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Social Mobility

This tag is associated with 3 posts

Focus On Access – Not Just Affordability – And Broaden Definitions Of Success

Absent from the recent efforts to increase the diversity of students at Singapore’s independent schools – through which students from low- or middle-income families will enjoy fee subsidies and could qualify for a scholarship for out-of-pocket expenses (ST, Dec. 29) – is a focus on access as well as broadened definitions of success. Put otherwise: In addition to improving the affordability of these schools for academically gifted students from low- or middle-income families, there are outstanding questions on the proportion of students who gain access to these schools in the first place, and on students from these families who may not demonstrate the same scholastic aptitudes, and yet have other talents or abilities which ought to be nurtured. Continue reading

Be More Specific About Diversity Of Public Scholars

That the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are working to increase the diversity of both their scholarship applicants and recipients – for instance, by encouraging “more of those living in one- to three-room Housing Board flats and those from poorer families to apply for the scholarships” (ST, Jul. 21) – is encouraging, though they have to be more specific about what is meant by “diversity” and how it is measured and tracked over time. In addition, perhaps having defined diversity across race, gender, socio-economic status, as well as family or educational backgrounds, these metrics ought to be communicated more consistently. Continue reading

Singapore’s Education System: Headed In The Right Direction

Nonetheless, the biggest challenge the MOE faces – as Minister Heng rightly highlighted – is one of social mobility. For any meaningful discussion to take root, the ministry would have to analyse how students from lower income-households have performed in school vis-à-vis those from higher-income families. With tuition in vogue and expensive enrichment enterprises becoming more ubiquitous, many reckon that the promise of education as “the great leveller” is no longer accurate. Continue reading

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