Friday, April 23, 2010

The Susan Elliot affair

According to this report, it seems that a deaf or hearing-impaired teacher, a finalist for the 2009 teacher of the year award, Susan Elliot, was denied an invitation to a 'major education conference in September'.

"How did the Singapore officials respond? Susan was wished a successful future but remains persona non grata at the conference."

After this report publicised it, a reply was sent from the Ministry of Education.

Dear Dr Lim

Thank you for your feedback.

The withdrawal of our invitation to Ms Susan Elliot was a mistake on our part. It arose from our misunderstanding about the need for interpreters and her professional experience. The chairman of the Organising Committee has since contacted Ms Elliot and spoken to her personally to convey our sincere apologies. We should have clarified these matters before making the decision. Ms Elliot has accepted our apology and the Organising Committee is delighted that she will participate at the Teachers' Conference in September. We look forward to her contributions in making the Conference a success.

Ms Sucillia Sukiman
Teachers' Conference 2010 Organising Committee

It does make one wonder as to the decision-making in the Organising Committee. Why had this occurred in the first place?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why are children being banned from Scrabble competitions?

Recent events have prompted the creation of this blog. Before I begin, I will state that I am a disinterested party. I don't play Scrabble, I don't like Scrabble and I am not a parent of a child involved. The reason why this blog is set up is because I want to know this:

Why are children being banned from the Inter-School Scrabble competitions?

It appears that in a recent incident, a child who participated in a Scrabble competition, namely, the Lim Boon Heng Cup, organised by the Jurong Green Community Centre (run by the People's Assocation) was banned from participating in the Inter-School Scrabble competitions.

Let's see. As a child, the child loves the Scrabble game and he or she plays in the Inter-School Scrabble competition. The child sees a competition organised by the People's Association in his or her local community centre and joins it. Suddenly, WHAM! the poor child is banned from all Interschool Scrabble competitions.

It was stated that the child and the parents should have known of the rules that forbid the child from participating in the Lim Boon Heng Cup. As such, the child was banned. I have also been told that this rule has been there for the last five years and a number of other children and students have been victims of this ban. Why is this? Why is there such a rule? What can be the rationale of such a rule? Why is the child made a victim of such a rule?

This is certainly Kafkaesque. Can you believe it?

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