In a parliamentary question to the Minister for Education, Workers’ Party Jamus Lim asked the Minister for Education if he will make funding for schools ‘inversely proportional to the number of students accepted in Phase 2A.
What does it mean for funds to be ‘inversely proportional’ to the number of students in Phase 2A?
It means the more students there are in Phase 2A, the lower the funding schools will get from MOE. Does this make sense to you?
In effect, what Jamus Lim has suggested is akin to punishing schools for being popular. In punishing schools, he is also punishing students for choosing a popular school. Is this the best that the deputy head of WP’s policy research team can think of?
MOE’s funding for schools is based on student enrolment, student profile, and any programmatic needs to support student learning, the Education Minister said in his reply. More is provided for those with greater needs.
“Our objective is to uplift all students, and to provide more support for those with greater needs,” the Minister for Education Lawrence Wong said.
This is why schools with a higher proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds who need these intervention programmes will receive more resources from MOE. This would include the deployment of additional teachers to help these students in the Learning Support Programmes for English, Mathematics and Mother Tongue.
In fact, schools that attract a relatively higher proportion of students in Phase 2A can be found all over Singapore. They also attract a good mix of students from diverse backgrounds. In his reply, Education Minister Lawrence said:
“The Primary 1 Registration Framework aims to provide children with school places based on a set of transparent criteria applicable for all schools. If there are to be any changes to be made to the framework, it should be done in a consistent manner across all primary schools, and not targeted only at a sub-set of schools. An across-the-board cut in funding just because the school is popular in Phase 2A will end up negatively impacting the students who need more support. That would run counter to our objective of uplifting these students.“