The Significance Behind An ITE Student Winning an Internship with Gordon Ramsay in Singapore

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Foreigners might not fully grasp the significance behind this piece of news.

Y’see, in a country like Singapore- we’ve been brought up to believe that academics is the way to life. If you fail your tests, you’re basically a failure in life.
Even if you’re a super talented person in other aspects- the Singaporean mentality tends to frown upon you and think of you as “inferior”.

Which is really sad. And in this aspect, you might even think that Singapore is somewhat of a backward country in that mindset. As a country, we place an enormous amount of emphasis on good academic results.

It has been ingrained in each Singaporean since young that with good academic results, you’ll be secured a good future ahead. (I actually blame this for the reason why so many people are so bloody self-entitled…)

Well, anyway- the thing is, I never really understood that theory since I was little.

For some to be good, you’ll need some to be not-as-good. Meaning to say, you’re making your people run in the rat race before they even reach puberty. You’re making some step on some, in order to climb up.

And then those who do academically well, USUALLY (not always) become overly arrogant because they feel that they’re the perfect kind of person that everyone wants to be- academically-inclined.

But the thing is- everyone is talented in their own different ways.

Human beings weren’t manufactured to be all exactly the same; we are all made to fit in different parts in the puzzle of life.

Yes, I’m aware it might sound rather corny… but I really believe in this.

Singaporeans are SO OBSESSED with good academic results that a number of students literally go mentally insane because of the stress and some even commit suicide over this. You might think it’s inevitable given the competitive nature of Asians- but just because it’s been this way for so long, does it mean it has to be this way forever?

Students start getting judged at a very tender age… And that’s just really sad.

This comic really captures Singapore’s education system very well.

Sure, Singapore is known to have one of the best education systems around- but it’s still far from being proper.

Not everyone is cut out to sit in the classroom, listen, absorb and write it out on pieces of paper. Not everyone can read textbooks after textbooks and expect to learn anything- they just don’t!

And it’s not because they’re stupid.

No, as much as people try not to say it- most of us are thinking it.

If someone doesn’t do well in tests- stupid. I’m guilty of this too!

And why? Singaporeans have been brought up this way.

We have been moulded to judge the quality & value of a person based on their academical performance. 


This starts all the way from kindergarten now- believe it or not! People will look at the quality of the school- the name, the reputation, the syllabus etc. And judge the child’s potential right from there! Then it leads to which primary school he/she can enrol into; leading to secondary school… And then from there- if he/she goes to Junior College (JC), Polytechnic or Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

Only those who get into JC are considered smart– while Polytechnic students aren’t given that much regard. However ITE students really get the brunt of it… It can be so bad that people call it It’s The End (ITE). Whereby parents are inclined to drop whatever high ambitions they might have for their child- their child is just going to be one of the bottom percentage of Singaporeans, because he/she went to ITE.

That’s just sad, people! Why should parents be cultured to limit their children based on just one aspect of their lives?

This piece of news just really reminds us Singaporeans that everyone has their own value- every single one. I sometimes hate to admit it- I meet lots of idiots. -_- But it’s true… At the end of the day, I always manage to find some value in the person one way or another.

You just need to stop looking at them through a frame. Look at them as whole. They might not fit into the frame- because they’re more than that! Or you might not think they exist at all, because they exist outside the frame.

I’m so happy for Koh Han Jie for being able to show others that we people are gifted in our own ways and we can and should be recognised & appreciated.

I see people as canvases- you don’t put them in a standard frame just so that they’ll line up nicely.

Photo Credit: Ouran High Host Club

You let these canvases unleash their masterpieces; for future generations can never be as good as they can be, if you don’t let them be.

Photo Credit: Ouran High Host Club
Photo Credit: Ouran High Host Club

Photo Credit: Ouran High Host Club

After all, we all want to live in a better world, do we not? 🙂


P.S. All the best to Koh Han Jie! Go out there & show the world what you’re made of! And what you can make 🙂 

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