While I agree with the essence of Nominated MP Eugene K.B. Tan ("Top schools must do more to fight elitism"; last Friday), I would also like to share that Raffles Institution (RI) has suffered from a perceived "elitist" image for a long time.
My son wanted very badly to go to RI, having qualified to do so with his PSLE results.
I was against it because my relatives and friends warned me that RI is not a school ideal for a student's character development.
I was at a loss and so decided to approach both RI and the other school which I wanted him to go to for advice.
To my relief, both schools advised me to allow my son to study in a school of his choice so that he would feel more settled and hopefully do well in his studies.
I followed the schools' advice and my son was educated at RI for six years, for which I am very glad.
He did not turn out the way I feared he might.
His close friends are from all four races.
He does not hanker for things from luxury brands but buys what he likes or needs, regardless of brand name.
I understand that RI awards scholarships to Primary 6 pupils.
Some of these students choose not to study at RI even though their grades qualify them for admission.
Some may have opted out because of the commuting distance, but there are others who have opted out of studying there because of negative feedback received from well-meaning friends or relatives.
While a school plays a role in a student's development, I strongly believe that the home environment is also responsible for moulding a child's character.
Therefore, while the school can do all it can to fight elitism, the efforts might be negated if the home environment does not complement the school's teachings.
Cheong Ai Luan (Ms)
This article was first published on June 24, 2014.
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