The Straits Times says

Climbing up the education ladder

According to a new report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Singapore ranks among the top in the world when it comes to upward mobility in education, with nearly six in 10 adults attaining higher qualifications than their parents. Since educational mobility has been, and remains, one of the key policy instruments through which Singapore seeks to achieve social equity, this report will gladden many hearts in Singapore. If there is one thing that unites parents around the world, it is a desire to see their children perform better academically than they themselves have done, or at least not fall behind. That the country has achieved such good results while setting the academic bar ever higher says much about the quality of the education imparted in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions; the greater demands that teachers make on themselves and on their students; and rising social expectations of education as the benchmark of social success.

Even more heartening is the finding in the OECD report on disadvantaged students. It notes how disadvantaged students here whose parents are less educated do well compared with their peers around the world. Thus, about half of 15-year-olds in Singapore from the bottom quarter here scored among the top quarter of students globally. This finding should help assuage concerns over disadvantaged students being held back irremediably by their circumstances.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2018, with the headline 'Climbing up the education ladder'. Print Edition | Subscribe