granting of special status to certain schools does give the impression that the Education Ministry regards the other schools as below par.
What kind of effect will the ministry’s actions have on students, teachers and parents?
It appears that the ministry is working on the premise that if high performing students are left in “normal” schools, they will not fulfil their potential.
Is this true? What the authorities should do is to identify a sufficiently large number of high performing children who are NOT enrolled in a HPS and keep a record of their progress over a five-year period.
A comparison of the performance of these students with that of their peers from the HPS should then be made. The authorities should also look into cases of the high performing students who dropped out of the schools.
Did the schools and their respective environments have a negative impact on them? The students may have been high performers but perhaps non-conforming types who might have found their respective schools restrictive and oppressive.
Since the ministry had been working on the premise with regards to the fully-residential schools for so many years, studies could be conducted to verify if there has been any outstanding and innovative inidviduals or great inventors from these school so far?
My suggestion is that the ministry should keep an open mind. It should identify and keep high achieving schoolchildren in “normal” schools and let them achieve their full potential. Teachers would then be energised and motivated,