Photo of students from soon-to-be demolished Balestier Hill Secondary from SSU

Neighbourhood school students from Fajar Secondary, Pei Chun Public and Nan Hua Primary are now using hands-down buildings to conduct classes as the Singapore Education Ministry (MOE) aim to eliminate more neighbourhood schools.

Read: MOE to remove 11 neighbourhood secondary schools

Contrast this to the luxurious facilities like swimming pool and a rugby field in elite schools like Raffles Institution, neighbourhood schools are shabbily treated with resources barely enough to provide education treatment similar that of their privileged cohort enjoy. However, Singaporeans accept this inequality as “meritocracy”, justifying that the better performer students are given better funding while the worse-off ones are left with little or nothing.

Due to Singapore’s falling birth rate, there are also lesser Singaporeans born in Singapore and the schools are seeing fewer enrollment. Freed up resources are however not channeled to improve the quality of education in neighbourhood schools, with university entrance still hitting as low as 10% per cohort in these neighbourhood schools.

Real estate agencies the media spoke to expressed optimism that the government will free up the land of the former schools to build private condominiums as they are situated in conveniently-located mature estates.