As the academic year draws nearer and nearer to a close, you will often see your friends upgrading their economic status: from an undergraduate to the working class. And I am sure that many of you have heard of people from either side groaning, “The grass is greener on the other side!” “I miss studying!” “How I wish I could just start working now, studying is such a bore!”
More often than not, you would also hear exclamations of “Gosh! You signed on with the Ministry of Education (MOE)!! That’s crazy!” “You?! A teacher?! Wahahahah, don’t be kidding me.” “Tsk, I wouldn’t want to send my child to the school you are teaching at!” All these, perhaps in a joking manner, or perhaps not.
I too, have acquaintances who fit into the two categories above: graduating and going into the working class; and graduating and going into National Institute of Education (NIE). As I gathered, the primary reason for them to sign on with MOE for a 3 (or 4, I’m not sure which) year bond, is mainly because MOE has the moolah and they don’t. Simple as that. Nothing holistic like I love teaching, or I love kids. Well, I do have a friend who purely loves kids and loves teaching them too, but she’s the only exception.
Come to think of it, another reason might also be related to the fact that I am studying in Artsand Social Sciences. But that aside, there is something that I would like to highlight to the rest of the potential teachers/teacher-to-be(s) out there.
I am not sure whether this article is true or not. I am not sure whether CEP applies to MOE or not (I’m sure it does actually). I am not sure you would want to hear it or not. But I am sure that if you want to sign on, you would want to know this.
Therefore I would like you to read this article that Mr. Wang has written in response to a letter published in The Straits Times, 11 April 2007.
The title of the letter Mr. Wang responded to is “Promotion in Civil Service based on Merit”
Some excerpts from Mr. Wang:
To understand how the system works, you first have to understand that performance and potential mean two completely different things in the civil service. They lead to very different, very distinct consequences in the official appraisal system.
What this means is that once you have been assigned your CEP score, the civil service is probably not going to change that score (at least for the next seven or eight years, if ever). After all, CEP is a measure of certain inherent, long-term qualities in you – which cannot change.
Now, the civil service will assign you a CEP score, on your first day of work. Actually, that is untrue – your CEP score is assigned to you, even before you start work. Thus you can see that in terms of actual work, nothing that you actually do (whether it is utterly brilliant, or utterly dumb) can actually affect your CEP score.
And some interesting comments:
Anonymous: This is true in the past, but I think the civil service is trying to move away from this gradually, at least I think some statutory boards are trying to move away from this. So now you can see that even an overseas (civilian) scholar may not get his promotion until 3 years even with reasonable performance, though a non-scholar can promote in 2 years with good performance.
Anonymous: MW, have to disagree with the CEP being something that doesn’t change at all for the SAF. Definitely individuals are pegged with certain CEPs based on pedigree BEFORE they start but have heard of local grads with mediocre degrees getting fast tracked after proving themselves the initial years. Not quite possible if their CEP hasn’t changed right?
Anonymous: For someone who’s not in the civil service, you’ve got most of the details correct. Kudos…You would also know that our civil service adopted this appraisal system from Royal Dutch Shell, However, I understand that Shell itself has stopped using this system or at least modified it (Shell insiders can perhaps provide more info here).
Anonymous: As an ex-employee of a government body and a GLC, and having worked on the HR front, I would say much of what Mr Wang say is not too far off the mark.
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