of the Arts and Culture Feedback Group at the
Room, MCD on 3 Jan 2000 at 7 pm
EDUCATION IN SINGAPORE
member felt that the “A” level Art syllabus should to go beyond the
traditional aspects of this art form, and include more contemporary art
forms. On the other
hand, it was also acknowledged that the traditional aspects of art would
provide students with the required fundamental skills.
was suggested that “A” level Art students be allowed to use computers
for their work to keep up with the times.
Art in Secondary
was observed that the Art syllabus in the Secondary Schools had
increasingly emphasised on creativity.
It was feared that Art teachers might not be sufficiently trained
and prepared for this change despite having attended in-service courses.
Decreasing Number of Art Students
was observed that the number of “O” and “A” level Art students had
been decreasing. This was probably the effect of students opting for
subjects that were easy to score.
was suggested that bonus points for “O” and “A” level Art be
awarded, given the extra time required for the subject and the difficulty
in attaining good grades. More
students would take up Art as an examination subject if they could use
these bonus points for entry to the next educational level.
was suggested that the number of subjects taken at “O” and “A”
levels be reduced so that students would have more time to spend on Art
and develop their skills. In that way they would be encouraged to take Art as an
was observed that compared to Art, Music had more recognition in Singapore
and was more established. This
was probably the result of the formal exams offered by the ABRSM and other
boards, and the systematic benchmarking of standards (eg Grades 1 – 8
etc). With Art, no such
formal assessment had been provided.
was recommended that there should be more approaches to create an
environment for the appreciation of art.
Foreign Art Teachers
was pointed out that the art colleges like LaSalle have hired many
foreigner lecturers. It
was felt that more opportunities should be given to the training of local
teachers so as to build on the existing talent pool of locals instead of
constantly depending on foreigners.
was pointed out that foreigner teachers would have a cultural bias, and
this would affect what they considered “quality” in Art.
While they may help locals understand their kind of art, they might
not develop local art because they may not be able to recognise
“quality” in local art.
was pointed out that local artists have felt displaced by foreign talent.
If local talent was not developed and recognised, the result would
be talent loss and talent drain. There
would be fewer local artists who would be able to express and capture
important events from an Asian point of view. Artists who have seen the different stages of national
development would be very important in this respect.
issue of transference of skills was raised. The question of how much
talent was actually developed by foreigner Art teachers was asked.
was recommended that this topic of Art in Singapore be further discussed
at the next meeting.