Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Republic Poly

I was chatting with some "executives" of departments at RP and I received several comments.

"The students here are those who cannot get into other poly or university, we teach time life skills in a problem solving way, they are not capable of critical thinking."

"80% of the students who come here will go directly to work, and have no chance for university."

"Students here are not motivated, and they are not going to be the same level as other tertiary institutions."

"We give them life skills, and things need to be taught to them slowly, that is why a short course that last 2 weeks in other institutions will take 15 weeks to teach here."

I don't understand, why are these people looking down on their students?

Didn't the government say that Polytechnic is another way of getting into the university? Are they give the same opportunity or even a chance?

I feel that if the lessons are engaging, motivating the students would not be a problem. If you try to force information down their throats, they may probably fail, but since this is a problem based learning institution, shouldn't they do well?

I'm quite disappointed at some departments and their mindset, and I surely do hope that I misinterpreted them.

-- Iron Bowl

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Inability to Control Passengers -- China Eastern Airline

I do understand that I've flown on the cheapest available airline from Singapore to New York City (JFK) for a total cost of slightly over US$1350 (3 months stay).

As I tend to drink lots of alcohol and knock myself out, just to wake up and drink water to hydrate myself, I don't really care about which airline I fly, however, I do feel safety is a major concern even for cheap airline.

Recently, I've flown China Eastern Airlines, and I find that the way the crew members organize the passengers seemed way below par. I'm not sure it is due to the crowds not following orders, and just ignoring the rules, but it seemed pretty bad.

Sure, there are people in China who let their kids pee into rubbish bins, smoke their "smokeless" electronic cigarettes while walking at the airport, etc. Yes, they generally do not care about rules or other people.

However, an airlines inability to control the passengers may simply be a safety hazard! During boarding, the passengers simply crowd around the entrance, and try to rush on board the plane. The passengers also carry a lot of carry on luggage, way more than legally allowed. The crew does not seem to care or mind, and all luggage seem to get on board.

The passengers stay on their mp3 players, and phones even on board, and seem to talk on the phone all the way ignoring the crews' calls for them to stop.

Next, the passengers do not sit at designated seats. I believe people are allocated seat numbers, and simple rules like that are for safety reasons, as well as meal allocation, etc. But the crew is slow to help in moving the person in the wrong seat, and when the person makes a large fuss, that seem to give him the right of way??? By being loud and obnoxious?

Lastly, almost all the passengers get up from their seats once the plane hit the ground. It does not matter if the plane is traveling on high speeds, most people seem to get off their seats to get their luggage. The crew tries to get them to sit but fails miserably.

In times of peril, I wonder, will the crew be able to handle the situation to guide the passengers to safety? or will it be a tragedy? It seemed like the latter would happen and I do not have much confidence in their current ability.

-- Ironbowl

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Online Citizen -- Gazetted

The Online Citizen have been gazetted as a Political Association.

What exactly does that mean?

1) It cannot get foreign donations.

(I don't think it is funded by foreign elements or sources anyway.)

2) They need to list the identities of its owners, editorial team and administrators.

(Well you probably can tell who the editors are anyway. It is practically there.)

Wait... as political website under condition 4 of the Schedule to the Broadcasting (Class License) Notification.

What is this Condition 4?

"An Internet Content Provider who is or is determined by the Authority to be a body of persons engaged in the propagation, promotion or discussion of political or religious issues relating to Singapore on the World Wide Web through the Internet, shall register with the Authority within 14 days after the commencement of its service, or within such longer time as the Authority may permit"


What is a Political Association? According to the Political Donations Act,

"political association" means —

(a) a political party or an organisation which has as one of its objects or activities the promotion or procuring of the election to Parliament or to the office of President of a candidate or candidates endorsed by the organisation; or

(b) an organisation (not being a branch of any organisation) whose objects or activities relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore and which is declared by the Minister, by order in the Gazette, to be a political association for the purposes of this Act;

Also Read: "Kingmaker" and "PAP-Breaker" - Political and Proud of It?

Wait, why is the government -- PAP... Or Government / PAP... oh, the terms are so interchangeable isn't it... I mean it should not be because of Singapore being a democracy.. erm... well.. uh-huh...

Well I detract, the question is why should an online blog, there people share views about Singapore in general, with some political views. Well, is it because TOC has been involved in online activism e.g. from its public transport to anti-death penalty campaigns or is it a face-to-face interview with the opposition.

I mean, being branded as a political association ironically legitimises TOC further and enhances its credibility, but on the other hand, the government who seemed to have sued many political opponents in the past may want to take this opportunity to sue them.

Maybe TOC should consult Admiral Ackbar and seek his opinions.

Well, we have it, should TOC just start a new site and close the current blog and export everything, or register as a political gazetted?

-- Iron Bowl