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In announcing that the Education Ministry will abandon streaming by 2024, Mr Ong Ye Kung has shown that the PAP is following the SDP's lead again.
In our policy proposal Educating for Creativity and Equality: An Agenda for Transformation, the SDP wrote:
“Therefore under the SDP’s education plan, the PSLE will be removed and students entering secondary school will not be streamed. Streaming of students will be done at an appropriate age after cognitive functions have more or less fully developed, not before.” (Chap 5, pg 58, please click here to read the paper in full.)
In fact, the PAP is 25 years late. In our manifesto Dare To Change: An Alternative Vision for Singapore published in 1994, Dr Chee Soon Juan wrote:
“A major problem of streaming is something called labelling. This perverse effect of self-fulfilling prophecy is even more evident in children... It is not difficult for children [in lower streams] to feel less valued as well as for others to feel similarly towards them.”
In announcing the new policy yesterday in Parliament, Mr Ong said: ““More importantly, entering a stream that is considered ‘lower’ can carry a certain stigma or be self-limiting, Students can develop a mindset where they tell themselves, ‘I am only a Normal stream student, so this is as good as I can be.’ It becomes self-fulfilling.”
SDP welcomes the PAP's coming to the light and abolishing streaming in schools.
We pride ourselves of being a constructive and responsible opposition party. This episode is a prime example of what we strive to be – an opposition party with a bold vision and viable alternative policies for Singapore.
It is not the first time that the PAP has followed our lead. There have been several instances in the past where the PAP has adopted our ideas such as on taxes, minimum wage, employing Singaporeans first, etc.
But it has a habit of criticising the SDP's proposals first especially during elections, only to copy and adopt our ideas later. For details on this matter, please click on First the criticise, then they copy.
So at the next elections when its candidates start their ritual of bashing the SDP and saying that our ideas are not workable (or worse, that the SDP does not have any alternative proposals), Singaporeans should remember Mr Ong Ye Kung, and tell him and his mates not to be hypocrites.