Ramblings on the educational (JC) divide II

June 16, 2005 at 8:25 pm 3 comments

This is sort of a continuation from the earlier entry. Wasn’t too happy personally with that one because it was based on just two anecdotal accounts.

So what do I do then? I went surfing to the JCs’ websites to see if I could find any relevant information. I wanted to see if the JC has provided any links/support for their graduates to pursue their undergraduate education either locally or overseas. Most were quite disappointing – they had either none or they just simply put up hyperlinks to the local (no overseas) universities’ homepages or to some of the Singapore government scholarships granting agencies. Maybe they had locked up the “post-A-Levels options” page under IVLE such that you had to have a login id/password to access; I won’t know.

There were however two JCs that impressed me for their rather detailed explanations/to-do list for those students with a keen interest to pursue their university education overseas. RJC had devoted an entire section for students hoping to enroll in US universities, including tables that displayed the success rate of their alumni clinching admission offers from (mainly selective) US institutions. But I couldn’t find any link for those students who are interested in the other popular Singaporean student destination countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand etc. The link for UK apps appear to be dead.

VJC, on the other hand, had a very useful section for both local and overseas universities. I quite like their timeline tables for US and UK universities bound students.

Both have an interesting FAQ section on further education in the US. Which leads me to assume that the top A level students would mainly want to go to the US for their college education.

Talking about grades, the 4 A-level distinction distribution amongst the JCs is very skewed (as what most people know for a long time). RJ and HCJC (now HCI) are probably in a class of their own, followed by NJ, VJ, TJ and then the rest.

Finally, I liked this bit:

Why does RJC limit the number of schools I can apply to?

Recommended: 6 schools altogether. Absolute maximum: 8 altogether, 3 Ivy League.

1. It’s a waste of your teachers’ time.
2. At US$60+ per application, it’s a waste of your time and money.
You’ll have to make up your mind eventually.
3. We suspect you’re spoiling your schoolmates’ chances.
RJC is overwhelmingly overrepresented at most top US colleges.

Yeap, and that’s how it even got featured in the Wall Street Journal a year ago.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

NUS’s PH1101GEM1004 Blog NY Times – Class in America

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lynne  |  June 17, 2005 at 10:06 am

    Alamak, my JC only appeared up to the 2002 rankings, then fell out of rank liao!! Hehehe, I am from the JC with the bad rep – CJC!

    Reply
  • 2. L'oiseau rebelle  |  June 17, 2005 at 4:40 pm

    Came over from a comment you left on my blog.

    The WSJ article made a number of mistakes I remember. But, yeah, they got the gist of the story.

    Unfortunate as it may be, I think most systems have an “educational divide”. Let’s say we have a system that is not based on merit. Then what determines the placement of a student into a certain school?

    Proximity from home might be one, otherwise known as school districts in US. But this would mean that rich kids from rich districts with the mentalities of the well-to-do will be grouped together; similarly for the less well-to-do districts. It’s no secret that the inner city schools have worse teachers, higher teacher turnovers, terrible facilities, low expectations, discipline problems, and overall, an unconducive environment for learning, especially compared to schools in well-heeled districts. It also means that the well-to-do are not exposed to the realities of the less well-to-do. (Imagine, pick any of the schools in Bk Timah of your choice, and all the students in the school is from the surrounding district.)

    How, then, do you think the system can be improved?

    Reply
  • 3. takchek  |  June 17, 2005 at 11:34 pm

    I am guessing some sort of ‘affirmative action’.

    Anyway, even with our current system of meritocracy, you can see that the students in the better schools generally come from wealthier backgrounds. It’s not just a academic class difference, but an economic one too.

    Hmm, this looks like a good topic for another blog entry…

    Reply

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