Worrying aspects of distance-based admission

I am worried about Ms Jasmine Chang's suggestion ("Do away with priority for children of alumni"; May 11).

On the surface, basing primary school placements simply on the distance from a child's home makes perfect sense, until one examines the characteristics of popular schools and thinks deeper about the implications.

A significant proportion of popular primary schools are located in the vicinity of some of the most expensive private homes in Singapore.

Take, for example, the stretches of Dunearn Road and Bukit Timah Road between King Albert Park and Newton Circus, where there are plenty of million-dollar condominiums and landed properties.

The schools in these areas include Methodist Girls' School, Nanyang Primary, Raffles Girls' Primary, Singapore Chinese Girls' School, Anglo-Chinese School (Primary) and Anglo-Chinese School (Junior).

The nearest HDB estates are Queenstown and Toa Payoh, which also boast many record-breaking flats in terms of resale prices.

Distance-based admissions would simply guarantee places in these popular schools for children of the rich, and effectively deny opportunities for them to interact with children from different financial backgrounds.

Would this also lead to more couples having children later so they can save up for a home in these areas?

Would we attract more citizenship applications from rich foreigners so they can get their children into these coveted schools?

Koh Hui Hoon (Mdm)


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