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On December 21, as part of their annual Student Peace Lecture series, Singapore Soka Association (SSA)’s student members invited Betsy Lim, a senior lecturer at the National Institute of Education, to speak on the topic “Has schooling interfered with my education?” Held at Singapore Management University, the lecture was attended by some 280 people including educators and academics.
Departing from the usual lecture-style format, the event took the form of a seminar-style session with dialogue between Ms. Lim and SSA Youth Leader Leonard Koh, who is a secondary school principal. Topics discussed ranged from what constitutes education, the strengths and shortcomings of Singapore’s school system to the future of education in Singapore.
There was also a Q&A session in which Ms. Lim drew on her 40 years of experience in the field of education to answer questions such as whether Singapore’s schools merely produce students who are good test takers. She responded, “A lot of these things happened because teachers were not confident of themselves. In the last ten years, we have moved away from that through providing teachers with professional development so that they can help students learn, instead of giving them answers.”
The seminar concluded with Ms. Lim challenging participants to consider the role schools play in education and whether education stops when one leaves school.
SSA’s Student Peace Lecture series began in 2005 and aims to provide a platform for eminent individuals to speak on varied issues pertaining to peace education and to inspire young people to lead contributive lives. Coinciding with this lecture, the ninth in the series, an exhibition created by SSA’s student group themed “Treasure Everything,” outlining the sanctity and power of a single life, was also on display.
[Adapted from an article in the January 17, 2014, issue of SSA Times, Singapore Soka Association (SSA); photos courtesy of SSA]
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