Buying homes in the Bukit Timah area is a trend that has continued for years among affluent and upper-middle-class families keen to enrol their children in popular primary schools there ("Bukit Timah a hit with its primary school belt"; last Saturday).
There are also cases of middle-class parents renting properties in areas within 1km of those schools, so their children stand a higher chance of getting enrolled.
Having the bulk of top primary schools in the Bukit Timah area contradicts the policies the Education Ministry has in place to discourage elitism.
Low-income families are put off registering their children in these schools as they are aware there is only a slim chance of success. They might also worry that their children would feel "out of place" in these schools, which would affect their self-esteem in the long run.
Those who benefit from this situation are property developers, who use these schools as a big draw in their marketing and advertising efforts.
There are good primary schools, such as Rosyth School and Tao Nan School, located in the heartland.
It may help to relocate some schools in the Bukit Timah area to the heartland, to dispel the perception that they are only for children from affluent families.
This will help to reinforce the "every school is a good school" mindset.
Letter from Vivien Tan (Ms)
This article was published on April 19 in The Straits Times.
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