Students must see value of studying in top schools

While Mr Samuel Png Tian Wei made some interesting points (Bring top schools to students in the heartland; June 8), I disagree with the approach.

The adage "if the mountain will not go to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain" comes to mind.

Students must see the value of studying in top schools, if they make the cut.

There should not be a need for cajoling, rationalising, gratifying and accommodating.

I live in the east of Singapore.

When I was younger and studied at Raffles Institution in Bras Basah Road, I commuted to school by bus - then, buses were not air-conditioned and there were no MRT trains.

Similarly, when my older son was at RI in Bishan and Raffles Junior College in Ghim Moh, he had to travel there by bus.

We endured the inconvenience because we felt it was worthwhile.

I am sure we were not the only ones who felt that way.

We cannot promote a mentality among our young of having their cake and eating it.

They have the good fortune of not experiencing the hardship of past generations.

But they must be made to understand that if they want something, they have to be resilient and work for it, and not expect it to be served to them on a silver platter.

In an increasingly competitive and hostile world, we will be doing our young a disfavour by being paternalistic.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2018, with the headline 'Students must see value of studying in top schools'. Print Edition | Subscribe