Since the Wee Shu Min’s “get out of my elite uncaring face” debacle, the topic of elitism has been a rather hot discussion topic.
Today, the Straits Times publishes a report on elitism. The report is based on a survey conducted by Singapore Press Holdings’ research department on students aged 15 to 24.
At first glance, the results of the survey are not surprising at all.
Basically, students feel that “elitist behaviour” is mostly about looking down on others who are not academically strong. (I think these elites will probably “progress” later in life to look down on others who earn less, stay in HDB, or work in unglamorous jobs.)
What is perhaps a little surprising is that the survey defines “elite schools” to be just these 11 schools:
- Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)
- Hwa Chong Institution
- Methodist Girls’ School
- Nanyang Girls’ High School
- National Junior College
- Raffles Girls’ School
- Raffles Institution
- Raffles Junior College
- Singapore Chinese Girls’ School
- Temasek Junior College
- Victoria Junior College
So, parents take note. If you are grooming your children to be the elites of tomorrow, send them to these schools.
I also notice that those from the elite schools do not place as much importance on getting a scholarship as their non-elite counterparts when they define elitism.
This is perhaps explained by the fact that students from elite schools are wealthier, with a median household income of $7,501. On the other hand, their non-elite counterparts come from homes with a median household income of only $3,560.
“Some 71 per cent of those from elite schools speak English at home, and 62 per cent live in private housing,compared to 34 and 19 per cent respectively of those from non-elite schools.”
Since the elite students are from rich families, they don’t even bother with scholarships – they can just ask their rich daddies to send them overseas.
This means poorer students should get a better chance at obtaining scholarships, which is good. But, alas, I think the reality is not that rosy.
Although the elite students say scholarships are not important, many of them still apply for scholarships and actually get offers. I don’t have the numbers, but I think we can draw certain indirect conclusions from the doctors come from rich families observation.
Moreover, organizations that award scholarships often say they do not consider family background (wealth) when deciding who should get the scholarships. They award scholarships purely based on merit, i.e. academic performance, CCA performance, NS performance, and of course performance during interviews (but rich kids perform better in interviews!)