The official spiel is that the focus will be on speaking the language more confidently, never mind if they end up not being able to read the road signs. Or the letter from LTA requesting particulars of the driver of the car caught speeding. The trick is the use of visuals. Instead of the current written instruction on a test paper to, say, pen an essay on a fixed topic, the student will be presented with three pictures as guides to compose their masterpiece. Presumably, the drawings will be detailed enough to differentiate a HDB block from a Sentosa Cove condominium, an Ikea chair from a Herman Miller, a local born and bred from a foreigner.
Wong Siew Hoong, deputy director-general of Education (Curriculum) at the Ministry of Education (MOE), claims the aim was to prepare pupils for the "21st century workplace" where, presumably nobody will need to decipher the permutation of the English alphabet. "Didn't you read the memo" will no longer be an excuse for missing another office meeting. Those handicapped by dyslexia will welcome the good news, no longer will they be mentally challenged at determining the meaning of a simple sentence. All too soon, we will be moving on to communicating with sign language and flash cards. The question to ask, is this progress worth the 8 percent in salary increment for the teachers? Well, if reading anonymous online blogs drives up your blood pressure, this may just be the solution for you