While I share Mr Wong Yow Meng's concern and agree that we should do our best to facilitate social mobility, his suggestion does not provide a better alternative ("End schools' priority for kids of alumni"; last Saturday).
If we do away with the current system, what do we replace it with?
Should we implement a distance-based system? The biggest beneficiaries would be families with the fattest wallets who can afford to live near their school of choice. After a few years, a worse kind of elitism will emerge.
How about a pure balloting system? I foresee many parents picking primary schools too far from home, in their quest for the best for their children. This would give rise to traffic jams and more challenges for school buses.
The alumni priority system for primary school admission is akin to the secondary school admission system that allows some schools to take in students from affiliated primary schools at "discounted" grades.
Those who are against the alumni priority system for primary schools argue that it breeds a kind of exclusiveness and elitism in an "old boys club".
But top schools such as Raffles Institution, Raffles Girls' Secondary, Dunman High, Hwa Chong Institution and National Junior College do not have affiliated primary schools. Yet, there is a large proportion of children from the middle and upper classes in these schools.
So, alumni affiliation or "old boys clubs" may not be a key factor in breeding elitism.
We need to consider all factors before changing the current primary school admission priority system.
Koh Hui Hoon (Madam)