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the students' voice


The Floating System - Trials and Tribulations by Lin Wan Jie

Being a mere Sec 1, I am obviously new to the school and its floating system.

And guess what? I don't like it. ( The floating system, I mean, not the school. The latter's not that objectionable. ) I'm not sure how many people agree with me, because I don't hear any complaints about this issue, but I for one can't stand the floating system. Let me tell you why.

Firstly, it's so terribly tiring. I'm not the walking sort, and I get tired after being on my legs for a while - not that I'm lazy or anything. It's just that I don't fancy having to drag my heavy schoolbag with me up four levels of staircases and 200-metre-long stretches of corridors. To make matters worse, this happens around five times a day. How are we supposed to concentrate in class if we're still recovering from these stints of trudging around the school? We don't learn any better through this, so what's the point?

I really don't get it. Is it to prepare us for JC life? Then we can start in Sec 4. Besides, how much practice do you need to learn how to walk around the school between lesson times? If this is to keep the RGS population toned and fit, I also spot a problem. We have two and a half hours each cycle to do that, and we also have our recess to sprint to ( so as to avoid there being long queues when we get there ). Besides, there's no point in keeping fit if you collapse one day from exhaustion and miss the NAPFA tests and retests anyway.

For another thing, there's no sense of belonging to any room. As an example: When Chinese New Year was around the corner, my reaction was along the lines of 'Great! Time to decorate our classroom!' Then I realized that we didn't have a fixed classroom. Sure, we have a homeroom, but we never go in there except during PSL sessions. You can't pin up class work or decorate the notice boards anymore, because no one will be there to see it. ( Except the classes using the classroom - unless you too care to make a trip down to your homeroom just to admire your beautiful handiwork. ) Also, not having a fixed classroom adds to the filth in all of them, for no one cares enough to even clean them up. Yes, we have a duty roster, but from my own experience, I have reason to believe that nobody follows it, except for one or two school-rule-abiding classmates. Most of us don't care. Admittedly, I'm not sure if other classes are similar.

In a nutshell, the reasons why I disagree with the floating system are as follows:
1. It tires me out and renders me late for class ( loss of valuable curriculum time ) and makes me unable to concentrate, as I am too busy recuperating from the workout.
2. No fixed classroom - no sense of belonging.
3. Forced to leave bags outside classrooms if they are still being occupied ( such as during recess ) - unsightly, leads to obstruction of corridor, and dirties bag as cement floor is dusty.

If anyone who reads this article knows why we have this system, I would be most gratified if you would enlighten me. Or, if you think the system is absolutely wonderful, I would be happy to hear why as well. E-mail me or drop a note in the 113 class tray addressed to Wan Jie. Thanks.

( Ed: I think it's due to the fact that we don't have enough classrooms to accommodate the large number of classes. As a result, there aren't many alternatives to the floating system, unless we decide to assign unorthodox classrooms to classes who are left out because there aren't enough classrooms, and even then we have a severe shortage of locations. The Raffles Room comes to mind, and perhaps even the AVA room if we're desperate, but other locations, such as the Ecogarden or the carpark, may not be the most conducive environments for learning. So it's not the school's fault, really - it's a matter of necessity. )