K-pop talent show finalist slams Singapore’s education system

K-pop talent show finalist slams Singapore’s education system

Friday, Jan 17, 2014

SINGAPORE – K-Pop Star Hunt 3 finalist Stephanie Koh is not proud to be a Singaporean, and in her latest online video, she explained why. Koh represented Singapore and was placed among the top four in the singing competition but lost out to eventual champion, Taiwanese Andy Su, 15, in the finals last Sunday.The 14-minute YouTube video uploaded on Wed (Jan 15) has been making its way around social media, garnering over 400,000 views and attracting more than 16,000 ‘likes’ as of Friday (Jan 17).

In the video, Koh details seven points on why she is not proud to be a Singaporean. One of them, is that “Singaporeans are not creative”.

And to Koh, Singapore’s “restricted” education system, which “slams down creativity”, is to blame.

The 21-year-old YouTube star explained the lack of creative talent in Singapore: “I’m not saying that there’s no talent in Singapore. There’s a lot of talent. But all these talents are not seen, why? Because of a very, very, simple reason – the education system in Singapore.”

Koh brought up the example of her two younger sisters who are studying at international schools in Taiwan.

“After just two years of studying there, they have grown so differently from other Singaporeans because of the education system in their school.”

Koh said the reason is because they are allowed room for creativity.

“In art classes, for example, they throw you a theme and you do what you want, just let your creativity flow.

“It’s definitely a lot harder but it encourages a lot more creativity than the Singaporean education system.”

She goes on to add that everyone in Singapore are “homework robots”.

“We get home, we sit down at the table, finish our homework, we go for dinner, have a shower, we go to bed. That’s it. That’s the Singaporean daily schedule.”

Koh also blamed parents for believing that the academic route is the only path to success in life and stifling creativity in children.

“When parents have this mentality, this is what you get from Singaporean kids – we are not creative, we’re just book-smart, we just study every single day. Does anyone do arts and crafts? No.”

Koh also brought up another example, of how when she was a primary school pupil in Singapore, she had the idea to make her English homework “prettier, instead of writing it on a piece of foolscap paper.”

Her mum said “go ahead”, but when she excitedly handed in her homework the next day, she was disappointed when her teacher told her: “This is very nice, but don’t do it again.”

“Creativity is being slammed down in Singaporean culture and I don’t like it.

“I like to be creative, I don’t want to just be book-smart. It’s just kind of sad. I’ll just be like the majority of Singaporeans in Singapore – and it’s too rigid for my taste,” said Koh.

But one thing she does like? Films by local actor-director Jack Neo, which she described as “super amazing”.

“Local productions cannot compare to foreign productions, and I do think that this is because of the restricted education that we have.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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