Archive for October, 2007

Why parents push their children into GEP

Oct 16, 2007

Straits Times Forum

I REFER to the discussion on the Gifted Education Programme (ST, Oct 12).

It is a well-known fact that a person’s IQ can be increased through training, with exposure to various tools such as number and pattern puzzles and other mind benders. Many local enrichment centres offer gifted training programmes for pre-schoolers, and one even advertised the high success rate of its pupils entering GEP. Thus, I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority who qualified had attended enrichment classes and are from higher-income families.

Why do parents push their children into GEP? Other than that GEP has smaller classes, better teachers and more interesting programmes, students who are in GEP qualify automatically for subsidised school fee in independent schools, compared to non-GEP students with the same score, who have to pay the full fee, unless they are awarded the Edusave Entrance Scholarships for Independent Schools.

Parents are just being practical in their quest for the best education for their children.

Vicky Chong Cheng Yee (Mdm)

October 16, 2007 at 1:20 am Leave a comment

The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize

By Peter Doherty

Until they win, few Nobel laureates realise that the award ceremony is associated with an intense but exhausting week that thrusts them suddenly into the media spotlight, and requires a high level of energy and — unless they are teetotal — a reasonably tolerant liver. Neither would they anticipate the other accoutrements, including a chauffeur and a junior Swedish diplomat assigned as helper and advisor. Scientists, at least, don’t normally live in a world of minders and personal limousines — certainly not one of celebrities. However, when the king confers that award, handing the winner a gold medal and a leather-bound certificate in an atmosphere of solemn dignity, he also bestows a kind of celebrity status that has its own rewards and limitations.

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October 5, 2007 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

Exploring Ways to Shorten the Ascent to a Ph.D.

October 3, 2007

On Education, NY Times

PRINCETON, N.J.

Many of us have known this scholar: The hair is well-streaked with gray, the chin has begun to sag, but still our tortured friend slaves away at a masterwork intended to change the course of civilization that everyone else just hopes will finally get a career under way.

We even have a name for this sometimes pitied species — the A.B.D. — All But Dissertation. But in academia these days, that person is less a subject of ridicule than of soul-searching about what can done to shorten the time, sometimes much of a lifetime, it takes for so many graduate students to, well, graduate. The Council of Graduate Schools, representing 480 universities in the United States and Canada, is halfway through a seven-year project to explore ways of speeding up the ordeal.

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October 3, 2007 at 1:32 pm Leave a comment


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