Raising DSA bar will worsen class divide

Raising the bar for secondary school admission through the Direct School Admission (DSA) process may not be a good idea ("Raise DSA bar to admit only the naturally talented" by Ms Wong Kim May; Jan 25).

It is not likely to help reduce the pressure children face. It could also widen the divide between families with resources and those without.

Making admission more difficult will only prompt parents to send their children for sports, music and art training more frequently and from a younger age. This will escalate the trend of Singapore children sacrificing their leisure time, sleep and childhood.

Families with more resources would be able to afford a higher quality of training. This will make the disparity between households of different income levels more apparent, and worsen the inherent bias in the DSA process towards families with more resources.

The DSA scheme should continue, as it promotes the holistic development of children. To level the playing field between all pupils, I propose that primary schools put a greater emphasis on non-curricular activities, such as music and sports.

Grace Pang Ern Hsuen (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2017, with the headline 'Raising DSA bar will worsen class divide'. Print Edition | Subscribe