The way GP was taught at RI, I felt I was merely being coached to pass examinations, and that put me off. My seat in class was in the first row. The GP teacher could see me doing non-GP work under her nose. I am grateful she pretended not to notice my disobedience.
As I was writing this article, I e-mailed an officer in the Ministry of Education to ask the purpose of making all A-level students take GP. She explained that the purpose of GP was to stimulate critical thinking and foster an ability to express one's views clearly and concisely across a wide variety of subjects as well as to argue a case cogently. While Uncle Earnest did not explicitly state that these were his aims, he achieved them in the most mentally stimulating and enjoyable way.
Lessons in critical thinking
Getting the right answer was not enough. I learnt to question conventional wisdom, and approach each new problem with a fresh mind. I was not worried about making a mistake nor did I necessarily follow conventional rules. I learnt that any given problem may have more than one solution, each with its pros and cons. My task was to select the best solution, given the circumstances.
'A' for Uncle Earnest [via]