Your say: Can't fault politicians for wanting best for their kids, but...

Your say: Can't fault politicians for wanting best for their kids, but...

I refer to the comment "Hard to be content but parents should try" (The New Paper, Nov 23).

Without doubt, Jurong West Secondary School vice-principal Pushparani Nadarajah's words at a recent education expo resonated deeply with parents.

She asked: "How many of our leaders and top officers who say that every school is a good school put their children in ordinary schools near their home?"

Only when they do so will parents buy the argument, she felt.

Her candour is refreshing, considering how, as an education officer, she is expected to uphold the official Ministry of Education (MOE) line that "every school is a good school".

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

It is a motto that is perhaps not clearly understood or embraced by most parents. To its credit, MOE has assiduously sought to level the playing field and create opportunities for all students, regardless of their diverse abilities and backgrounds, through a host of programmes.

But members of the public tend to be cynical, mainly because, in their minds, academic excellence still remains the overriding yardstick used to gauge the quality of a school.

I disagree with the Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, who felt Madam Pushparani's comments were "sweeping" and "populist".

I believe she has been in the field of education long enough to know the facts.

That said, we should not fault politicians and high-ranking civil servants for doing what is best for their children.

We should not begrudge them their right to look after the interests and welfare of their own families simply because they work for the Government.

What remains is for MOE to better articulate its vision of making every school a good school and remain committed to beefing up resources and posting better-qualified heads and teachers to neighbourhood schools.

Only then will there be a mindset change among parents.


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