Wednesday 18 January 2012

Education Minister on identifying top students by ethnic groups

Channel NewsAsia, 16 Jan 2012

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said identifying top students by their ethnic groups allows the different communities in Singapore to recognise and celebrate their achievements.

He said in Parliament on Monday that in a multi-racial and multi-religious country like Singapore, it is important to give space to each community to celebrate its heritage.

Dr Janil Puthucheary, MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, had asked whether the practice of categorising PSLE top scorers by ethnic groups is still relevant given the increasing number of inter-ethnic marriages.

Mr Heng said: "The increase in inter-ethnic marriages in recent years has indeed led to the need to recognise more diversity among our students. Parents can choose to identify their children using a single or hyphenated race classification.

"Top students will then be identified by the race classifications chosen by their parents. As Singapore is a multi-racial and multi-religious society, it continues to be relevant for individuals to identify themselves with their own heritage."

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