Time to end SAP school system

Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools were established in 1979 with the aim of developing in students high competency in English and Chinese.

There are about 15 primary schools and 10 secondary schools under the programme.

The inherent nature of the two languages in focus precludes most non-Chinese from enrolling in these schools, resulting in a lack of diversity among the students.

Our common space is shaped by the friendships we develop in our early formative years.

Hence, I fear the perspective on interracial issues these students will bring into their working lives and when they assume leadership positions in various sectors.

Do they possess that keen awareness of interracial, interfaith sensitivity and respect that can be learnt only through personal friendship forged in their student years?

The aim of fostering higher competency in languages is now being fulfilled by the Higher Mother Tongue subject.

Thus, for the sake of enlarging our common space, let us do away with the SAP school system.

Teo Tze Wei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2016, with the headline 'Time to end SAP school system'. Print Edition | Subscribe