Always a price to pay for progress

Singapore is a country that never stands still. From the vast transformation of our cityscape and standard of living to racial harmony, graciousness and technological advancements, we are moving forward on a high-speed train, going even faster than many other countries.

But this comes at a price. We now worry about social fragmentation and an academic aristocracy (Class divide: S'pore in danger of becoming academic aristocracy; June 3).

To make amends, we are shifting gear. Our education system will go into lower gear so that it will not be so stressful for students. When students are less stressed, their parents, too, will have lower stress levels.

Social integration might also improve, as fewer "elite" students produced over time will result in less differentiation between the classes.

That will be a catalyst for people to mix more freely.

But the price to pay will be fewer brilliant people to compete with the best in the world.

There is no end to this irksome phenomenon of having to pay for progress.

At the end of the day, our life is what we make of it.

We must respect the decisions made and not grumble when the next set of problems appear.

We must realise that there is always a price to be paid for progress.

Phillip Tan Fong Lip

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 10, 2018, with the headline 'Always a price to pay for progress'. Print Edition | Subscribe