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
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.