Value in GEP Education?

January 10, 2008 at 6:26 pm 1 comment

Jan 10, 2008 (Straits Times Forum)

GEP’s success laudable, but neighbourhood schools also capable of nurturing top students

I HAVE been following the Gifted Education Programme (GEP) discussion closely and would like to offer the following perspective.

I was shortlisted for the programme in 1984, but my parents opted out of it for various reasons.

Over the next 23 years, I managed to make it to Raffles Girls’ Secondary School and Raffles Junior College, before fulfilling a lifelong ambition to pursue medicine.

Opting out was not an easy decision, but I am grateful for my parents’ foresight and don’t regret the decision.

At present, I enjoy my work in the field of emergency medicine and serve as the deputy editor of the Singapore Medical Association’s newsletter, maintain a blog that attracts international readers and garnered a favourable review by Britain’s Guardian newspaper, and participate actively in community work at my church.

Another friend whom I have known for 20 years also opted out of the GEP. She later topped the local bar exam and became a family court magistrate.

While the GEP’s overall success is laudable, I hope this does not compel parents to opt in without considering other avenues.

Local educational standards have improved tremendously over the past decades and, as evidenced by the recent Primary School Leaving Examination results, many neighbourhood schools are equally capable of nurturing top students.

Perhaps, as an extension of the analysis, the Ministry of Education could track down others who opted out of the programme, to see if they have fared as well as – if not better than – GEP graduates.

Dr Oh Jen Jen


Entry filed under: education, Singapore.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. krysjez  |  January 11, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Ultimately, it depends on the individual. Whether they are willing to work hard, to study conscientiously, and to achieve stellar results.

    For me anyways, GE was more of like an enrichment class – learning new things that you would not be exposed to normally at that level in primary school.


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