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This tag is associated with 11 posts

Be More Specific About Diversity Of Public Scholars

That the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are working to increase the diversity of both their scholarship applicants and recipients – for instance, by encouraging “more of those living in one- to three-room Housing Board flats and those from poorer families to apply for the scholarships” (ST, Jul. 21) – is encouraging, though they have to be more specific about what is meant by “diversity” and how it is measured and tracked over time. In addition, perhaps having defined diversity across race, gender, socio-economic status, as well as family or educational backgrounds, these metrics ought to be communicated more consistently. Continue reading

Please, Stop Throwing Anecdotes At Singapore’s Inequality And Class Divide Problems

The question, therefore, is not whether children from low-income families can make it to RI, become President’s Scholars, or succeed in life (answer: they can), but the proportion of children who actually do. Mapping out the extent to which these children and their families make it and the extent to which a level playing field exists – assuming that it is equity, not equality, we desire – are moreover useful for understanding the structural challenges they face. This also underlines a second opposition to the disproportionate emphasis on anecdotes (even well-meaning and meaningful ones): That structural problems demand structural solutions, not just piecemeal calls for changes in mindsets or stereotypes. Continue reading

“The Elite School Student’s Burden”

The class divide in Singapore needs to be bridged, yet the commentaries or responses which followed have tiptoed around structural fixes, focusing instead on superficial gestures which preserve the status quo. In particular, these gestures range from volunteering to social mixing through sports, arts, or heritage activities, prompting a TODAY letter writer to remark that “what we need to overcome this divide is social solidarity, not cosmetic social mixing” (TODAY, Jan. 3). Continue reading

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