Forum: Make it easy for community to get involved in helping needy students

Students using their phones during an event in Ang Mo Kio, on Jan 4, 2020.
Students using their phones during an event in Ang Mo Kio, on Jan 4, 2020.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

It takes concerted and time-consuming effort to ascertain the facts of a child's family and financial situation.

And this goes beyond repeated requests for families to fill in the necessary forms for financial aid.

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung is right to say that we "cannot place the onus solely on schools and teachers" (MOE to complete review of practice of withholding results slips by Nov, Jan 7), but he might have overlooked the complexity of ascertaining help.

Would people in the community who know about a particular needy child or family bring it to the attention of the school or community partners so that help can be extended?

The minister would need to articulate how the system can be modified to make it "easy" for people involved to lend a hand, including teachers and neighbours.

Thomas Lee Hock Seng (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2020, with the headline 'Make it easy for community to get involved in helping needy students'. Print Edition | Subscribe