Your Letters

Reverse discrimination not the answer

Mr Chua Boon Hou's letter presupposes that there is resource discrimination among schools (Divert govt resources from top schools to regular ones; June 12).

This is erroneous. We do not have poor schools in poor areas in Singapore. No school has shoddy facilities or out-of-date textbooks. One school is very much like the next.

Students in neighbourhood schools are not shoehorned nor prepped to occupy particular low rungs on the professional or social ladder.

Like students in schools in classier districts, these neighbourhood school students get exhortations from similarly well-trained and supportive staff to shoot for the stars.

Their environment is not distinctly inferior to others. It is unfair to think otherwise.

There will always be income and opportunity inequalities in capitalistic societies simply because like attracts like.

The wealthy will congregate in the same living areas, schools and country clubs. Stratification is almost inevitable.

We may, perhaps, try to dissuade affluent people from driving their children to "elite" schools by mandating that such students use only public transport when going to school.

Alternatively, students in "elite" schools may be required to spend more time cleaning their school or engaging in meaningful activities in old folks' homes, rather than going for tuition to get further ahead in grades.

Discrimination against the lower-income group by government is, of course, inimical to the development of an egalitarian population. But surely, reverse discrimination is just as unjustified.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 17, 2018, with the headline 'Reverse discrimination not the answer'. Print Edition | Subscribe