Is it a good idea to open schools in the heartland that are affiliated to top schools?
Students have a choice to where they want to go. Some choose neighbourhood schools because there is less pressure. Some want to go to a better school because they think it suits them. We cannot have the same system throughout Singapore.
Raffles Institution is in Bishan, and Raffles Girls' School will soon move there; this is not heartland? How about CHIJ Toa Payoh?
A child who is struggling in class may be discouraged when there are maths whizz-kids, for example, in the same class. Not easy for a teacher to teach a class with students who learn at different pace. The maths whizz-kid may get bored and distracted also.
It's not the school. It's the after-school support that makes the difference. Putting Raffles Institution (RI) in Circuit Road is not going to get more students living in the rented flats in the area to go to the school. Giving each child in the rented flats as much after-school support as middle-class kids will put more of those kids into RI.
Chia Choong Kiat
Is a tolerant multi-religious society as good as it can get? What will it take to get people to embrace those from other religions?
A tolerant multi-religious society won't be good if people from different religions don't get along due to misconceptions about a certain religion. Remember, Singapore is not a "one-religion majority" nation. People need to be more understanding and take initiative to address certain religious misconceptions.
Wei Jien Teng
Students in the late 60s and early 70s were exposed to moral education andethics. Because we were in public/assisted schools, we had a mix of students from different religious groups.
Being surrounded by teachers and students of different religious beliefs meant we could better understand their practices and beliefs. It was enough to integrate and respect each other's faith and practices, but not enough to cause fear in parents that their children would change their faiths.
It is the freedom to practise one's belief, regardless of which religion, and respect every individual's choice of religious belief that matters.
So long as everyone shows respect and tolerance, and lives in peace and harmony, that is sufficient.