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Beware growing 'parentocracy': NIE don

He warns of students who get ahead thanks to parents with more resources, not merit

Published on Mar 30, 2014 8:07 AM
 
"It seems to me that instead of having a meritocracy, increasingly what we have in Singapore is a parentocracy," Associate Professor Jason Tan said at an Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) seminar on education. -- PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Parents will play an increasingly vital role as the education system becomes more complex, but a side effect is that their varied backgrounds and means may widen social inequality, a National Institute of Education don said yesterday.

"It seems to me that instead of having a meritocracy, increasingly what we have in Singapore is a parentocracy," Associate Professor Jason Tan said at an Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) seminar on education.

He described how recent government attempts to recognise more non-academic achievements are viewed by some parents as yet more hoops for their children to jump through.

For instance, the Direct School Admissions scheme was introduced a decade ago to give primary school pupils talented in fields such as arts and sports early placement in a secondary school.

 
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