How to dim allure of elite schools

I agree with Associate Professor Teo You Yenn's view that the "obsession with entering certain schools cannot be alleviated by finding more ways to do so; instead, elite schools must be made less attractive. This is done when the rewards that are reaped from attending these schools are reduced, while the rewards from going to neighbourhood schools are enhanced" (Lack of social mixing is a symptom of inequality, not a cause; June 7).

Students who do well enough to enter elite schools are more likely to go on to obtain a degree.

According to reports on the starting pay of university graduates and polytechnic graduates, the median monthly salary of a university graduate was more than 50 per cent higher than that of his polytechnic counterpart last year (Poly grads not getting jobs as quickly: Poll, Jan 13; and Starting pay for fresh uni grads hits new high; Feb 27).

I believe parents want their children to do well in school so that they have a better chance of earning a higher income in the future.

Thus, one way to make elite schools less attractive is probably to bridge the gap between the starting pay of university graduates and polytechnic graduates.

The Government could take the lead by reviewing the human resources framework in the public sector.

Fong Sau Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2018, with the headline 'How to dim allure of elite schools'. Print Edition | Subscribe