Let more foreign students enrol

I was dismayed to read about the closing of schools, especially primary schools (8 junior colleges among 28 schools to be merged; April 21).

While it is an understandable policy response to declining birth rates in Singapore, every year hundreds, if not thousands, of children of foreign parents are denied a place in the government school system.

It is correct that a Singaporean's right to education takes precedence over a foreigner's.

But the closure of schools shows that the system is not overloaded and has excess capacity that can easily accommodate more students without sacrificing the quality of education a child receives.

Most foreigners who live and work in Singapore cannot afford the high prices charged by international schools.

It is time for the Ministry of Education to adopt a more holistic approach to primary school enrolment and accept more foreign children in schools that clearly have available spaces, rather than shutter them.

Jack D. Avidsson