SINGAPORE — In a diabolical conspiracy, Singapore’s premier secondary school, Raffles Institution, has decided to retain the majority of this year’s Secondary 4 batch. This information has come as a shock to many parents, who protest that their sons’ education has been sacrificed in another of the school administration’s bad decisions.
The knowledge of the conspiracy trickled down to the students via careless teacher-to-teacher conversations, and also their recent Philosophy test, in which more than 70% of the cohort failed. It was noted that the people who failed usually excelled in many other things and were “valuable assets to the school”, as one authoritative source was heard saying.
Raffles Institution has decided to come clean about this conspiracy, seeing as it has already been revealed to the searching eyes of the national community. An inside source was quoted to be saying, “This is not going to be foolproof. There are people who fail tests only because they are stupid.” However, the percentage of valuable students captured by this conspiracy is expected to exceed 85%, in even the least optimistic estimates.
The Raffles Philosophy Course undertaken in the Raffles schools has a must-pass status: a student has to pass Philosophy (as well as English, Research Education, and Character & Leadership Education) to be promoted to the next higher level. Thus, with this wave of fail grades being handed out, it is highly expected that most of this year’s Secondary 4 batch will fall victim.
A high authority in the administration, who wished to be identified only as Mr Koh, has said that this ties in perfectly with the school’s ongoing upgrades. Thus it is clear what the newly-cleared Administration Blocks are for. Mr Koh says, “We have been planning this for quite a while now. It was already known to the staff that the new upgrades were to house the Secondary 5 batch of 2008, widely acknowledged among us to be the best batch since Lee Kuan Yew’s own.”
Also unprecedented is the decision to do so, given that all retainees from previous years were assimilated into the Secondary 4 class they were assigned to. This can be explained away by the large number of students expected to stay back another year, placed at around 300.
Raffles Institution is doing so to ensure it gains an advantage in academic and B-division sports competitions, in which it has not enjoyed its usual success as was expected. As to why such drastic measures were taken, none of those concerned in formulating this plan were quite clear about it. A Dr Leffrey Jee (one of the higher authorities) says, “We want to expand the knowledge base of our competing population.”
However, to appease parents, Raffles Institution will be teaching these Secondary 5s with the requisite A-level syllabi, such that they may go straight on to JC2 in 2009, having passed “the equivalent of a syllabus pitched at JC1 standard”. Students, however, are disgruntled, saying that this is cheapening their sense of progress.
The school’s official press release on allowing the students to progress straight to JC2 states: “As teachers, we understand the need for students to have social lives. Allowing them to be with their RGS counterparts at JC2 will, we hope, foster a working relationship that they will be slightly discouraged from doing so at Secondary 5, with the physical separation of classes in the Bishan campus.”
More news will be reported as information gradually becomes available.