Extend Edusave to home-schoolers

Straits Times Forum, April 30th 2011

Most Singaporeans start going to primary school at six years of age. However, there is a minority that decides otherwise, they want their children to be homeschooled. For example, a family feels that their children will benefit under their own teaching, and think that they can teach more effectively than schools.

However, they have to provide full details on the curriculum and a detailed timetable. Furthermore, the cut-off marks are higher than those who attend school. Most importantly, they are not given Edusave at all. This denies them of the chance to go overseas for attachment programmes. This definitely puts them at a disadvantage, as they can learn many things on these overseas programmes. The parents nowadays are very concerned about what the children learn, both in the short and long term.

Many parents who home-school their children are now frowning in disagreement. They complain that although they still have to be taxed all the same, and the parents still make sacrifices, their children are put at a even higher disadvantage. They think that they are unfairly penalized just because they want to take responsibility over their children’s education. However, I think that they are actually not really helping their children when they home-school them. This is because, when their children are homeschooled, they do not interact with others of the same age. They will therefore not have enough experience on how to make friends and get along with other people, which can be learnt greatly in school, where children have to do compulsory projects. Also, they will not know much about cooperating with others, which is vital in the corporate world, where they have to do many group projects and have to cooperate with others. School is a microcosm of society, and they will have an insight on what society is like.

I agree that Singaporeans should be disincentivised to home-school their children. This is because they may not learn the things that the government thinks is necessary for them, since they may not study the same syllabus as their friends that go to school. Therefore, I think that it is fair for the government to give disincentives to discourage children to be home-schooled.

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Hi guys, I'm a student in Singapore, and this are some thoughts and essays I have written over the years.