Benefits of having more foreign kids in local schools

There are benefits to admitting more foreign children into local schools.

First, they are exposed to Singapore's perspective of its place in the world as well as its multicultural heritage and history.

This will allow them to better integrate into our society, should they decide to stay on and contribute to our economy.

Second, foreign and local children could develop friendships that might bloom into strong business ties in the future.

Local parents, too, will have more opportunities for networking.

They could develop business contacts with foreign parents, many of whom hail from emerging economies such as Myanmar, the Philippines and India.

Also, by mixing with the foreigners, local children and their parents gain greater insight and understanding of the foreign cultures, languages and etiquette.

This would prove very useful when they want to explore business opportunities in these foreign lands.

Connectivity is not just about building roads and rail systems between countries. It is also about a meeting of the minds and hearts.

It would be best to take the long-term view in our education policies and admit more foreign students into local schools.

This is particularly relevant at a time when there is an excess of capacity in schools due to a declining cohort of local children (Let more foreign students enrol, by Mr Jack D. Avidsson; Forum Online, April 24).

Anne Chong Su Yan (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 29, 2017, with the headline 'Benefits of having more foreign kids in local schools'. Print Edition | Subscribe