Education Minister Chan Chun Sing sharing of a funny story where he misheard a student has gone viral with over 500 shares and 8,400 reactions on Facebook.
In a Facebook post on Saturday (19 Feb), Education Minister Chan related a conservation he had with a student. Minister Chan had asked the student what Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) he was in. The minister heard the student say “Stamp Club”, but what he had actually said was something quite different.
Me: Can you tell me your CCA?
Student: (muffled)…stem club…
Me: Oh, that’s nice. I collected stamps too! Must be hard to collect stamps nowadays? You write letters? You have pen pals?
Me: Where do you get your stamps? Which countries’ stamps do you have?
Me: Ahhh! Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics….!”
The Minister’s retelling of his funny moment with the student has drawn a flurry of comments on the Facebook. Most commenters appreciated that the Minister was not pretentious.
One Facebook commenter said: “I like the fact that he isn’t pretentious and I’ve heard that he gets things done. Let’s wait & see how he performs as the Minister of Education and I don’t think we’ll be disappointed.”
Another said: “I respect and like Minister Chan. Had the privilege to talk to him.. I love how he take time to go to various schools and talks to the students. Very on the ground Minister.”
Medaled-marathoner Soh Rui Yong appreciating the Minister’s self-deprecating humour told the him in jest: “Sir please take over SNOC so you can stamp my ticket to win more medals for 🇸🇬. 🙃”
Soh took to Facebook last week to say that the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) had not selected him to represent Singapore in the upcoming SEA Games despite him being the fastest marathoner currently in Singapore. He said, that “President of SNOC, Tan Chuan Jin, has blocked (him) on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, for reasons only known to himself. While he is well within his rights to block whoever he wants to block, it’s hard to resolve disputes when the leader of the SNOC himself is not open to communication.”
Speaking at a book launch on Monday, Chan asked students to be like “eels”, or Eternal and Engaged Learners. He said that students must dispense with the thinking that front-loading education can prepare us for the rest of our lives.
Some commenters noted that the Minister’s reputation seems to be on the mend in the past few months. Chan is known for his gaffes. 2 years ago, Chan was mocked for saying cotton comes from sheep. One Facebook user had reminded him then, “Baba black sheep have you any wool? Simple nursery rhymes to remember OK.” He later sheepishly admitted to saying that cotton came from animals rather than plants.
Chan has been described as a heartlander with eye on big picture. He is in the running together with Ministers Ong Ye Kung and Lawrence Wong to be the Prime Minister of Singapore.