SAP schools help preserve culture

Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools in Singapore serve a very important purpose of preserving part of our Singapore culture ("Time to end SAP school system" by Mr Teo Tze Wei; Jan 25).

SAP schools are steeped in history and culture, and this helps to promote and strengthen the cultural identity of their students.

Besides their unique ceremonial practices, they tend to focus more resources on the teaching of the Chinese language and culture.

I am an alumnus of a SAP school, and it has helped to inculcate in me a sense of belonging, not just to the school but to our country too.

While it may be true that SAP schools might be perceived as being exclusively for Chinese students, this is simply a misconception ("Worries over racial integration unfounded" by Mr Henry Choong Kun Lin and "Retain options in education system" by Mr Rodney Neo Eng Chong; both published on Jan 27).

With English as the medium of instruction, there is no reason why a non-Chinese student would find it prohibitive to enrol in SAP schools.

During my years at Maris Stella High School, a Catholic SAP school, I encountered teachers from various ethnic and religious groups.

The worry that SAP school students may not be aware of interracial and interfaith sensitivity is simply unfounded.

Not being a Catholic myself, I was never pressured to convert. On the contrary, I became more informed of the Catholic community's heritage and values.

The correct way to foster social and religious harmony is not to artificially remove differences, but to promote understanding among different groups.

In fact, it is a great idea to encourage students of other races to enrol in SAP schools for the above purpose.

Ng Wei Shee