Week's Top Letter #2: Talk to people on the ground to find sound solutions

While it is heartening to see that Singaporeans are offering their opinions and solutions to problems, especially for social and educational issues, these solutions may differ greatly among people probably because some deduce causes from personal experience while others base them on statistics and research carried out.

For example, the Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme was introduced based on the perceived advantages of certain schools or the Integrated Programme by some Singaporeans.

But Madam Chong Sze Kah pointed out that students in the DSA scheme can be negatively affected by the programme (Time to relook DSA scheme; Jan 2).

If the views of teachers in IP schools were sought to anticipate problems that DSA students might face, then the scheme might not have been introduced at all, despite it being suggested by members of the public.

Currently, statistics show that students from the lowest-income group are congregated in schools with the poorest academic results.

Such statistics can be used to support perceived causes of social inequality, resulting in ineffective solutions to the problem.

In order to implement realistic and suitable solutions to uplift the social status of students from poorer homes, it is wise to conduct discussions with people in direct contact with such students, like social workers, instead of reacting immediately to suggestions from the educated public.

Although everyone has good intentions in contributing their opinions and suggestions, sometimes, ideas based on experience may work better than simply well-articulated ones.

Yeo Boon Eng (Ms)