Abolish The Bell Curve System, Says NTU Student Jeraldine Phneah
For university students like us, just hearing the term “bell curve” can send us scrambling towards our books and burning the midnight oil. This obsession hit an all-time high when students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) created altars for the “bell curve god”. Definitely a creative attempt to override the conventional method – studying.
1. Press the bell
2. Take some offerings for luck
3. Take a bow
4. Study hard
5. Make your own offerings for more
Then comes the burning question (pun intended) on what you actually pray for. Is it for you to do well or is it for everyone else to do badly so that the bell curve will be in your favour?
“The bell curve system reduces social cooperation and trust among students. It creates an unhealthy environment where many students are afraid to help one another because they are worried it will hurt their chances of getting an ‘A’,” says former NTU student, Jeraldine Phneah.
Jeraldine also believes that the bell curve system is a waste of students’ time. In order to increase their chances of scoring a distinction, students would have to spend much more time and effort on their studies than they really need to. This time spent on trying to rise above the bell curve causes students to miss out on opportunities to build relevant skills to prepare for the working world.
So who is Jeraldine Phneah, who is as brave as to stand up against well, the bell curve God?
Jeraldine, 24, is a popular blogger in Singapore who writes for young adults aged 18-35. She was a former student at NTU and a Miss Singapore finalist. From this, we daresay that she is not just beauty but brains as well.
Jeraldine has fond memories of NTU. She especially enjoyed her 6 month journalism internship in Hong Kong. During her time there, she saw how passionate the young people there were about current affairs and making their home a better place. This inspired her to deepen her knowledge on current issues and share her views with her peers back in Singapore through her blog.
Jeraldine feels that some university students here need to stop obsessing over their GPA/CAP and to “better spend our time by growing ourselves through meaningful internships; exchange programs; learning new skills and contributing to the community”. This is something she believes moving away from the bell curve system could help Singaporean students achieve.
So is this a feasible idea for our local universities? Jeraldine believes so.
“Many of the top universities globally do not practice this moderation system and they are doing fine. I don’t see any good reason why NTU, NUS and SMU should continue with this practice.”
She has a point, doesn’t she?
More about Jeraldine
Photo Credit: Ivan’s Photography
Jeraldine Phneah, 24, is an online personality who writes at www.jeraldinephneah.com. In 2015, she was listed as one of the top 10 bloggers in the Singapore Blog Awards Individual Category. She was also recognized by the National Population & Talent Division at their “We, The Citizens of Singapore” exhibition for influencing others to be well-informed voters.
Jeraldine is also known for using her status as a Miss Singapore 2013 finalist to lead the campaign to lift the ban on Chinese dialects on free-to-air television.