Evaluate the claim that equality of opportunity for females is a desirable, but unrealistic goal.

Evaluate the claim that equality of opportunity for females is a desirable, but unrealistic goal.

JC General Paper

Evaluate the claim that equality of opportunity for females is a desirable, but unrealistic goal.

Question analysis-definition of key terms

Equality of opportunity: same chances to succeed in all aspects of life

Desirable: beneficial not just to the women, but towards the larger society as a whole

Unrealistic: impossible task to achieve; just a dream only

Assumption: This question assumes that giving women the same opportunities as men, would help to elevate their social status and position in society. However, this is too idealistic a scenario and that it is impossible to treat everyone in the same way. Inequality is part and parcel in our lives today.

To do well for this question, students need to consider why giving women the same opportunities are desirable to society. What are some aspects of society that would benefit from this and how would it improve and elevate the status of women overall? Also, students need to consider why is this goal unachievable? Could it be due to the women’s individual circumstances and context or could it be the larger external environment that is preventing this from occurring? Students should also realized that this is a matrix question and that they could answer this question from various angles: desirable and unrealistic; not desirable but realistic; not desirable and unrealistic and undesirable and unrealistic.

Yes it is desirable but unrealistic

  • Feminist groups have not made much headway in the championing of women rights and the equal opportunities in terms of treatment for them. This is largely because these groups have been fighting for women’s rights by basing on men’s terms. Most women are also not strong supporters of these feminist groups as a result.
  • It is impossible to accord everyone equal opportunities in this world, especially since inequality is something that is inherent. Every individual would have different conditions and abilities and hence it would not make sense to give someone the same opportunity. Biological differences could be one big factor as to why equality of opportunities are not given to women in industries that need more physical work and in the sporting arena.

No it is desirable and realistic

1) Increasing presence of women rights movements and organizations that help to champion the rights of the women, and to ensure that equal opportunities are given to them increasingly. These feminist movements have made headways especially in the developed nations such as Singapore with AWARE. For instance, AWARE champions equal opportunities at work and promotion. The employers could be taken to task if they are found to have dismissed a female staff inappropriately due to her being pregnant and needing to pay maternity leave. These feminist organizations have also outlawed discrimination against women and champion equal opportunities in terms of schooling for them, as a first step towards empowerment especially in the developing world.

2) It is desirable as greater empowerment of women would mean that the world would be progressing towards greater respect of rights and be more accepting of women’s leadership. It is increasingly realistic as people are more educated and do not believe that only men are able to lead people due to “manly traits”. There are influential men who champion women’s rights and feel that there should be equality of opportunity such as Obama. Such influence though may take a long time, but they will gradually be more realistic in time to come.

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‘People who do the most worthwhile jobs rarely receive the best financial rewards.’ To what extent is this true in your society?

‘People who do the most worthwhile jobs rarely receive the best financial rewards.’ To what extent is this true in your society?

JC General Paper

‘People who do the most worthwhile jobs rarely receive the best financial rewards.’ To what extent is this true in your society?

Question analysis- Definition of Key Terms

Most worthwhile jobs: occupations that are mostly serving the needs of the people for a very humanitarian and altruistic purpose. Such instances would be social workers, nurses, teachers, counselors, social entrepreneurs

Best financial rewards: In terms of monetary recognition, status and power in society.

Assumption: Jobs that are the most rewarding to one’s soul and conscience are not regarded highly in Singapore Society as people expect them to do it from their hearts, rather than to get a monetary reward for their good and charitable acts.

To do well for this question, students need to expand the scope of what it means to do ‘worthwhile jobs’. Could certain jobs that pay very highly not be seen to be worthwhile such as entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers and even accountants? Are these jobs just regarded to be a ‘money-making’ occupation? Students should consider a variety of occupations and see how each and every single occupation is actually worthwhile in terms of their impact to society. No jobs should be seen to be above another just because it pays higher in terms of monetary value. That would be too narrow a perspective to take, since not every job contribution can be measured in a tangible manner.

Yes they rarely receive the best financial rewards:

  • Jobs that tend to have a social impact in society are regarded lowly and viewed by locals to be charitable and should not be monetized as much. The ‘pureness’ of these jobs would be lost if money comes into place, since the individual could be tainted by monetary needs rather than the original aim of serving the larger community. For instance, jobs like counseling should be from the heart and empathy should be the driving force of why an individual would like to pursue this career rather than for the monetary incentive. Such jobs would only be able to attract the best and those who are the purest in intent to serve if monetary incentive is not present as a huge driving force.
  • It is difficult to put an economic value or even to monetize all the skills needed for jobs that tend to be very people centric and focus. Certain things that a teacher does in her job would be hard to put a consistent monetary value on it. For instance, a teacher’s impact on a child’s development could be lifelong and this impact varies according to each child. It would be unreasonable to put an economic value on this impact since the impact can only be seen in the longer future or even after the teacher has retired from her profession.

No they receive the best financial rewards:

1) Some of the most rewarding jobs in terms of making a large contribution to society to save lives and to uphold justice pay and reward one handsomely in Singapore’ society. Doctors, lawyers and accountants are paid very highly here largely due to the demand and direction of the economy and the technical expertise needed for these jobs. It is not so much because these jobs are seen to be less altruistic or lesser in impact in serving the needs of the people. These jobs have to be paid highly in order to ensure the advancement of the sectors involved, so that their impact can be on a larger scale. For instance, doctors have to be paid highly so that the medical industry can attract the best and the brightest to serve the needs of the people, and to continually innovate and research for the best medicine to save lives. Medical technologies are expensive and it would only make sense if doctors are paid highly enough for them to want to improve the existing system.

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‘Any adaptation of a novel for film, television or the theatre is never as effective as the original’. Discuss

‘Any adaptation of a novel for film, television or the theatre is never as effective as the original’. Discuss

JC General Paper

Thesis
Some may argue that any adaptation of a novel for film, television or the theatre is never as effective as the original given that novels are able to deliver much more content in greater detail and that novels excel in communicating the character’s emotions and thoughts via various literary devices, developing a more intimate and deeper connection with the reader. However, this is a myopic standpoint as one has to consider how these adaptations excel at using visuals to emphasize and communicate certain key ideas of a story, and how condensing a novel into a 120 minutes adaptation can actually result in its key ideas being presented in a more succinct, straightforward and easily understandable way. Hence, adaptations of a novel for film, television or the theatre can still be as effective if their visual elements are properly capitalized.

(Counter) Argument 1:
Novels are able to deliver much more content in greater detail.

Elaboration: In films, we typically see large-scale dramatic events—epic human struggles that have to be resolved within one hundred and twenty minutes. Dramatic TV shows and stage plays are also similar in that the kinds of conflicts they tackle are usually pretty intense, while at the same time limited by the length an episode or stage play can run.

Novels seem to work in an entirely different way. They are not limited by length of time, which means the dramatic events in novels can be more complex, more detailed, more sustained. It seems a number of esteemed contemporary literary novels make use of that specific breadth and scale, traversing multiple eras and introducing multiple characters.

Example: Catcher in the Rye wouldn’t work very well as a movie because movies are best at showing action and movement as the vast majority of it takes place in the mind of holden, and little action occurs as holden ponders.

(Counter) Argument 2:
Novels excel in communicating the character’s emotions and thoughts via various literary devices, developing a more intimate and deeper connection with the reader.

Elaboration: Where the novel stands out is its ability to put us in the thoughts and perspective of a character so smoothly. Novels can transition from thought to action so seamlessly to the point where the vast majority of some novels can take place completely within the mind of a character and the story can remain gripping and moving. Instead of showing a character, a novel completely inhabits the mind of a character in the world of the narrative. Whereas, a movie based on this principle would be boring.

Example: Catcher in the Rye

Link: Novels can focus on the narrow confines of a particular relationship, it can create an intimacy between reader and characters in a way almost no other narrative medium can.

Argument 3:
Film, television and theatre excel at using visuals to capture, emphasize and communicate certain key ideas of a story in an instant.

Elaboration: Makes the narrative more epic, exciting and compelling especially if the novel is driven by action.

Example: “The Wizard of Oz” film adaptation. When the door swung open and the screen switched from black and white to color as Dorothy captures her first glimpse of Oz, its stunning, refreshing, breathtaking and colorful depiction of Oz would require a detailed description. However, the more detailed it was, the longer it would take to read it, distinguishing that immediate stunning impact.

Link: Film, television and theatre can still be effective, if not more effective, if its strengths are being properly capitalized.

Argument 4:
Condensing a novel into a shorter adaptation can actually result in its key ideas being presented in a more succinct, straightforward and easily understandable way.

Elaboration: By condensing a novel worth hundreds of pages into a 120 minute adaptation, the medium is forced to deliver its key ideas and content in as few scenes as possible. In short, every moment during the visual adaptation counts and would tend to be highly valuable content, resulting in a short, captivating and meaningful delivery.

Example: In the “To Kill A Mockingbird” theatre adaptation, the novel is condensed to fit the duration of a play and yet it does not fail to emphasize and make prevalent its key themes on Racism, Justice and Judgement.

Link: The time limitation set by novel adaptations can actually make the narrative more straightforward and succinct, which is in a way an effective and efficient way to deliver ideas and content.

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‘Human need, rather than profit, should always be the main concern of scientific research.’ Discuss

‘Human need, rather than profit, should always be the main concern of scientific research.’ Discuss

JC General Paper
  • Human need, rather than profit should always be the main concern of scientific research. Discuss.

Define scientific research and its purpose.

Scientific research is the systematic investigation of scientific theories and hypotheses. This leads to a deeper understanding and knowledge of the mechanics behind physical world around us, which in turn empowers mankind to come up with more sophisticated and useful technological and scientific solutions.

Thesis statement

Some may argue that profit should be of paramount importance in scientific research as the most meaningful projects tend to require large amounts of funding for their execution which can only be attained if the outcomes are profitable. In addition, it can also be said that higher profits enable researchers to go more in-depth in their projects, making breakthroughs of a larger scale. However, my stand is that human need, rather than profit, should always be the main concern of scientific research. Firstly, as consumer behavior is predicated upon human need, it is logical to focus primarily on meeting human needs as profits would naturally follow after. Secondly, by prioritizing human need over the profitability of the endeavor, it would drive scientific research to solve the world’s most dire and relevant needs, accelerating mankind’s process in alleviating the world’s greatest problems. As such, while profitability is an important factor to consider for scientific research to be effective, meeting human needs should still be the priority.

(Counter) Argument 1:
The most meaningful projects tend to require large amounts of private funding for their execution which they can only get if they are profitable

Elaboration: Scientific research with the most potential for huge impact require large amounts of funding to enable its complex and sophisticated research methods. As a lot of these funds tend to come from the private sector, the profitability of the eventual fruits of such research has to be high enough to justify the large amounts of dollars put in by these investors.

Example: Billions of dollars are poured into NASA’s quest to create the world’s first quantum computer, with its processor running at least 3600 times faster than today’s computers. Quantum computing will be most beneficial initially in the fields of drug discovery, cybersecurity, business, finance, investment, health care, logistics, and planning. Once it’s done, the estimated cost for the first quantum computers is $15 million. For such an expensive endeavor, the future financial profitability of quantum computers has to be substantial enough to justify the amount of money investors have put in to enable the relevant scientific research.

Link:  Profitability is an important factor to consider for scientific research to be effective.

(Counter) Argument 2:
Earning high profits would enable more in-depth research, resulting in scientific breakthroughs of a larger scale.

Elaboration: When scientific research revolves around a profitable business model, more and more funds can be channeled into more in-depth research over extended periods of time, leading to more and more scientific advancements as time progress.

Example: SolarCity, a company that designs, finances and installs solar power systems, has a profitable business model. This allows it to channel more and more funds into its scientific research, creating more effective and efficient solar-energy solutions again and again as its business progresses.

Link: High profits should be heavily considered as it enables in-depth and long-term research.

Argument 3:
Consumer behavior is predicated upon human need, hence it is logical to focus primarily on meeting these needs as profits would naturally follow after.

Elaboration: Business involves the transaction of value between the consumer and the provider of the good or service. While consumers provide the dollars, the provider provides value which resonates with the consumers’ needs. Hence, as long as human needs are met, profits would naturally follow after. Hence, meeting these needs should be the primary focus.

Example: Effexor, an antidepressant, had $3.8 billion in sales in 2005 and an annual growth rate of 1.2 percent. In a world where depression is highly prevalent, scientific research done to meet this dire societal need to curb symptoms of depression is naturally rewarded with high profits.

Link: It is logical to place paramount importance on meeting human need as profits would naturally follow after needs are effectively meet.

Argument 4:
Prioritizing human need over the profitability of the endeavor would compel scientific research to solve the world’s most dire and relevant needs and alleviate the world’s greatest problems.

Elaboration: A human need that is direr than another is not necessarily more profitable. If scientific research is driven primarily by profit, it could lead to the negligence of severe problems due to a perceived lack of profitability.

Example: Cancer research and the quest to develop a drug which can effectively and completely cure it is less profitable than existing, more profitable methods of chemotherapy in the long run. This raises serious ethical questions if profitability is the sole driving factor of scientific research.

Link: It is important to have meeting human need take precedence over profit if the goal is to solve the world’s most dire problems.

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Considering the money involved, should developing countries be allowed to host major sporting events?

Considering the money involved, should developing countries be allowed to host major sporting events?

JC General Paper

Considering the money involved, should developing countries be allowed to host major sporting events?

Question Analysis: Definition of Key terms

Developing countries: Nations that have not reached first world status yet, low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. Basic infrastructure could be missing from the nation, and the nation is riddled with poverty.

Host major sporting events: Olympics, World Cup, Youth Olympics, Paralympics

Should: need to discuss from an ethical and moral perspective for this question, whether it is right or not for nation to host the events.

Assumption: Developing nations should focus on their own economic development and allocate their money effectively to alleviate the citizens’ welfare rather than spending money on the unnecessary.

To do well for this question, students should consider whether developing nations have anything to benefit from hosting major sports events given the huge sum of money involved. Do note that students have to address the monetary sum in every paragraph, since this is a criteria/condition that is given in the essay. Students would also need to compare the benefits and the drawbacks of hosting these major events in a time period, to assess whether it is worthwhile to host these events. This question should not be a listing of the benefits and demerits of hosting a sports event.

No they should not host major events:

  • Hosting these major events takes up a large portion of the country’s budget and it would be more prudent for the nation to allocate these money more effectively in resolving more pressing domestic issues such as poverty and infrastructure. Spending money on these areas would have a more direct impact on the citizen’s lives than hosting a major sports event. Also, the main aim of the government is to take care of their citizens’ welfare first. In fact, spending on these sports event would increase the income inequality of the nation even further in countries such as India and China, where the government already has limited funding to begin with.
  • The gains of hosting these major sports events could be too short term, especially in terms of tourism, especially if the tourist sector is small to begin with. It is highly likely that most of the developing nations are not very open to trade and that their tourist sector is highly undeveloped. Given the economic costs and the uncertainties, it would be more prudent for the nation to not even host these events.

Yes they should host major events:

  • Despite the high costs involved, developing nations should still go ahead to host the event as it would force the nation to develop important infrastructure that could aid the nation in growth later. Governments would have to invest heavily in transport and communication, hotels and sporting arenas in order to ensure a smooth hosting. An example would be India and China which invested heavily in infrastructure for the Commonwealth Games and the Beijing Olympics.
  • Developing nations should host these events in order to gain international standing in the world. The money that they have to spend on these sporting events would be a small price to pay assuming that the nation is able to present themselves well on a world stage, and hence gain the attention and attraction of the other nations and help to boost tourism in the long run. It makes perfect sense for China to bid and host the Beijing Olympics to showcase to the world that they have progressed and ready to take on international events.
  • Despite the huge sum of money involved, it makes sense of the developing nation to host these sporting events, assuming that the nation would like to develop their sports sector. The standard of sports will improve in the country given the vast spending on sporting infrastructure. It could have the effect of stimulating interest in sports and producing potential sportsman.

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‘Longer life expectancy creates more problems than benefits.’ Discuss

‘Longer life expectancy creates more problems than benefits.’ Discuss

JC General Paper
  1. Longer life expectancy creates more problems than benefits. Discuss.

Stand: Longer life expectancy creates more problems than benefits, unless we find a way to effectively redistribute our resources and find alternative sustainable energy resources.

Argument 1:
More people living in retirement can potentially be taxing on the economy

Elaboration: Economic output will only be increased if people spend the extended years of their lives mostly working. If a growing fraction of the workforce lives longer and longer in retirement, the economy will suffer instead.

Example: Japan, a country where a significant portion of its ageing population is in retirement, would have its economy further threatened if life expectancy increases and the fraction of its retired workforce continues to grow.

Argument 2:
Aggravating already unsustainable consumption of natural resources

Elaboration: In a world where we are already finding it hard to consume Earth’s resources in a sustainable way, a longer life expectancy would place greater stress on the Earth’s natural resources given an inevitable rise in global population. This problem will be exacerbated by the widening income gap, where wealthier families will further deprive the poor from resources such as food and shelter.

Example: Supplying the world with energy is already a challenge that has led to unsustainable usage of natural gases, oil and coal. An increase in the global population would accelerate the depletion of our limited natural energy resources.

(Counter) Argument 3:
More value for society created per individual via their work

Elaboration: With a longer lifespan, a single individual can accumulate greater knowledge throughout his life, develop greater expertise, and hence be able to create greater value for society.

Example: In Africa, the high child mortality rate means that less children make it into adulthood, the optimum phase of an individual’s life to create the most economic output for society.

Link: Longer life expectancy creates more valuable work for society, which is a clear benefit.

(Counter) Argument 4:
More time to learn, understand, experience and appreciate the vast world – achieve greater satisfaction and meaning in life.

Elaboration: More time to spend with family and friends, opportunities to travel and see more of the world. Based on the premise that life derives its meaning from its diverse experiences and memories, life would become more meaningful for those who can live longer.

Example: A man passionate about travel would have more time to accumulate the wealth necessary for him to truly travel around the world and indulge in its experiences.

Link: A longer life expectancy can empower one to attain greater satisfaction and hence greater meaning in life.

 

Back to the A’levels H1 General Paper 2016 Paper 1 Solutions

Assess the view that tradition buildings have no future in your society.

Assess the view that tradition buildings have no future in your society.

JC General Paper

Assess the view that traditional buildings have no future in your society

Question Analysis- Definition of Key Terms

Traditional Buildings: Structures that have a historical significance to Singapore. These could be the old colonial buildings; buildings that reflect unique architecture that showcase a nation’s culture and identity or even a historical past.

No Future: Possible demolition of these traditional buildings; the original architecture may be refurbished to suit present time needs.

Assumption: Singapore is a highly pragmatic nation that is constrained by her geographical boundaries, if these traditional buildings do not serve any purpose for the nation, the state would choose to forgo and even demolish them to make way for more pressing economic and social needs.

To do well for this question, students need to take a look at the different types of traditional buildings in Singapore and examine the motivations of the state in keeping and gazetting these buildings. Do these buildings showcase a national history that would aid in the nation building process or would these buildings be preserved primarily for tourism? Also, students can consider why majority of these buildings are preserved at the central district of Singapore. Students would also need to measure against the needs of the state, especially that of economic development and how practicality usually affects the decision of the government whether to keep these buildings or not. Note that this question is not asking you about the benefits/values of these traditional buildings, rather the want or need of the state in keeping them.

Yes traditional buildings do not have a future here:

  • Limited land space here forces the state to prioritize economic and future development of the nation before fulfilling historical and cultural needs. There is a limit to the number of traditional buildings that the state can preserve. As such, given such a limitation, it is only wise to preserve buildings that can serve both a historical and economic purpose. It is no wonder that certain places like the Old National Library and Bukit Brown have been forgone by the state, despite these places holding strong and rich cultural memories and identity for the older generation of Singapore.
  • Singapore takes a very pragmatic view towards the preservation of these buildings, especially with the advancement of science and technology. Preservation of these buildings does not necessarily have to take on a physical angle. The memories of these places could be stored in digital form online and archived in the library or even the museums. It makes more sense to have the space make way for more pressing economic needs to grow the nation. As such, it seems like it fulfills the twin objective of preservation and growth especially with the use of technology.

No traditional buildings have a future here:

  • Traditional buildings serve a nation building purpose and they showcase a nation’s rich cultural heritage. Singapore has always been accused as a nation that does not have much culture and history, and is still in the midst of searching for her identity in her short national history. As such, the presence of these buildings is necessary to keep Singaporeans grounded in her own identity especially in this increasingly globalized and connected world. There needs to be some continuity and familiar places for Singaporeans to identity with and to call this place home. This is to counter the increasing displacement that the older generation feels given the quick progress of the nation where the familiar landscape is changing quickly. Examples of traditional buildings that would have a future increasingly would be Kuan Yin Temple, Fort Canning, the British Barracks etc.
  • Traditional buildings do serve an economic purpose, in line with the state’s pragmatic vision of harnessing growth and attracting tourists to this city state. A lot of our traditional buildings are found in China town, Clarke Quay, Little India and even Raffles Places. These are tourist places to showcase the multi-racial and multi- religious aspect of the nation. The shophouses at Chinatown have always been preserved and gazetted by the state as a site for preservation. The contrast of the new and old architecture buildings helps to beautify the landscape as well.

At the end of the day, it is not about traditional buildings having a future or not in Singapore. Of course, they will have a future. Perhaps the debate should be on which building is going to have a future and the motivations behind them.

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H2 Math Tue 7pm

JC Mathematics

This page contains all questions and answers asked by students from this class. The most recent questions will be at the top.

MF26

Question 10 & 11
Question 10 & 11

10.
(i)

11.
(i)
Since P is on l, \vec{OP} = \begin{bmatrix} 1\\ 2\\ 3\end{bmatrix} + t \begin{bmatrix} -1\\ 1\\ 1\end{bmatrix} for some t
\vec{OP} perpendicular to l \Rightarrow \vec{OP} \bullet \begin{bmatrix} -1\\ 1\\ 1\end{bmatrix}
-(1-t)+2+t+3+t=0
t=-\frac{4}{3}
\vec{OP} = \begin{bmatrix} 1\\ 2\\ 3\end{bmatrix} -\frac{4}{3} \begin{bmatrix} -1\\ 1\\ 1\end{bmatrix} = ...