07 June 2020
The implementation of home-based learning has illustrated how inequality can affect students outside school.
At home, some students may face issues such as poverty, jobless parents and lack of motivation. Singaporeans tend to think of our education system as a uniform system, where all schools are well-staffed and have ample resources. But educational outcomes still vary considerably from student to student and family to family.
It is therefore time to look at not just providing a world-class education, which Singapore has already achieved, but also fine-tuning an educational system that takes into consideration the fact that the well-being and success of students depend on a lot more than just what happens inside school.
The Ministry of Education can begin by ensuring that family service centres and voluntary welfare organisations are well-resourced to coordinate and work hand in hand with schools.
Nominated MP Anthea Ong has called for Internet access to be provided as a public utility. For example, she has proposed that the Government’s free Wi-Fi service be extended to cover all rental flats.
In the meantime, many schools have rallied together to remain open so that children who depend on the subsidised school meal programme can continue to go to school and not go hungry at home, while others who lacked a conducive environment for learning at home can also go back to their schools to study. These measures can go a long way for some groups of students.