Ministry of Education’s Flawed Advertisement

Is that your first time watching that ad?

Well, that’s the latest advertisement from Singapore’s Ministry of Education in an attempt to entice graduating students from Universities and Polytechnics to sign up with them as a teacher.

The advert no doubt sends a strong message as it hits the right emotional chords amongst viewers, me included but for anyone who’s able to read beyond the emotions evoked in the video, this is what you’ll see.

  1. It was based on a true story set in 1997.
  2. The boy’s family owed money to loan sharks.
  3. The boy had to work long hours after school to support the family income which as a result..
  4. Fared badly in school.

I wouldn’t deny that all that could have happened in that time and quite honestly, those same problems are still occuring today, perhaps even more apparent with the influx of foreign talents, rising cost of living and lower or stagnant wages.

The video also showed a few things from the teacher:

  1. She recognised that the boy was having problems.
  2. She spent extra time on that boy to tutor him.
  3. She gave him emotional support by becoming his ‘foster’ mother.
  4. She relentlessly kept in contact with him to motivate him to achieve his goals.

In short, she became not only his Teacher but also his Tutor and Mentor.

All these are possible of course. This was after all ‘Based On A True Story’ but how believable are these today?

I may be wrong but this is based on the constant feedback that I receive from my fellow friends who are teachers here and here’s what they’ve got to say which I can reflect what wasn’t included in the video.

  1. The Teacher didn’t have any markings to do.
  2. The Teacher didn’t have any CCA to handle.
  3. The Teacher only had one flailing student to focus on. In real cases today, you’d get more especially in neighbourhood schools.
  4. The Teacher had to spend time with the family together with the boy effectively ‘adopting’ him which means that she had an emotional connection with the boy.

The teacher in that video was a Teacher, Tutor (Free) and a Social Worker with very minimal responsibilities to do markings or handle CCAs and had only one flailing student whom she grew emotionally attached to.

If you are reading this and you want to be a teacher still, I’m not sure if you’re going to get married because if you realised in the video. She was married with kids and still had to spend time with the boy to give him emotional support and motivation.

If you’re not married and you have a student like that.

Aren’t you effectively dating your student then?

Spending long hours with your dear student, tutor and go eat dinner. Who knows, you might fall in love and end up in bed together too!

Just pray MOE doesn’t find out and decide to give you the sack for something that they put you up for in the first place.

Having said all that, these are only my opinions. I’m guessing they are having a lack of it after sacking a few good teachers and probably getting a few more to resign.

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