The Straits Times
Published on Nov 08, 2012

All schools are not equally good, and shouldn't be


I DISAGREE with the view that all secondary schools can become equally good schools.

The elite school and the neighbourhood school will never be of equal quality. Even among the neighbourhood schools, some are better than others, and most parents know which is which.

Each school has its own strengths and vision. One purpose of the top schools is to groom future leaders and captains of industry.

The rest of the schools should be devoted to educating students to become valued professionals and technicians; and yes, even elite athletes, as in the case of the Singapore Sports School.

The job of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is to stream pupils into the secondary school that best suits their potential talents.

The question, naturally, is whether the PSLE is the best vehicle to do so.

Parents, on their part, should understand the potential of their children and help them perform their best, rather than force them to go to a school where they may find it difficult to cope.

Schools should have smaller class sizes for better teaching and learning, and there should also be resources to help slow learners.

Jerry Gan