Straits Times does hack job on forum letter?

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From the blog Visaisahero:

Letter sent by by my good friend Samuel C. Wee to ST on the 8th of March, quoting statistics from their Page One infographic: (Read this closely!)

I read with keen interest the news that social mobility in Singapore’s education system is still alive and well (“School system still ‘best way to move up’”; Monday).

It is indeed heartwarming to learn that only 90% of children from one-to-three-room flats do not make it to university.

I firmly agree with our Education Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen, who declared that “education remains the great social leveller in Singaporean society”. His statement is backed up with the statistic that 50% of children from the bottom third of the socio-economic ladder score in the bottom third of the Primary School Leaving Examination.

In recent years, there has been much debate about elitism and the impact that a family’s financial background has on a child’s educational prospects. Therefore, it was greatly reassuring to read about Dr Ng’s great faith in our “unique, meritocratic Singapore system”, which ensures that good, able students from the middle-and-high income groups are not circumscribed or restricted in any way in the name of helping financially disadvantaged students.

I would like to commend Ms Rachel Chang on her outstanding article. On behalf of the financially disadvantaged students of Singapore, I thank the fine journalists of the Straits Times for their tireless work in bringing to Singaporeans accurate and objective reporting.

 

What was actually published last Friday, March 18th 2011:


A reassuring experience of meritocratic system

I READ with keen interest the news that social mobility in Singapore’s education system is still alive and well (‘School system still ‘best way to move up”; March 8).

It is indeed heartwarming to learn that almost 50 per cent of children from one- to three-room flats make it to university and polytechnics.

I firmly agree with Education Minister Ng Eng Hen, who said that education remains the great social leveller in Singapore society.

His statement is backed by the statistic that about 50 per cent of children from the bottom third of the socio-economic bracket score within the top two-thirds of their Primary School Leaving Examination cohort.

There has been much debate about elitism and the impact that a family’s financial background has on a child’s educational prospects. Therefore, it was reassuring to read about Dr Ng’s own experience of the ‘unique, meritocratic Singapore system’: he grew up in a three-room flat with five other siblings, and his medical studies at the National University of Singapore were heavily subsidised; later, he trained as a cancer surgeon in the United States using a government scholarship.

The system also ensures that good, able students from the middle- and high-income groups are not circumscribed or restricted in any way in the name of helping financially disadvantaged students.


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Screenshot of the edited letter on Straits Times Online edition:

Click to enlarge.


Edited letter in the print edition of the Straits Times: