MOE rejects SDP offer, says schools must be "neutral". Then why these...

5 February 2016

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Singapore Democrats

The SDP wrote to the Ministry of Education (MOE) as well as secondary schools, junior colleges, polytechnics and universities for its party leaders to conduct talks with students.

The MOE rejected SDP's offer saying that “schools will not be acceding to the request as our schools are neutral places for learning and not platforms for partisan politics”. We received the statement from Lianhe Zaobao who asked us for comments. The MOE did not reply to the SDP's email.

The following schools also turned down our offer:

  • St Joseph's Institution
  • Methodist Girls' School
  • Catholic JC
  • Nanyang JC
  • Innova JC
  • Victoria JC
  • Tampines JC
  • St Andrew JC
  • Republic Polytechnic
  • Temasek Polytechnic
  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic
  • National University of Singapore 

The Singapore Management University said that it would refer the offer to the relevant student clubs. The rest have yet to reply.

The SDP is gratified to learn that the MOE feels that schools are “neutral places for learning.” This is why we are puzzled that a history textbook approved by the MOE for secondary school students should teach that:

  • Lim Chin Siong “adopted violent strategies through riots and street demonstrations.”
  • David Marshall is a "weak and indecisive leader”.
  • Lee Kuan Yew “was reliable and his name inspired confidence.”

A multiple-choice question asked students to identify the PAP logo.

An essay question asked: “What is your opinion about Lee Kuan Yew?” and provided the model answer: “What we are enjoying today, all the comforts, high standards of public health, education, housing, transport and communications are all the results of the dedicated, untiring, unselfish work of Lee Kuan Yew and his team of leaders.”

The content in school textbooks are certainly not neutral and non-partisan. 

For more detailed description of the contents in the textbook, click here:
http://yoursdp.org/news/lim_chin_siong_vs_lee_kuan_yew_online_discussion/2007-07-10-4895