An seemingly-innocuous banner by elite school Anglo-Chinese School labelled “We can get to school on our own! Yay!” have been blasted by Singaporeans for promoting elitism.

On the Facebook page of Otto Fong [Link], the photo was captioned “You mean, like the rest of Singaporeans since 1965?”. The post was met with over 591 shares and 1484 likes in less than 24 hours of its upload.

ACS is an elite school in Singapore attended only by children of the rich and powerful, and nearly all of their students are chauffeured to school. Due to the increased stratification between the rich and poor, Singapore has become a divided society where the people only mingle and live among their income class. Students of well-off families attend expensive private tuition to supplement their grades while the rest, normally from neighbourhood schools, do not take up tuition as their family could not afford private tutors.

In the government’s branded of “meritocracy”, schools attended by those with better academia results are showered with more infrastructural investments like a new train station in ACS’s case. Neighbourhood schools face budget constraints and larger classroom sizes. Just this month, the Ministry of Education shut down 7 neighbourhood schools citing “lack of demand”.

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