Building an inclusive society starts with schools

The rise of elitism in schools is not a recent phenomenon.

The seeds of elitism were sown years ago, with the establishment of Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools, which unwittingly encouraged a divide among the student population.

As a teacher who taught in both SAP and non-SAP schools, I could see this brewing.

The inclusive society that we aspire to must begin with schools. They are the building blocks for this process.

I applaud the Ministry of Education for its decision not to rank schools according to academic performance in examinations.

Naturally, the well-endowed and elite schools will rank among the top. The schools below and students studying in them are likely to develop an inferiority complex. This, in turn, leads to yet another strand of elitism.

Just as an over-emphasis on meritocracy has resulted in a self-serving elitist class, so, too, would elitism in schools damage the fabric of our society.

In the spirit of SG50, let us rededicate ourselves to the words enshrined in our National Pledge.

Padmini Kesavapany (Mrs)