SAP school system outdated today

Students in Singapore, from Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools or otherwise, are generally stronger in English and weaker in their mother tongue languages (MTLs).

Most SAP students do not have any strong interest or aptitude in Chinese, as they often speak English at home or in schools.

Many students may also study Higher Mother Tongue (HMT) to enjoy points deduction for junior college (JC) admission or MTL exemption in JC.

But SAP schools admit students from only the Express stream and those whose MTL is officially Chinese.

HMT is also not a compulsory subject. Students may even need to pass a school-conducted entrance exam or do well in their MTL or other subjects to study it.

What is the point of the SAP system when these schools make HMT an optional subject, while the taking of the subject is based solely on academic results? Moreover, why should other subjects determine a student's capability to study HMT?

Given our multiracial landscape, this is definitely not in the spirit of government policies, as SAP schools exclude students from the Normal stream and those whose MTL is not Chinese.

SAP students interact mainly with ethnic Chinese schoolmates within the Express stream, lacking the opportunity to interact with other students.

As the SAP system is already outdated, I support the call to do away with it ("Time to end SAP school system" by Mr Teo Tze Wei; Jan 25).

Huang Yihua, 16, awaiting polytechnic enrolment

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2016, with the headline 'SAP school system outdated today'. Print Edition | Subscribe