Anderson Pure History
"You can't judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree." Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, we all know that. There are tasks some people simply have a flair for, tasks that some people have to put more effort in. In this world, people are judged based on a variety of things: whether they're rich, whether they have a degree etc etc. In the education landscape, especially in Singapore, it is no less different: Students are judged based on their ability to perform well in various subjects. However, not everyone is given an equal opportunity to shine. Some people have a flair for academics, some don't. Some have a flair for some subjects more than others.
For students studying in Anderson but have a flair for History, the playing ground is unfair as are they unable to take the subject pure, giving one less chance to these people to excel in another subject.
Another concern on this is the major disadvantage students pursuing a career in history would face. For instance, a historian. To understand how the student would be disadvantaged, we have to first understand the singapore education system and the way it affects the student.
The singapore education system is a maze of options that work in a domino effect. One choice you make can and will easily affect all other choices to come. From the moment you get your PSLE score to the moment you graduate from your learning institute, your choices are going to affect what comes next. Your PSLE score affects your Secondary school choice. Your N or O level score affects your choice of Tertiary Education. So on and so forth.
So naurally, if you want to be a historian, you've got to have a degree or something of that like in History. And you would get that at some university. How would you get into a university? Your 'A' Levels score. You get that with some blood, sweat and tears from 2-3 years of living hell in JC or Milennia Institute, depending on whichever torture method suits you more. To get into your living hell, you need to have a good 'O' Level score. Bearing in mind that you want to be a historian, of course you would have taken History for 'O' Levels and used it for your L1R5. But you realise, it's not just your O level score that takes you through JC. It's also your foundation. This foundation is key to excelling in your 'A' Levels because chances are that you aren't going to get enough time to build on your foundation while JC builds on your foundation. (more accurately: dumps information all over it) This foundation has to be strong in order for you to be able to catch up and manage JC. Pure history, being of a higher level of difficulty, is able to train you much better and build a stronger foundation, as compared to combined history where in JC you will have to struggle to compete with students from IP programmes or students who took Pure History in Secondary school, who have an edge over you, for your 'A' Levels. Since all choices following that are also linked, you will suffer from some disdvantage when competing for your dream job as a historian.
We are aware that there is indeed a nationwide shortage of History Teachers and that the subject itself is challenging. (although the *only* difference between pure and elec history is that pure history has source based essays. Even the textbook is the same)
Despite that, we still hold our ground and believe that with enough effort put in by both students and staff, having history as a pure subject is a realistic goal to work towards.
The subject itself being difficult does not definitely mean that students who take it are immediately not going to do well. Like any other task, after a certain point, any further amount of significant progress to be made will be no easy feat. The better we get at something, the higher we aim to achieve after each try, and the better we get. This holds true for any skill or expertise, be it a sport, a game, playing and instrument, and no less true for studies. Mathematics or Geography, Biology or Food and Nutrition, English or History, all these subjects come in varying ranges of difficulty. You could take a subject pure or combined, in your 'O' Levels or 'N' Levels. It really doesn't matter. Andersonians are still able to achieve good results in all these subjects, no matter the level of difficulty. So why back down just for Pure History?
Moreoever, a value Anderson holds close to heart is the value of "Excellence in all our Endeavours". This is to strive to be good in whatever activities your partake in and never give up or back down despite challenges. This challenge of Pure History, one that so many Andersonians are passionate about but not given chance to attempt, is one such area we can strive to push ourselves in and live up to our school value. The passion is already there to push us up and achieve excellence in. All we need now is the chance to be given for us to strive.
Even if not for yourself, at least for your juniors who face the same predicament. For a fairer playing ground, for a chance to strive, for a better career, please support this petition.