Bring top schools to students in the heartland

The suggestion for a quota system for top schools to admit students from lower-income families was made with good intentions (Quota system will level playing field in schools, by Mr Viswa Sadasivan; June 2), but students may prefer to attend a school closer to home and in more familiar surroundings.

So, rather than try to persuade these students to go to the top schools, we should bring the top schools to them.

The aim should be to develop a top-tier Integrated Programme school in every region of Singapore.

The Ministry of Education could work with top schools to open branches or affiliated schools in other parts of Singapore and areas with a higher concentration of low-income families.

These affiliated schools could be given excellent facilities, and the top schools can share their best practices, know-how, teaching and assessment materials.

Former students and staff of the top schools, who are familiar with the schools' tradition in management and leadership, could be appointed to the affiliated schools.

Technology could be tapped to provide more opportunities for co-learning and the sharing of knowledge and information.

Camps, community service and other activities could create opportunities for interaction between students from the top and affiliated schools.

We need to think out of the box and innovate in the field of education.

A school need not be confined to the building or location where it sits. Having it spread out is the solution to levelling the playing field.

Samuel Png Tian Wei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2018, with the headline 'Bring top schools to students in the heartland'. Print Edition | Subscribe