As alluded to by SMA chairman Dr Wong Chiang Yin in his ST article last year, rich kids tend to speak better and hence can perform better during interviews.
What interviews do kids or teens have to go to? Do they need to look for jobs at a young age?
They do, but it’s not jobs they are after. They are vying for places in the medical school (NUS), law schools (NUS & SMU), and of course, the prestigious scholarships. All these require the young applicants to go through rigorous tests and interviews.
So why do richer kids have an edge?
First, they are likely to be raised in an English-speaking environment, not with aunties speaking Singaporean pidgin or Singlish to them, but with well educated people having proper English conversations with them, thus indirectly preparing them for the future.
Second, rich kids have more time and money to “explore” the world. Their poorer counterparts have to make do with spending time helping their parents at their hawker stalls or looking after younger siblings and aged grandparents. You get the picture.
Third, rich families can afford to send their kids to “high-value” enrichment classes – think speech & drama, ballet, and music – that inadvertently groom them to be the polished professionals of tomorrow. Poor kids go to the free RC tuition classes at the void deck.
In conclusion, poorer kids have to be luckier (e.g. be born with good brains) and work much harder to be on par with the rich kids.
Well, nobody says life’s fair.