Final Look at 2012: School, Science and Education

Apparently the world didn't end on 21st December 2012 (at
least not in Singapore) , so here I am, alive and well, hammering
out this personal review-of-the-year piece. US president Barack
Obama got elected for a second term in the White House and
was named Time Magazine's Person of The Year once again; Park
Geun-hye became South Korea's first female president after a
fierce battle at the polls, while Australian prime minister Julia
Gillard declared she was allergic to K-pop (well sort of). Yada yada
yada...........most of you are probably yawning by now and
chanting : "Tell me something I don't already know".  I guess no
small talk about PSY and Gangnam Style either? Right.

How about the awesome dad who blasted 9 rounds into his
daughter's laptop with a .45 to show who's boss?

                             (Video Credits: Tommy Jordan)

Ah, a defining moment in itself about teaching the young proper values/manners.Hopefully I have got your attention now. Some more please?  Sure thing. How about a brutally honest commencement speech where a teacher tells the graduating cohort: "YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL"?

                        (Video Credits: Wellesley High School)

Controversy was stirred when scientists in Italy claimed to have discovered hints of a subatomic particle traveling faster than the sacred speed of light earlier in 2011. In June this year, CERN director Sergio Bertolucci stood up to admit this wasn't the case:

                          (Photo Credits: CERN Laboratories)

This gaffe aside, in a Skills For Life survey conducted amongst 16-65 year olds across England, it is discovered a quarter of adults in certain parts of the country possess mathematics skills below those of 9 year-olds. (For greater details, you may wish to consult this article on BBC News)

In Singapore where doctors, lawyers and engineers are held in high regard compared to many other professions, 27 year old Christina Ong has taken the unusual path of joining Mc Donald's as an assistant manager; her persistence and efforts were recognized with a 'Super Star Award' in October 2012. Kudos to her for following her passion.

If you aren't aware, the rather fragile NUS-Yale partnership was rigorously questioned on numerous occasions, amongst them the April incident, when the highly esteemed American university's faculty voted 100 to 69 to pass a largely symbolic resolution expressing "concern regarding the history of lack of respect for civil and political rights in the state of Singapore". Nearer the end of this year,  the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) dispensed another round of scathing criticisms.

Unless you have been living under a rock all this while, you should have heard of the extremely unfortunate mass shooting incident in Newtown, Connecticut. I ask that you close your eyes for a moment as a sign of respect for the innocent victims, many of whom were extremely young children. How many teachers would be willing to go to the extent of laying down their lives to protect their charges?  Very few I reckon, yet Anne Marie Murphy deserves to belong to this group of saints, for she had demonstrated exceptional courage under fire.

You are with angels now Mrs Murphy. God bless.

That is all folks.

Peace.