Posted by Jay Kapadia on

No Child Left Behind?

Photo credit: the Stars Online
Photo credit: the Stars Online

The Star Online, an Internet portal of Malaysia’s English-language newspaper, published a story about a six-year-old Lim Qi. At the age of six, Lim Qi already knows the meaning of the word “oxymoron” and is able to demonstrate it in a sentence. The article goes on to describe the quality of education she is receiving. Her parents pays about 1,500 Singapore dollars, roughly about $1,200 USD, for her school that has far lower teacher to student ratio and also uses iPad for their students education in the classroom. While the tuition and the use of iPad are nothing groundbreaking for the classrooms in some countries, they are for the local Singaporean standards. Lim Qi is also interesting in arts and well versed in many different elective subjects.

The article goes on to shed light on the low level of standard of preschool education in Singapore, and how the bar is set too low. They introduce another child who is receiving what would be considered a “standard level of education,” and struggles to compose a full sentence when asked some basic questions.

While the article is originally meant to enlighten the alarming standard of education for Singapore, it also made me wonder if the very device that is instrumental for the better quality of education some of the children are receiving can be the tool that helps level the playing field. While not many parents can afford the sky-high monthly tuition for their children, with the price of tablets becoming more affordable day by day, could tablets help close the gap between the privileged children and the ones who are not?

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