The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) stated that it welcomes the government’s decision to adopt its idea of making education for students with special needs compulsory, however, it noted that neither Education Minister Ng Chee Meng nor the mass media acknowledged that it was the SDP who first proposed the idea.
SDP said that in 2015, it proposed in its education policy making education for such children compulsory. (Read the full paper titled Educating for Creativity and Equality: An Agenda for Transformation here.)
Just last week, the Ministry of Education announced that it would do that.
It wrote in its paper:
These problems that parents of special needs children face can be solved by the government undertaking to provide education for all children in Singapore and not discriminate against those with disabilities.
The SDP plan will include amending the Compulsory Education Act that will mandate children with Special Education Needs (SEN) to enrol in schools and kindergartens. This will ensure that children with SEN will not be neglected and that they receive the necessary support for their development.
SDP said that the PAP government has followed its lead one year later. Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin even described the move as “a huge step in making Singapore a more inclusive society”.
It also said that this is not the first time that the PAP is following SDP’s lead. It has adopted its proposals in various policies such as:
- Introducing the Fair Consideration Framework following the SDP’s push for a Singaporeans First policy when it comes to jobs.
- Implementing Progressive Wage after the SDP repeatedly called for a minimum wage law.
- Increasing taxes for the richest 5% in 2015 after the SDP called for such an increase for the richest 1% in 2011.
SDP said that the PAP has, however, only adopted adulterated and cut-and-paste forms of these policies.
With the point that its ideas have been adopted by the establishment, SDP then argues that PAP seems to be bankrupt of ideas of how to bring Singapore forward.
SDP wrote, “In this regard, the SDP has demonstrated unequivocally that we are not only a constructive party and a party of ideas, we are also a party of and for the future. More important, we have demonstrated that you don’t need to be paid millions of dollars to come up with good policies.”
“It is another important reason for the SDP to be in Parliament because the PAP seems to be bankrupt of ideas on how to bring our nation forward,” it added.