The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Nov 19, 2012
 
GETTING STUDENTS FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS TO MIX

Consider CCA route

 
 

I AGREE that students from top schools tend to have close friends like themselves ("Top schools' students tend to have friends like themselves: Poll"; last Saturday).

But admitting students with lower scores to top schools is not the way to improve interaction among students from diverse backgrounds. In fact, average students will be demoralised when they fail to cope with the more demanding work meant for their more capable peers.

I find that national service provides a great opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to mix and befriend one another.

Similar opportunities should be offered to students. They should not be representing their schools in national sports competitions or the Singapore Youth Festival.

Instead, students should be grouped using other means. For example, students from secondary schools located close to one another could be randomly grouped together for co-curricular activities (CCAs) and to prepare for competitions.

Bonding through CCAs is underscored by the fact that many of us have bosom friends made during our school days while we were participating in such activities together.

While it may be difficult for average students to cope with their studies in top schools, they could outperform their peers from top schools in CCAs.

Yeo Boon Eng (Ms)