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Thread: open letter from a student

  1. #21
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    advocates of change in education system simply wanted a more efficient system that doesnt waste taxpayer's money hahaha... if its already there, tap on it, make it better... who said they are reliant? we just dun wanna waste a platform which shld had been serving its purpose properly...

    do realise sg has a really small domestic market... large proportion of our national income comes through imports and exports... i'm not an advocate of increasing domestic consumption... partly because if over consumed beyond one's ability... in the case of america and her sub-prime mortgages... u can get urself into a lot of trouble...

    what u need is focus on import and exports... we are competing with rest of world...

    from an article: Singapore Globalis

    Back pedaling on the casino ban, to build the IRs... so far it has been contributing a good amt to our national income... but very little attention was given to why and how strategies of Singapore tourist board over the years had failed... one instance of where things get changed with regards to global shifts...

    i dun see a reason why the education system need not change... i'm not saying throw out textbooks and burn them... i'm saying for a more inclusive approach...

    CIP system has been something i am always against, for it promotes the idea of getting something in return (hours) instead of just giving back to society. tat is one that could be improved. try removing the system and u will know the effectiveness of the system in encouraging community involvement...

    Exam system: why do we still test for memory work, such as memorizing of definitions for subjects, information as evidence for GP and etc etc? would it be better for the focus to shift towards learning how to apply, in what context, and how it could be adapted to solve other problems? would it be better to have internet available, for easy access to information which replicates the real world during the exam(we all find information... how many of us memorise books just to regurgitate statistics?)? wouldn't it make more sense for it to change already?

    at least these are 2 points which i feel can be improved...

  2. #22

    Default Re: open letter from a student

    to say something.

    if the government gave free reign to students to think whichever way they liked, we would end up like american society. guess what? they're in a horrible mess right now.

    there has to be a measure of control. but sad to say, it's too much

  3. #23

    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Sometimes, having a system that does not promote creativity (and even stifles it) may push people to become even more motivated to be creative. Singapore is not full of people who can't think creatively.

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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    advocates of change in education system simply wanted a more efficient system that doesnt waste taxpayer's money hahaha... if its already there, tap on it, make it better... who said they are reliant? we just dun wanna waste a platform which shld had been serving its purpose properly...

    do realise sg has a really small domestic market... large proportion of our national income comes through imports and exports... i'm not an advocate of increasing domestic consumption... partly because if over consumed beyond one's ability... in the case of america and her sub-prime mortgages... u can get urself into a lot of trouble...

    what u need is focus on import and exports... we are competing with rest of world...

    from an article: Singapore Globalis

    Back pedaling on the casino ban, to build the IRs... so far it has been contributing a good amt to our national income... but very little attention was given to why and how strategies of Singapore tourist board over the years had failed... one instance of where things get changed with regards to global shifts...

    i dun see a reason why the education system need not change... i'm not saying throw out textbooks and burn them... i'm saying for a more inclusive approach...

    CIP system has been something i am always against, for it promotes the idea of getting something in return (hours) instead of just giving back to society. tat is one that could be improved. try removing the system and u will know the effectiveness of the system in encouraging community involvement...

    Exam system: why do we still test for memory work, such as memorizing of definitions for subjects, information as evidence for GP and etc etc? would it be better for the focus to shift towards learning how to apply, in what context, and how it could be adapted to solve other problems? would it be better to have internet available, for easy access to information which replicates the real world during the exam(we all find information... how many of us memorise books just to regurgitate statistics?)? wouldn't it make more sense for it to change already?

    at least these are 2 points which i feel can be improved...
    You haven't answered me on whether it is feasible to implement changes to keep up with the world.

    There are people who would never do it even if you give them something to write for their portfolio or CIP hours. The CIP hours is just an incentive to make students do CIP. Without even trying to make them do it, how would they even be able to experience the joy of community service? I don't deny that 80% of the retards would just go and collect newspapers and complain about all the heat, but there's always this minority who would learn something meaningful from it. Seen from this light, the purpose of an incentive-based CIP is fulfilled. You mentioned the point about the possible total absence of community service once the programme is removed. Yes, that's very true but you don't have to judge the effectiveness simply by the no. of people doing it. If students managed to learn something from it, it is effective. Let's be more realistic, it's impossible to do CIP every week; There are just too many things to worry about. Well, I don't see the most charitable person or whoever doing community service everyday.

    Here's a really simple conclusion for the argument on education system: The education system simply wants to see the capability of each and every student; whether they are able to handle the content they are given, whether they are able to listen to instructions, whether they are able to meet their own target, whether they are even capable enough to manage all these stress and content. Those who could, would get their As and get scholarships and good paying jobs; Those who don't, it does not mean that you are any weaker than them, but in that given time frame, you were weaker than them in terms of those things. I don't know how the misconception of education come about because I don't see all the whiners blaming their parents for screwing their morals up since parents are more or equally responsible for their children's education, from the age of zero.

    Since I have touched on the point about parents, I will reinforce my point about the over-reliance on education. I could only see that the generation I am part of, is full of confidence, and that they think that current studying methods will not work for them, because they are meant for greater things such as anything else except regurgitation of content. Therefore, they simply push the blame to the system since it's societal and it's convenient to just push everything to the government (such as the recent DBSS scheme, when unnecessary people made so much noise about something they are not even buying) and they are also taught to be filial to parents (and hence the success of CME) and so they didn't blame their parents for not helping them to develop critical thinking and improve their adaptability in the current world.

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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309 View Post
    to say something.

    if the government gave free reign to students to think whichever way they liked, we would end up like american society. guess what? they're in a horrible mess right now.

    there has to be a measure of control. but sad to say, it's too much
    There are tradeoffs and some forms of tradeoff may not be applicable in Singapore. No doubt, they are in a horrible mess now, but they have Apple and Microsoft, just to list a few. The fact that they are in a terrible mess now is not the direct effect of an education system without any conformity.

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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by brapodam View Post
    Sometimes, having a system that does not promote creativity (and even stifles it) may push people to become even more motivated to be creative. Singapore is not full of people who can't think creatively.
    That's for the non-rigid people, those who could think independently. The other people would promote the change of the system because they can't live without being spoon-fed the notes and skills on "Adaptability 101, 202, 303".

    It's something like the case on housing in singapore. They say the government should impose price controls on houses because government has to care for the welfare of people even when some people don't have jobs or just love to squander money on luxuries. Those who could make use of the soaring prices of real assets in singapore would benefit from it, the others who can't, would rather spend their time shopping and then complain about all the high cost of living they are facing.

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    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Just to highlight one interesting point which no one has seemed to point out (though I confess I have not read every post) - her main criticism is that the education stifles the ability to ask why - the irony is that she is in short, asking why. Food for thought?

    It is like someone complaining to his parents that they don't allow free speech in the household and do not tolerate complaints thus stifling his ability to disagree.

    I can only draw two conclusions of her line of thought. The first is that she is speaking on behalf of her poor oppressed peers, the product of the 'dismal' Singaporean education. Looking at social media, assorted people I have spoken to, that is a somewhat arrogant position to take - it assumes the masses to have been cowed while somehow by some stroke of luck, she has not been, or is not susceptible to being cowed. The second is that she seems to ignore that irony. Both positions are in fact neither defensible or sustainable.

    Allen seems to suggest that some amount of allowance be given considering her age. I agree, but it should be in the approach of criticism, not the amount or presence. Bad logic is bad logic, but naturally one can accept its presence easier in youth (and as all youths expect, including me).

    To put it into context, if a 14 year old girl 's photographs are lacking, then she should be told so. There is no reason to heap false praise for the sake of being easy. But you can tell her so in a logical, mature manner that makes it easier for a 14 year old to accept it. This of course has to be coupled with the assumption that maturity comes with age which may not always be true but it is always good to err on the side of caution.

    No education system is perfect and the world's countries are continually seeking ways to improve their methodology. More important than just learning to ask why, in my view, is to ask the correct whys. And that, should be the ultimate goal of education to achieve long term progress.
    Last edited by edutilos-; 16th July 2011 at 04:16 PM.

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    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by tehzeh View Post
    You haven't answered me on whether it is feasible to implement changes to keep up with the world.
    my ans is yes. and we need to, and have to keep changing with time.

    we dun have a choice. dun change, u fall back. simple as that

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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by edutilos- View Post

    I can only draw two conclusions of her line of thought. The first is that she is speaking on behalf of her poor oppressed peers, the product of the 'dismal' Singaporean education. Looking at social media, assorted people I have spoken to, that is a somewhat arrogant position to take - it assumes the masses to have been cowed while somehow by some stroke of luck, she has not been, or is not susceptible to being cowed. The second is that she seems to ignore that irony. Both positions are in fact neither defensible or sustainable.

    Allen seems to suggest that some amount of allowance be given considering her age. I agree, but it should be in the approach of criticism, not the amount or presence. Bad logic is bad logic, but naturally one can accept its presence easier in youth (and as all youths expect, including me).

    No education system is perfect and the world's countries are continually seeking ways to improve their methodology. More important than just learning to ask why, in my view, is to ask the correct whys. And that, should be the ultimate goal of education to achieve long term progress.
    yep. agreed... bag logic is bad logic...

    but the idea that education has to and can be improved still stands, ... there is no end to improvement really i guess

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    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    yep. agreed... bag logic is bad logic...

    but the idea that education has to and can be improved still stands, ... there is no end to improvement really i guess
    Saying that things can be improved - anyone can do it. Even a child who thinks long enough can point out shortfalls , that is nothing wondrous.

    What's great is having people to say "let's do it, this is how, this is workable, I've thought through the tradeoffs and this works better even though we'd lose A,B and C and they're acceptable because of C, D and E." And of course, that statement makes good sense and it can't be rebutted in the blink of an eye.

    When a nation can produce a fleet of people who are true thinkers (and to be honest, no nation has, or ever will), that nation will be the greatest nation ever (and I can say so, because no nation ever will, as mentioned earlier).

    Singapore has moved beyond the unquestioning phase to a questioning one. In my honest opinion, she is raising a problem of the past and is late by nearly 5 years. Whether this "progress" is tied to education or should even be attributed wholly or partially to it, I do not know. Definitely the vastness and easy access to information on the Internet has a part to play in this one. It is time to move on to the next level - I'm no educator and I don't intend to be one, but like I said earlier, questioning is not enough. We need to ask meaningful questions, insightful questions - questions that construct, rather than hinder or stimulate a lot of noise, discontentment and unhappiness and in short nothing that adds (positively) to progress.

    To put it into perspective once again, it is like Clubsnap. We see a load of people asking questions - "how do I switch on my camera?", "why is it that F/stops run reverse to aperture size?", "How do I achieve this effect?", "Why is it that lenses vignette less when stopped down more?" - what is progress? Progress is when the questions become more intelligent, beyond rudimentary asking about anything and everything, and when the photographic society as a whole encourages and enforces (socially) an environment where the harder (and right) questions which display a greater amount of maturity and self-resourcefulness (photographic, or otherwise) are asked.

    In any case, that's all I have to say. Cheers.
    Last edited by edutilos-; 16th July 2011 at 04:44 PM.

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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    my ans is yes. and we need to, and have to keep changing with time.

    we dun have a choice. dun change, u fall back. simple as that
    Yes, saying that we must change because we must keep up with the global trends is as simple as that too. Like what eductilos said, what's really needed is people proposing plans for the government to carry out, after considering how the change in education policies could affect the economy, the society, birth rate, etc etc and this is not evident in most hero's or heroine's argument.

    What I have seen is that rash people often want to start a cause for something and they often impress people by the daringness but they don't talk about how they would actually implement it, the specific measures to implement it and to counter the possible problems, probably because of the inconvenience.

    Saying that we have to change without much consideration of the whole country in general is very much easier than saying that we can change after considering most aspects of the country, which is not what most people are doing.

    It's not really about whether we would fall back if we do not change, it's more about whether we could still maintain/ improve the current performance of the country if we were to change.

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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by tehzeh View Post
    Yes, saying that we must change because we must keep up with the global trends is as simple as that too. Like what eductilos said, what's really needed is people proposing plans for the government to carry out, after considering how the change in education policies could affect the economy, the society, birth rate, etc etc and this is not evident in most hero's or heroine's argument.

    What I have seen is that rash people often want to start a cause for something and they often impress people by the daringness but they don't talk about how they would actually implement it, the specific measures to implement it and to counter the possible problems, probably because of the inconvenience.

    Saying that we have to change without much consideration of the whole country in general is very much easier than saying that we can change after considering most aspects of the country, which is not what most people are doing.

    It's not really about whether we would fall back if we do not change, it's more about whether we could still maintain/ improve the current performance of the country if we were to change.
    well... i dunno if this sounds right...

    if i know how to implement, and i have a solution... won't i be the next minster already?

    jokes aside.

    i think the process of problem solving has to start from identifying the root of the problem. at least the girl has done that.

    is she in a position to tackle the problem at the root, or does she have enough expertise to provide a feasible solution? maybe not.
    but this is where the problem solvers comes in... who have the expertise and knowledge to find a proper solution...

    i'll try to draw an analogy...

    a student can raise a question, a problem during class. the reason he raised it is because he found certain concepts not workable, yet he has not enough expertise with regards to the subject to find a solution. asking him to solve the question himself is still possible though, but not efficient, and it holds no guarantee that the student can solve it.

    on the other hand, the teacher has more experience and stands a better chance at solving the problem. it might be due to some other reasons, hence the problem was missed.

    i think then... the responsibility lies more towards the teacher to tackle the problem no?

    assuming that... the student can provide all solutions... and perform as well as the teacher and solve the problem.... me thinks student can take over the incumbent teacher.

    what do you guys think?

    just to summarise: it is unfair to expect the citizens to solve the problem, because most lack the necessary experience (not all of us are expert economists!). they can possibly solve, but it might take a longer time. on the other hand, the people with more experience has the larger responsibility to tackle the problem. on the other hand, the people making the policy might have lost touch with the people who are at the ground being affected... it might be a reason why the problem was never raised.

    and yes. choice of questions is important.

    To put it into perspective once again, it is like Clubsnap. We see a load of people asking questions - "how do I switch on my camera?", "why is it that F/stops run reverse to aperture size?", "How do I achieve this effect?", "Why is it that lenses vignette less when stopped down more?" - what is progress? Progress is when the questions become more intelligent, beyond rudimentary asking about anything and everything, and when the photographic society as a whole encourages and enforces (socially) an environment where the harder (and right) questions which display a greater amount of maturity and self-resourcefulness (photographic, or otherwise) are asked.
    2 main old arguments: lack of individuality (talent), lack of civic moral education.

    those are pretty much beaten to death, which we admit lies more towards the home, especially with the latter.

    but this one caught my eye most
    This is the type of education system the Ministry of Education's policies have cultivated. A system where fighting for things one believes in are seen as a 'waste of time', where reading anything non-school-related is seen as yet another waste of time.

    which is something i can relate to, and still is persistent.

    another one of the practices in sch that i can relate to also... hehe.
    Teachers often 'eat up' our CME lessons to have their own lessons, for one. Though this may not be a commonplace occurence, it happens extremely often for graduating classes when teachers are rushing to finish up the syllabus. Again, the system sends out another message: As long as you can get all A1s for your O levels, your character does not matter.
    perhaps one might wonder... as edutilos might mentioned it was 5 years too late... why 5 years after it still persists then?



    thank you for all the replies, because it does help to have some people to bounce ideas around. good for learning heh
    Last edited by allenleonhart; 17th July 2011 at 08:13 AM.

  13. #33
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    perhaps one might wonder... as edutilos might mentioned it was 5 years too late... why 5 years after it still persists then?
    When I said "5 years too late", I mean that the problem is not a problem since 5 years ago (as opposed to it being a problem since 5 years ago), since we have so many people questioning the system for discouraging them from asking "why", obviously something has changed such that these people are asking "why". It is the same irony.

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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by edutilos- View Post
    When I said "5 years too late", I mean that the problem is not a problem since 5 years ago (as opposed to it being a problem since 5 years ago), since we have so many people questioning the system for discouraging them from asking "why", obviously something has changed such that these people are asking "why". It is the same irony.
    hmm. could it be the internet development? it is harder to control the online sphere compared to the offline world i believe.

    previously things like facebooks and blogs never appeared... they started roughly around 5 years ago. i think it was a bigger factor in terms of letting ppl to ask why... especially now that i find vocal political support is pretty polarised... between online world and the offline world.

    maybe things havent changed on the offline world ...and i oddly suspect that the system didnt adapt in time for the internet...

    just offering an alternative interpretation of why the problem might exist on the ground, and on another platform it might not be...

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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    well... i dunno if this sounds right...
    if i know how to implement, and i have a solution... won't i be the next minster already?
    jokes aside.
    i think the process of problem solving has to start from identifying the root of the problem. at least the girl has done that.
    is she in a position to tackle the problem at the root, or does she have enough expertise to provide a feasible solution? maybe not.
    but this is where the problem solvers comes in... who have the expertise and knowledge to find a proper solution...
    i'll try to draw an analogy...
    a student can raise a question, a problem during class. the reason he raised it is because he found certain concepts not workable, yet he has not enough expertise with regards to the subject to find a solution. asking him to solve the question himself is still possible though, but not efficient, and it holds no guarantee that the student can solve it.
    on the other hand, the teacher has more experience and stands a better chance at solving the problem. it might be due to some other reasons, hence the problem was missed.
    i think then... the responsibility lies more towards the teacher to tackle the problem no?
    assuming that... the student can provide all solutions... and perform as well as the teacher and solve the problem.... me thinks student can take over the incumbent teacher.
    what do you guys think?
    just to summarise: it is unfair to expect the citizens to solve the problem, because most lack the necessary experience (not all of us are expert economists!). they can possibly solve, but it might take a longer time. on the other hand, the people with more experience has the larger responsibility to tackle the problem. on the other hand, the people making the policy might have lost touch with the people who are at the ground being affected... it might be a reason why the problem was never raised.
    and yes. choice of questions is important.
    2 main old arguments: lack of individuality (talent), lack of civic moral education.
    those are pretty much beaten to death, which we admit lies more towards the home, especially with the latter.
    but this one caught my eye most
    which is something i can relate to, and still is persistent.
    another one of the practices in sch that i can relate to also... hehe.
    perhaps one might wonder... as edutilos might mentioned it was 5 years too late... why 5 years after it still persists then?
    thank you for all the replies, because it does help to have some people to bounce ideas around. good for learning heh
    It's not about whether they could come up with viable solutions... It's about whether they have considered the different aspects before concluding that there's a need for change and it will not affect a country negatively when implemented. Yes, the process of solving one problem starts from identifying the root of that one problem, but when one problem would result in another problem, there are so many more things to consider, rather than to just come up with a conclusion that change is needed and there she goes on facebook.

    I would rather think that when a student raises question, he doesn't understand enough about the topic or content, and hence the tutor should be there to draw the links between the problems he is facing and the content being taught, and not about the theories and concepts, which have been taught for many generations, being not workable or whatnot. The student should try to draw the link between the content and the problem he is facing now, before looking for the teacher for consultation on etc etc. That should be the way and not saying that, just because he doesn't understand the rationale of the content being taught and so the content should be changed or the teacher should be changed too. It doesn't work this way.

    It's not about making the citizens come up with the solutions to tackle a problem before they could bring it up. It's about making them consider the various aspects of the society that might get affected, if the change is being implemented and the best way to achieve this is to suggest them to think of solutions to solve the problem, because by thinking of solutions, they would think of problems being linked to the solutions proposed. This is much sensible than saying that we have to change because here are the negative effects we are having: 1, 2, 3, and I don't even consider the other impacts of the change, which may be greater than the negative effects we are having now. No one could actually know it.

    Fighting for something which you believe in is a waste of time because for most situations, they only talk a lot and no actions are done, maybe they are just too insignificant. Unless they have some actions (no, posting on fb is no action), it is seriously a waste of time. I don't see reading non-sch related stuff as useless and waste of time and to list an example, anything on the earth is related to General Paper, so there you have it.

    The reason why CME lessons are not being emphasized on is because its objectives are impossible to be fulfilled within such a short time frame. Instead of trying so hard and getting nothing done, it's more practical to just do TYS and the stuff critics often mention. Those who want to have a good character, will have a good character; those who do not want, will not, regardless of the number of CME lessons per week. If there's lesser emphasis on CME by the system, does it mean that we will degrade to some jerks or whatnot? No. It's this over-dependence on the education system, and the whole system running the country, that have caused so many people to fight for change, because they do not understand that it's freaking self-centered to want the whole system to change a few millions of 'you's when it is so easy to change your own mindset. If there's one thing that could be improved about the system, it would be the self-centeredness as evident in so many activist-wannabes.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309

    wait what? i don't see people my age (15) or those in their 20s giving up seats to others.. fat help CME does.

    you want to know why... because i realized that it's supposed to be in you to do good and be unselfish. singaporeans are selfish buggers.
    I see so many around, open your eyes wilder you will see some..

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart

    last time i offered a seat to a lady... she told me she not pregnant...
    You must have looked "fishy" in her view.. Normally, people will gladly accepts if you look sincere..

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    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by nightlights View Post
    You must have looked "fishy" in her view.. Normally, people will gladly accepts if you look sincere..
    ...

    she was overweight...

    if u didnt get the joke haha

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart

    ...

    she was overweight...

    if u didnt get the joke haha
    You joke about people being over weight?

  20. #40

    Default Re: open letter from a student

    Quote Originally Posted by canonmono View Post
    Somehow or rather, I agreed with that, we are taught to let up our seat to elderly to prevent other people from thinking negative about you rather than doing thing from the heart and we followed blindly, although Im not studying anymore, i do hope that the education system can improvised and let the kids think rather then making them doing what everyone is doing, this might be the sole reason why people are saying singaporean have no talent, it is hidden and not shown ..
    If she does not think she would not have written the note.

    It takes time to know the result. We are a developed nation because the system helps us to do so!

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