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Policy Recommendation

This tag is associated with 383 posts

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

Reduce Individual Caregiver Burdens; Strengthen Communities For Caregiving

The new Caregiver Support Action plan, which seeks so strengthen government support for senior caregiving (ST, Feb. 21), sidesteps two important, related, and fundamental challenges to caregiving in Singapore: First, the persistent over-reliance on individual caregivers – either family members or foreign domestic workers – whose experiences are also not necessarily well-understood, to care for loved ones:, and second, the urgent need to strengthen communities and institutions for caregiving, emphasising not only the self-reliance of individual- or family-based systems but also the further professionalisation of the sector and improvements for productivity gains. Continue reading

To Strengthen National Service, It Has To Be Questioned And Challenged

The perspective that it is necessarily deleterious if Singaporeans raise questions about or challenges to National Service (NS) policy – for instance, “if people start to question now whether NS is necessary, if operationally ready NSmen should shoulder certain responsibilities, and whether the tempo and intensity of military training should be reduced” (ST, Feb. 5) – not only seems short-sighted and further disregards the absence of substantive engagement with servicemen and the general public, but also underestimates the value of rigorous discourse over the need for NS and the principles of defence and deterrence which justify the need for conscription in Singapore. It appears somewhat paradoxical, yet instead of being anchored by unquestioned or unchallenged assumptions of its importance, the institution of NS is perhaps best strengthened when it is constantly questioned and challenged by Singaporeans. Continue reading

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