Another dot in the blogosphere?

The blame game

Posted on: May 9, 2021

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), a publishing-radio-property conglomerate, is “restructuring“ because of “unprecedented disruption”. 

Our circuit breaker (lockdown) was a response to the current pandemic and this helped with the conglomerate’s narrative of Unprecedented Disruption 2: More Unprecedented, More Disruption. But audiences are not watching that show, particularly when one of their efforts was to recreate the tablet

These tweeter-observers’ critiques about the media conglomerate’s inability to adapt and thrive are probably valid. I can only agree superficially by nodding my head. Where I might prompt some reflection is in the business of education. 

The publisher of newspapers and seller of advertisements saw change and felt the pain due to falling profits. In a way it was more fortunate because it could sense and plan for what was relatively immediate.

Those of us in schooling and education deal with such a long tail that we do not see or feel the consequences. I am not referring to summative and high stakes exams like the PSLE or GCEs. These are grading and sorting exercises, not indicators of learning.

No, our efforts are sometimes felt a generation or more later. One only need think about the impact of how languages were/are taught, shifts in technology use, curriculum changes, values-based education, etc. 

These have unclear objectives and outcomes, and indefinite finish lines. Financial profits can be measured in quarters and goals determined as hits or misses. Whether a person is learned or a people are educated is subjective and complex.

It is easy to play the blame game when a newspaper fails. The usual suspects are trotted out for finger pointing. If we do poorly in education (however poorly is measured), we have only ourselves to blame — it is our priorities, planning, pedagogy. Perhaps those outside the sphere of education can take a leaf from our e-book. 

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