Don't let populism determine fate of IP

Mr Edwin Chaw's story of dropping out of the Integrated Programme (IP) sparked a number of responses from Forum writers ('I flunked the IP', Dec 30, 2018; Don't judge job candidates by past failures, by Mr Dennis Chan Hoi Yim, Jan 4; Time right to focus on moral education, by Mr Seah Yam Meng, Jan 10).

The IP introduced a broader and more rigorous curriculum not limited to academic subjects.

Advanced learning comes with arduous challenges and is not always a joyful process, but overcoming obstacles builds tenacity.

The IP is not intended for everyone and students are aware that distractions and lack of self-discipline are the common stumbling blocks to learning in the IP. Intense competition can bring out the ugly side of humanity, but the act of sabotaging is a moral issue.

Rather than pin the blame on the education system, shouldn't parents instead acknowledge their inadequacies in inculcating good values in their children?

The time required to get over setbacks reflects an individual's grit.

When decisions do not work out, should we call for more safety nets? Would this not counteract the idea of students taking failures in their stride?

Meritocracy is about giving everyone an equal opportunity to excel, it is not about suppressing the better performers so as to achieve uniformity to justify equality.

The Independent Schools Scheme and IP were introduced with the common objective of preparing students who were ready for more.

These schools have stood the test of time, and the Ministry of Education should consult with long-serving educators from such schools before handing down directives in the face of populist calls.

Doreen Leong (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2019, with the headline 'Don't let populism determine fate of IP'. Print Edition | Subscribe