ahem, these are just my thoughts..
theres a huge debate about “superior” schools in singapore, and how it limits diversity etc. But, i think schools are just ONE place for you to learn. If some parents think that diversity is important, then bring your children out more often to meet people from other races and social status. More often than not, our parents have limited “diversity” in their friends as well. How many of the rafflesians/acsians can say that their parents 5 closest friends are of other races/social status. We’re all stuck in our little bubble, including the people writing those ridiculous ST articles.
If you come over to the states/UK or anywhere else for college, you’ll find that most singaporeans stick of other singaporeans as well (the whites stick to their own group etc). The only time that i’ve had a regular group of non-singaporean friends during my entire time here was during my internship, and that was because there weren’t any Singaporeans that i could hang out with.
Also, the story of the rich getting richer. You go to a top school, everyone there is rich
and famous, you gain a lot of social capital. If you need a job, your friends’ parents can find you a job. I remember how when i first came to CMU, i didn’t create my bank account in time, so my parents couldn’t wire me money, and I thought i was going to be “kicked out” of school for not paying the fees. But my brother called his fellow RI friend (they weren’t close), and he was going to pay for my school fees for me first. It was about 28k USD. Where else could you find friends acquaintances willing to lend you 28k.
There are pros and cons of having diversity and I am sure having a regular life (of not only school and CCA) would provide you with enough diverse friends for you to learn “other” perspectives. There is no use in trying to flatten the grades for PSLE etc in order to let more diverse students into the schools. I am not only saying this for the sake of keeping these schools prestigious, but think about the students from a different race/social status (BTW there were a lot of students from other races in top schools just that these students keep to their own group as well). They might feel left out when their friends enjoy an expensive meal that they cannot afford, and they might even feel discriminated.
So, stop blaming the education system. Blame the mentality in Singapore.