SELECTION BIAS IN GIFTED EDUCATION PROGRAMME?
27 Dec 1994 I refer to the report Ministry Reviewing Gifted Education Programme (ST Weekly Edition, Nov 12). In the report, the Minister for Education, Mr Lee Yock Suan, revealed that it "so happened" that there were "at least" two boys to one girl in the Gifted Education Programme (GEP). I am flabbergasted by the blasÈ attitude of the Ministry towards this grossly unequal situation. Unless we accept the patently false premise that girls are less gifted than boys, the inescapable conclusion of the gender imbalance in the GEP is that the selection criteria are biased against girls. The unfortunate exclusion of qualified girls from the GEP because of selection bias constitutes a loss - both to the girls and to Singapore - in terms of educational opportunities missed and the sub-optimal management of our human resource. The Ministry should examine closely the GEP selection process and remove all bias. The selection criteria should be published - there is no reason why it should be secret - to reassure the public that all our children have the same opportunity of entering the GEP.
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