JOCELYN CHUA: Why does the education service need a Navy chief as its new 2nd Permanent Secretary? Granted, Lai Chung Han might have excelled in the navy since he managed to rise to the rank of Rear-Admiral. But is this what the education service needs at this time?
Before RADM Lai, we had another Perm Sec for education development, another navy man, Neo Kian Hong. Why does the government see it fit to put all these military people in positions where they have no experience in cultivating our youth?
Instead of military people, the MOE should be pushing to get its senior persons such as principals and MOE directors into such positions. It will be a boost for educators to know that if you do your job well and diligently, you too can rise to such an esteemed position. Also, experienced educators would be vital in formulating policy and direction of the organisation as they are more au fait with condition in schools and in the MOE itself.
By parachuting military people into top positions in the education service, the government, I feel, is showing that it has no confidence in educators making the step up. If that is the case, it cannot blame educators for the high attrition rate in the education service.
I hope the government has not imposed an invisible glass ceiling for MOE staff.