Reference: Straits Times, Mar 7, 2011 A19 "An education in mobility"
What is the actual situation of the Singapore's education system? Does one's family background - rich v. poor parents affect the child's ability to stay at the top or bottom of the social ladder respectively? This means that the rich becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer in Singapore.
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION'S STATISTICS
said that students from poor homes can still move up, giving example that the top 5% of the Primary School Leaving Examination pupils are consistently distributed among the 95% of the primary schools and not just the elite ones. In addition, >90% of each cohort goes to publicly funded post-secondary institutes and almost 50% of students who live in one- to three-room HDB flats make it to universities and polytechnics.
In my opinion, almost 80% of the population lives in HDB apartments. How many % of the HDB group goes to universities which exclude long-distance studies? Did the MOE provide such figures? Unfortunately, I don't know.
Education is a priority for Asian families. The children from disadvantaged homes cannot afford the expensive early, pre-primary education and so, will be always at a disadvantage. But is it necessary that 80% of the students go to universities when there are not sufficient places and ability?
Reference Straits Times Mar 8, 2010 frontpage
Education Minister Ng Eng Hen said:
1. One in 10 children from one- to three-room flats goes to University. 4 in 10 goes to polytechnic.
2. 1 in 6 children from the bottom third of the socio-economic ladder scored in the top third of the PSLE (Primary School Leaving Exam) cohort. 1 in 2 scores in the top two-thirds.
3. Every primary school produces at least 10 pupils who score in the top third of the PSLE.
So, better opportunities for every child, said the minister.