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Teacher Gets Backlash For Implying Hawkers Are Poor in Student’s Exam Answer


Teacher Under Fire For Exam Answer Implying Hawkers Are Poor - World Of Buzz 6
Source: The Straits Times

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Do you remember getting your test sheet back, looking at all the answers you got wrong, reading the corrections and going “ohhh”.

Teacher Under Fire For Exam Answer Implying Hawkers Are Poor - World Of Buzz 3

Source: giphy

Yeah, well. This isn’t one of those stories.

A teacher in Singapore has recently gotten flak online for her answer to a Primary 6 English comprehension question that implied people who work as hawkers are “not well off”.

Teacher Under Fire For Exam Answer Implying Hawkers Are Poor - World Of Buzz 2

Source: asia one

In the passage given, a young boy wanted to buy a birthday cake to surprise his mother. The exam then asked pupils true or false questions and asked them to justify the answers.

One of the questions was: “The author came from a well-to-do family”

A pupil answered “false” and stated that the boy could only afford a slice of cake instead of an entire cake.

Sounds reasonable, which is exactly why the student was puzzled when her paper came back with the reason marked as wrong.

So, what was the correct reason the main character did not come from a well-to-do family?

“The author’s mother worked in a kopitiam,” said the teacher’s note on the paper.

Yeah, if you’re like us, here’s where you squint and furrow your brow.

Teacher Under Fire For Exam Answer Implying Hawkers Are Poor - World Of Buzz 5

Source: giphy

This case went viral on Facebook but the post has since been taken down, according to The Straits Times.

Allegedly, the student, whose parents happened to be hawkers, were both confused and upset. She was quoted as saying, “My dad works at a hawker centre and we are not poor… so I didn’t think that would be the answer.”

Netizens were understandably outraged that a school would assume such stereotypes about social class. Many of them revealed that they too, had come from families of hawkers and they weren’t “poor” either.

In fact, the original author of Grasshoppers, the story the passage was excerpted by, O Thiam Chin, has come out in protest as well.

“This extract is only a small part of the story, and to read and study it out of context is really doing it huge injustice. It is really limiting and demeaning if all the reader can draw from a mention of the character’s line of work or working environment is that he or she is poor, which only reflects the reader’s narrow, subjective perception and also meagre life experience,” he said.

We don’t know about you guys, but the hawkers we know are all humble, hardworking, and usually quite well off. What do you guys think? Was the student’s answer reasonable? Do you think hawkers are “poor”? Let us know in the comments!


Also read: Man Finds Soulmate After Eating Western Food at This Hawker Stall Every Week
This Man Finds His Soulmate By Eating Western Food Every Week At Hawker Stall - World Of Buzz

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