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Tuesday, April 19, 2005
On PSC's management of scholars

A while ago, two bondbreakers came forward and told their side of the story. There was an ex-PSC guy and an ex-A*star guy. Basically, they made the respective organizations look like insensitive assholes. Unfortunately, I only had the opportunity to read A*star's response in the Newpaper and not PSC's. I also noticed that quite a lot of people were quite pissed off with scholarship organizations from the opinions on the internet.

Frankly speaking, after reading two sides of the A*star story, I think the ex-scholar sounded a little selfish and irresponsible. As for the ex-PSC guy, well, I don't know what PSC said but being a PSC scholar myself, I think I would be quite ungrateful if I didn't say anything in their defence considering how they have treated me for the past 4 years. Sure, things weren't always a breeze but when I compare my experiences with PSC against that of scholars from other organizations, PSC is one of the best place to be a scholar. By the way, PSC isn't paying me to say that.

I never had to worry about allowances not being sent on time, complicated procedures for claiming expenses or major life-altering policy changes. They even arranged for us to talk to senior scholars to prepare us for life overseas and have the seniors pick us up at the airport. There have been a few bumps here and there such as a minor allowance decrease but nothing I can't handle quite easily. I think half the complaints against the organization are really against the scholarship officers who are inefficient and do not reply to emails and things like that. I guess it's a matter of luck who your scholarship officer is. I have had both good and bad officers so I know there is a big difference. During the days when my scholarship officer was Joanne (the best scholarship officer ever), I was living in scholar's paradise. I get replies for my emails in less than 24 hours. Need to book out of camp to do visa? No problem. Need a summer work attachment? Done.

The PSC guy must've been really unlucky or something. I guess PSC just can't please everyone. It's the same situation in my army camp now. Everyone in my platoon hates the signal warrant officer Staff Sergeant Serene but I personally have no problems with her. In fact, I think she's just like your friendly neighbourhood aunty. Her lack of popularity stems from the fact that she plans the guard duty roster and she isn't very generous with giving offs (like leave, except off is awarded by one's superior). The problem here is what she considers a privilege, many consider an entitlement. I am an old-school soldier so I am ok with a system that says offs must be earned. Others are bitter because they think they deserve an off if it's mid-autumn festival or something. It's probably the same thing with PSC. PSC might think accepting a scholarship implies a moral obligation and responsibility and so on but some scholars just see it as a business contract. Or perhaps they think that PSC has a greater responsibility to the scholar than PSC has assumed.

Who is right? I think neither and I don't think it really matters. What matters is if you don't want your life to be difficult, you better start seeing things from the other perspective, whether you are the scholar or the scholarship organization.

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
4:33 AM


Privilege and Entitlment...not that again...(T_T)

anyway, it's suprising that ppl expect offs for mid-autumm... We didnt even get a day's off for the few months we helped out with NDP. After all that sh*twork=more sh*twork.

Anyway, human nature.

By Blogger Trinetra, at 12:57 AM  

ya.. no offs for NDP cos schedule was very packed... and they kinda forgotten it? (maybe was given to us but not a lot. the most 1,2 days i remember)
By Blogger Trinetra, at 3:23 AM  

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