Divert govt resources from top schools to regular ones

There has been a spate of letters centring on the issue of elite schools, the latest being that by Mr Fong Sau Yee (How to dim allure of elite schools; June 9).

It is high time we tackle this problem by radically changing our education system.

More than 30 years ago, our Government felt that the best resources must be used to develop the brightest minds in the land.

Classes in the Special stream were kept small, and many of the students, unsurprisingly, would qualify for university.

But times have certainly changed.

It may not be necessary for the Government to pour as much resources into the top students now.

Many students rely on their family's financial might to develop their abilities and enter elite schools.

With private tuition, students do not need to be in small classes. Hence, the top schools could adopt a junior college-style of teaching, that is, large lecture classes and tutorial groups.

Encouraging self-learning is also beneficial for their young minds.

The diverted government resources can instead be put into neighbourhood schools which are financially limited, to reduce class sizes and improve the calibre of teaching staff there.

In this way, the playing field can be levelled across the board.

Parents will also be forced to rethink sending their children to elite schools. In the long run, the mix of children in neighbourhood schools will certainly improve.

Chua Boon Hou

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2018, with the headline 'Divert govt resources from top schools to regular ones'. Print Edition | Subscribe