A stay-at-home mum in Singapore has been getting flamed by netizens for her comments in The Straits Times, which published “Worries over mixing with Normal students may drive parents to chase IP schools” yesterday (March 10).
The article covers the various opinions after Education Minister Ong Ye Kung made the announcement last Tuesday (March 5), and addresses how a few schools such as those with the Integrated Programme (IP) would not be affected by the changes.
Several parents were quoted, although one especially jumps out.
Wendy Chan, 48, prefers her children do not mix with those in the Normal stream.
She was quoted as saying, “It’s because of their upbringing – their mindset and values may not be in tandem with what I agree with. It’s not so much about their academic performance.”
Another parent in the same article also said, “It does matter who you mix with… if you mix with eagles, you will soar,” while a lecturer tried explaining these adults’ mentality.
But it is Chan’s position that has ignited many people.
Celebrity Rosalyn Lee posted this on Instagram:
She wrote, “Can we screen people for f***wittery before they are granted permission to be parents? So bigots like Wendy Chan can’t pass on her f***witted mindset onto an innocent next-gen?”
Lee added, “Not everyone deserves to procreate,” together with the hashtag #WeAreDoomed.
A Facebook post of a teacher reacting to Chan’s comments has also gone viral, racking up more than 2,300 shares as of 5pm.
Mark Rozells, who has taught at different levels and worked in the ministry, wrote, “The snobbery and prejudice contained in just a few lines is amazing.
“I’ve seen hardworking, resilient students in Normal stream and lazy, entitled students in IP and Express streams.
“And yes, family does play a big part in upbringing, which is why I worry for your children.
“I hope one day you will realise just how selfish, small-minded and poisonous your statements are, and I hope your children will be better than you, in spite of you.”
Rozells believes prejudices are cultivated over time and reform is needed.
He goes on to appreciate those who help students in the Normal stream and recognise people beyond streams.
Many people were in agreement.
Jenny Ong wrote, “Even when the child enters the workforce, he or she will still need to work with people regardless of education level. Her values are all wrong.”
Isaac Lim added, “This kind of toxic mindset is such a huge detriment to progress, it appals me that such words can be uttered by people who benefited from ‘said better education’.”
As usual, some inserted humour and sarcasm.
“I agree with Ms Chan. I wouldn’t want any students to mix with snobbish, shallow and narrow-minded people like her,” wrote Aminur Rasid.
Kenneth Lee saw a systemic issue instead.
“Can’t blame Mrs Chan for this. She has been raised in a different time, and the nature of streaming has been drummed into her mind. My teachers once told me that ITE means It’s The End. When biases are THIS deep, it is going to take an entire generation before we make progress.”
However, Chan found some supporters too.
“Mindset is a sacred thing that helps people go straight up in mental feedback loops or downwards. It’s not wrong for her to want to have her kids mix with kids of good mindsets when they’re away from home and her supervision, while they’re growing up,” wrote Zephyr Khambatta.
“Of course, you’re right though, you CAN find good mindsets AND negative ones everywhere. Her worries are slightly flawed, but where they’re coming from are definitely not unfounded.”
A version of this article first appeared in Asiaone.
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