Singapore education system hardly a poor one

Singapore students have been ranked top in the highly regarded Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) tests.

This has been attributed to the nation's heavy investment in a quality teaching force.

This is hardly a sign of a "poor education system" or teachers who are not devoted (Better teaching in schools will curb need for private tuition, by Mr Ler Boon Kwang; May 12).

Many schools actually offer extra lessons to students who genuinely need the help, hence doing away with the financial pressure of private tuition.

In fact, when major examinations approach, schools are expected to conduct extra preparatory lessons for students.

The Ministry of Education has also been introducing new policies to remove elements that are breeding an unhealthy obsession with grades.

But if parents still feel that their children need tuition, then there should be nothing stopping them.

It is the simple economics of supply and demand.

Banning tuition would be not only an overreaction, but also authoritarian and anti-business.

If the Government is expected to close businesses down just because some stakeholders are unhappy, it will be only a matter of time before businesses decide to leave Singapore.

Alan Kiat-Leng Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2018, with the headline 'Singapore education system hardly a poor one'. Print Edition | Subscribe