MoE released April Fools’ Day video by mistake?

In Humour on 01/10/2016 at 1:15 pm

Singapore’s education system, one of the best in the world, is known for its emphasis on grades and examinations.

But a video by the Ministry of Education (MOE) suggests that attitude might be changing.

The short film, based on a true story, shows Madam Pua, a geography teacher, trying her best to encourage and help her student Shirley, who keeps failing her tests.

Despite all her hard work, enthusiasm and progress, Shirley still fails her next exam, but is encouraged by Madam Pua that success isn’t about the grades but trying her best.

Something’s not right. How can

— be true story? [Where got failures here? Juz get streamed to appropriate level.]

— Despite all her hard work, enthusiasm and progress, Shirley still fails her next exam?; and

— success isn’t about the grades but trying her best?

The official narrative is that hard work and enthusiasm is all that is needed to succeed in meritocratic S’pore. And that trying her best is not an acceptable explanation or excuse.


The reality

A recent government survey shows that families in Singapore collectively spend about $1.1bn Singapore dollars ($827m; £526m) a year on private tuition, nearly double the amount from a decade ago.

“kids who grow up in Singapore start running the rat race from an early age” … there was always a subliminal pressure from society to get good grades.”

[But] parents and students often fuel the stress about grades because of a narrow definition of what success can be.”


The video must have been meant for 1  April 2017? It was an honest mistake to release it on Teacher’s Day 2016?

“This ad is so misleading. I’ve seen teachers contacting parents if their kids don’t do well in school. Singapore’s education system is crazy,” one Facebook post read.

“This is just an ad,” said another post. “In reality, based on my own experiences, teachers like to put down students more than encourage them.”

“Try convincing the parents,” said another.

  1. A couple of my extended relatives are MOE teachers, 1 in Sec school, another in JC. They both confirmed the advert is BS and smells worse.

    Teachers’ KPIs still involves students’ grades and delta in grade improvement and number of student failures. I.E. how well your students perform in exams has impact on your salary increments, performance bonuses, promotions, and opportunities to cushy higher-paying jobs in MOE HQ without having to face idiotic students and imbecilic parents.

    Students’ grades now not as large a percentage in KPI as 10 years ago but still substantial — how else to measure quantitatively in statistics-mad PAP governance?!?!

  2. Hi, hope you are doing well. I am writing to you seeking permission to reproduce this post of yours titled “MoE released April Fools’ Day video by mistake?” ( on our SG education portal; as in previous instances we shall make explicit mention that the article first appeared on your site. Hope to hear from you soon! 🙂

  3. Much appreciated! 🙂

    Might you be interested to do a guest post for our site to bring about greater awareness about your writings?

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