Friday, December 01, 2006

My advice to Kuen Cheng alumni

The recent decision by the board of Kuen Cheng Independent high school to open up the admission for all gender has caused quite a stir. It seems the majority of the alumni have objected to this idea. They have launched an all-out war against the board, by issuing various attacks through media.

After going through many comments posted in the newspaper, I can conclude that the alumni have no case, and their defense can be summarized as the followings.

1. Single-sex is the unique feature of Kuen Cheng. And if you take that away, Kuen Cheng will loose its identity.
2. According to Kuen Cheng Alumni Association President Li Shuz hen, studies show that students from single-sex schools often perform better academically, and are more disciplined, than students from co-ed schools
3. If you mix around boys and girls, the boys will dominate certain areas, making girls less confident.

On Point 1, I do not see much merit. What’s more important? The school’s identity or the students’ well being? There is no point of talking about identity, if the students' well-being is sacrificed in some ways. If you are so concerned about identity, why not remain all of the policies previously adopted, including using traditional chinese instead of simplified chinese ?

On Point 2, don’t fucking bullshit me. I’m wary of this kind of “quoting a study” without explaining in full the context or pretext. And besides, you can almost find a report that supports any position you desire. If you like smoking, you can find a report that concludes smoking does not lead to illness. The fact is, you will find outstanding students everywhere, both in co-ed and single-sex school.

Point 3 is interesting, because it concerns the well-being of the student, and at first glance, it sounds perfectly logical. However, it's deeply flawed.

My argument is this : If you need to build an environment that allows girls to be convinced that they can do almost everything, why just stop at recruiting only female students? Go all out. Hire only female teachers. Hire only female headmaster. Hire only female bus drivers. Hire only female basketball coach. Hire only female construction workers that do the renovation work for the school. Allow the girls to see and feel that the entire school operates on its own without male. If you can do that, I’m sure your girls will have pretty high level of confidence.

If you find the above scenario impractical, and that real life does not operate this way, you are being inconsistent in your thinking. Inside classroom, girls-only is ok for you, and outside classroom, girls-only is not ok for you. Do you honestly think that a female student will get convinced about the “girl power” this way?

Sure, boys are more dominant in nature, and in a typical laboratory, boys will be holding the test tube, or in a computer lab, they will be typing the codes. The right solution is to let the teachers mediate and ensure equivalent opportunities be given to the girls. The wrong solution is to exclude boys, because by doing that, you are create an illusion to fool the girls. You are fooling the girls to believe that they can take their own sweet time to do their exercises, without knowing that in real life, boys will fight to do it, and they will do it fast, so that they can move on to play games. The girls need to be exposed to competition, head-on, to mature.

Kuen Cheng Alumni, time to grow up. It’s a cruel world out there, dominated by men. Give your juniors a chance to learn to compete in the future!


Blogger 非舞者 said...

What sort of world do these alumni live in? They don't want to mix boys in because they are afraid that the girls would lose to them in certain areas? No wonder we impose a high tax levy on foreign cars, because we are afraid of competition. Now I get it.

This is complete bullocks, not only it shows a mental weakness, but it also overlooks the fact that girls are not less competent than boys. Look at the Chinese medalists in the Olympics, can you tell most of them are female? Overseas, women display a level of mental strength and capability that I don't find in men. These alumni already accept defeat before accepting competition. That's the sort of spirit a school should properly rid of.

Please, Steve, take your war to those stoned alumni. Make them see what years of single-sex education has done to them.

12/02/2006 7:26 AM  
Blogger steve tan said...

Your argument is even stronger than mine, that they already accept defeat before acceptinng competition.

a friend posted my message onto the war zone.

12/02/2006 11:16 AM  
Blogger Deisy said...

I had been to KC and also CH High School in my high school life.

My advice to the alumni, please... it is really no big deal about "girls only" school. The truth is, I feel MORE confident in CH High School. So, point number 3 is VERY invalid.

12/04/2006 9:46 AM  
Blogger 非舞者 said...

Man, they have a website for alumni, what the f* have we got?

12/04/2006 10:47 AM  
Blogger steve tan said...

yeah, they seem to have a very complete alumni website... at least much richer in terms of content than that of Chong hwa.

12/04/2006 2:28 PM  

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