Shifting Policies, Unshifting Issues: Educational Equity in Singapore’s Primary 1 Registration Exercise

Ruru Hoong argues that the Ministry of Education’s recent change in the 2022 Primary 1 Registration exercise does not address underlying issues of educational equity. Rather, two potential policy interventions should be implemented—critically assessing the priority schemes and re-evaluating the overall school assignment structure for greater procedural equity. Rethinking these policies could have immense implications for the country’s goal to ensure that schools remain accessible to children of all backgrounds.

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Preschools for the People: An Examination of Singapore’s Early Childhood Education Landscape (Part 2)

In this two-part series, students from Roosevelt Network@Yale-NUS College delve into Singapore’s early childhood care and education (ECCE) landscape, examining the current state of quality and access in the sector. In part one, the authors discussed Singapore’s progress towards improving quality in the ECCE sector. Here in part two, they now turn towards the accessibility of ECCE services, and subsequently synthesise the issues of quality and access to deliver insights regarding the industry as a whole.

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Preschools for the People: An Examination of Singapore’s Early Childhood Education Landscape (Part 1)

In this two-part series, students from Roosevelt Network@Yale-NUS College delve into Singapore’s early childhood care and education (ECCE) landscape. They draw upon expert interviews and careful study of existing government policies to unpack issues surrounding quality and access in the sector. In this first article, the authors argue that while the government has made significant strides in uplifting and standardizing ECCE provision in recent years, there remains room to tighten minimum quality standards. Effort also needs to be made to correct the societal undervaluation of ECCE jobs, providing professionals in the sector with remuneration and recognition that reflects the vital role they play in child development.

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Letter to the Editor: Response to Rethinking Scholarship Diversity

Aloysius Foo responds to our previous article by Andrew Chia, Rethinking Scholarship Diversity: The Pre-U Education of PSC Scholars. In his letter, he highlights the need to go beyond diversity, and explore the deeper issues surrounding Singapore’s social class reproduction, which has created an “Aristocracy of Merit”.

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Rethinking Scholarship Diversity: The Pre-U Education of PSC Scholars

Minister-in-Charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing recently remarked that the diversity of Public Service Commission Scholarship recipients goes beyond race, language, and religion. This raises questions about how diverse recipients have been in socio-economic terms, of which pre-university education provides a good proxy for assessment. In this piece, Andrew Chia looks at why diversity in background matters, and explores the diversity of PSC scholars using compiled data on PSC Scholarships from 2007 to 2018.

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The Management of Threats in Singapore: Civil-Military Integration

In this paper, Isaac Neo explores why Singapore’s historical experience with high levels of internal and external threat have not resulted in degraded civilian control over the military, despite existing Civil-Military Relations models predicting such an outcome. He argues this is due to the effective demarcation of responsibility between civilian institutions and the Singapore Armed Forces, along the lines of internal and external threat management. This is reinforced by the subordination of the military to a broader notion of security through the Total Defence framework. Lastly, there is a sustained effort to civilianise the military sphere, through National Service and other administrative structures.

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The Legitimization of Inequality

Meritocracy is generally celebrated as an ideology that promotes equality of opportunity, and hence, seen as just. Xuan Yee interrogates this view by exploring the moral, psychological, and intellectual ramifications of meritocracy when taken to its extreme. He argues that an unquestioned belief in meritocracy is dangerous, for it encourages the successful to justify their own moral deservingness of their position in society, and thus, legitimizes inequality.

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