The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has released a statement claiming that the People’s Action Party (PAP) has followed SDP’s lead when Education Minister Ong Ye Kung proposed to abolish secondary school streaming.
It appears that, in its policy proposal Educating for Creativity and Equality: An Agenda for Transformation, SDP mentioned that, “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.”
In addition, in the party’s manifesto Dare To Change: An Alternative Vision for Singapore published in 1994, the secretary-general of SDP Dr Chee 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.”
As such, this clearly shows that PAP is 25 years late, said SDP.
The statement from SDP also pointed out that the Education Minister was undoubtedly saying the same thing in Parliament when he remarked, “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.”
With this revelation, SDP said that it 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,” said SDP.
However, this is not the first time the PAP has followed the opposition party’s lead, as the ruling party had adopted their other ideas like taxes, minimum wage, employing Singaporeans first and more.
But, SDP said that PAP has a nature of criticising its proposal first especially during elections, only to copy and adopt the ideas later on.
“So at the next elections when its candidates start their ritual of bashing the SDP and saying that the 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,” the opposition party noted.
Video of the policy proposal launch back in 2014