Sunday, May 31, 2009

Secondary School Mid-Year Holiday is a Nightmare!

Holiday (noun) is known as:
  • A period of time spent away from home for enjoyment and relaxation
  • (Often plural) Chiefly Brit & NZ a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest or recreation
  • A day on which work is suspended by law or custom, such as a bank holiday
By Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2004, 2006


School Assignment (noun) is defined as:
  • A school task performed by a student to satisfy the teacher
By WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

Nightmare (noun) is known as:
  • A dream arousing feelings of intense fear, horror, and distress.
  • An event or experience that is intensely distressing.
  • A demon or spirit once thought to plague sleeping people.

This coming Secondary School Mid-Year Holiday is from 29 May 2009 till 28 June 2009, almost the
same as the Great Singapore Sales. It is supposed to be a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for the students. Students can take this opportunity to catch up with what they are weak in and have the rest of the time for rest or recreation activities.

Unfortunately this is not the case. The
schools have been very enthusiastic in preparing and creating new lessons, worksheets, assignments, forums and quiz for almost every subject to be carried out by the students during the holiday period. Just to name a few subjects, English, Chemistry, Physics, Social Studies, E-Maths, A-Maths, Chinese, ..... For Chinese, they have to read two story books and complete the online assignments.


During the school holiday, the students have to go back to take their English Oral Communication exam. Meanwhile they are told of a guide book, which cannot be found in any bookshop, to refer to. Even before the Oral exam has started, the schools have started posting articles, worksheets, assignments and lessons for the students to work on.

We are to suppose that the teachers would like to have their
holidays and put the plight of their students to the back of their mind. The MOE has the slogan "Teach less, Learn more", which they intend to strictly adhere to. After all, a fully paid holiday is hard to come by, especially during this recession period. Brown harvests and green shoots have no value if there are iron bowls full of rice. Ah Kong's money seems to be easily planned and obtained.

Two headed tree ?

To have an idea of the amount of time required to carry out the tasks, they are tabulated for easy understanding and calculation.

Estimated number of days available
= 20

Time required per day
= 224 ÷ 20 = 11.2 hours

This hour is 100% more than that of a normal 5.5hrs school day.

The student also has another 5 days of school related activities to attend.

It will be a very exhausting holiday.

When the school re-opens on 29 June 2009 there is a group of students selected to perform one week of official duties for the Asian Youth Game hosted in Singapore. During this one week, the rest of the students will attend classes normally whereas those on duty will be denied this opportunity. Instead they will have problems catching up with their studies. What the school is willing to do is just to keep the homework papers for them. Even that is also to be done by a school colleague living nearby. There is no plan on how to remedy the missed lessons. This is a very stressful situation for the student and this “crime is allowed to be committed by the school which participated in the AYG.