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Inequality

This tag is associated with 5 posts

The Equity Of Opportunities, Not The Equality Of Outcomes

Notwithstanding the propositions that improving the absolute well-being of Singaporeans and achieving relative equity or equality within the country are not mutually exclusive policy objectives – and is ostensibly a balance the Singapore government seeks to establish – and that growth with equity is therefore a worthy objective, distinguishing the equity of opportunities and the equality of outcomes and stressing the former brings attention to the important principle of justice, which is also enshrined in the Singapore pledge. And while it might be true that from intelligence to work ethic “human beings are unequal in almost every respect” (ST, Jun. 1), it does not follow that Singaporeans should then accept the consequent inequalities or ignore governmental or community potential to increase equity. Continue reading

SAP Schools: Employ Better Evidence Of Multicultural Integration

Notwithstanding the broader historical discourse surrounding the Special Assistance Plan (SAP) and the implications of developing bilingual and elite Chinese students, better and more diverse evidence is needed to determine the extent to which SAP schools such as Hwa Chong Institution have been effective in giving “students the opportunity to mix with peers of different races and backgrounds through various activities” (ST, Mar. 22) and in promoting multicultural integration. Put otherwise, instead of pointing to a joint overseas community involvement programme trip with ITE College West, for instance, the school ought to be interested in: The first-hand perceptions and learning experience of the Hwa Chong and ITE students, whether they continue to make friends and maintain friendships with others of different cultures, as well as the overall suite of programmes and the number of students who participate and benefit. Continue reading

Singapore’s Social Divide Problem Extends Beyond The School

While class- or school-based integration is not guaranteed by “putting students of different learning abilities and socio-economic statuses in the same classroom” (TODAY, Mar. 4), Singapore has to confront an inequality and social divide problem which extends beyond the school. In fact, it could be argued that primary and secondary schools – by bringing together students of varied demographic and socio-economic backgrounds, to some extent – already offer one of the country’s most important sites for social interactions. The policy focus, in this vein, should shift from streaming within secondary schools to distinctions across schools, to greater engagement between students of different schools and institutes of higher learning, as well as to increased porosity across these educational pathways. Continue reading

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