Given that existing studies focused on early childhood development in Singapore have been cross-sectional (that is, data analysis based on observations at a specific time point) and have relied on smaller samples (usually in the hundreds), the longitudinal and large-scale national study launched by the Centre for Family and Population Research (CFPR) – which will also explore a broad range of factors, including “family resources and relations, parenting attitudes and practices, social support, childcare arrangement, and government policies” (ST, Oct. 18) – will be a much-needed research contribution. This is especially pertinent for public discourse and for policymaking, given the persistent discussions about the country’s inequality and class divide problems. Continue reading
I spoke on the children and youth panel at the CAPT Student Symposium, or CAPTISS, organised by the College of Alice and Peter Tan (CAPT) at the National University of Singapore on Saturday. My sharing was based on my ongoing study on the long-term outcomes of community service, as well as youth contribution and its … Continue reading
Knee-jerk opposition to the admission of international students in Singapore’s autonomous universities revolve around familiar themes, yet the counter-arguments thus far are problematic too: First, that besides top-level figures on the proportion of permanent residents and foreigners at the local universities, little is actually known about the distribution within the universities and their schools or departments, as well as funding amounts; and second, that the aforementioned benefits accrue most directly to those within the university, and not necessarily to those beyond it or those who might have been denied admission.
Without offering greater transparency on the distribution of international students and their funding amounts, and without broadening the discourse to include socio-economic issues relating to admissions to and financial support within the local universities – such as that of the class divide – the government will continue to confront the same scepticism, entrenching the same minds on both sides. Continue reading