The Straits Times
Published on Nov 15, 2012

Data on ethnic groups' academic performances helpful


SELF-help groups and community leaders welcome annual data on how students of various ethnic groups perform academically as it helps them to assess their programmes and come up with new activities, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Hawazi Daipi on Thursday.

He was responding in Parliament to Nominated MP Eugene Tan,who was concerned if the public release of such data would lead to racial stereotyping. "In the process (the data) could possibly undermine performances of students that we actually want to help and I think it would affect the self-esteem," said Mr Tan.

He noted that as Chinese students form at least three-quarters of the student population, "the national average is invariably skewed towards the performance of the ethnic Chinese students".

Mr Tan also asked if the annual data could be released only to the ethnic self-help groups as the year-to-year change in students' performance is not significant.