Education: How PAP has Betrayed Singaporeans

The Singapore General Election will be held on 11 September 2015.

Has the current ruling party, the People’s Action Party (PAP), done its job or has it hurt Singaporeans instead?

Over the next two weeks, I will be compiling the past articles that I have written into the different thematic areas, so that you can see for yourselves if the PAP has helped Singaporeans or if it has actually make lives more difficult for Singaporeans.

In today’s article, the focus is on EDUCATION.

You can click on the red headers below to read more of each of the articles.

(1) PM Lee: Every School Is A Good School? Really? (This Will Disgust You)


So, PM Lee might say that, “every school is a good school”. Then, what happened? Why is the reality so different?

Perhaps Vice-Principal Pushparani Nadarajah had hit the nail on the head – do “our leaders and top officers” even dare to put “their children in ordinary schools near their home”? Does Lee Hsien Loong even buy his own rhetoric that “every school is a good school”?

But, why are things so uneven in Singapore? Perhaps the following statistics will show you why.

Read more here.

(2) Singaporeans Pay The Most Expensive University Tuition Fees In The High-Income Countries


Singaporeans pay one of the highest tuition fees among the rich countries – the second highest in fact, after Ireland. Even in the United States and Australia, their students there only pay US$5,402 and US$3,924 respectively. Not only that, for countries like Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, students do not even need to pay tuition fees!

When compared the other high-income countries, for our Singaporean students, we have the lowest proportion of students who are able to go on scholarships.

So, as if it’s not already bad enough that Singaporeans already pay the second-highest tuition fees, we are also given the lowest amount of support!

Last but not least, because Singaporeans are made to pay one of the highest university fees among the high-income countries and our students also have the lowest proportions who are able to receive scholarships, is this the reason why we also have one of the lowest enrollment of our students into university education?

Read more here.

(3) Singapore Government Spends $400 Million To Invite International Students To Study In Singapore?


So, we were told that international students had received tuition grants of $210 million every year. But what if we were to include the scholarships?

Based on a rough estimation, for the 5% who did not receive tuition grants but who could have received scholarships, about $120 million should have been spent on them. Of those who had received tuition grants and who would also have received scholarships, about $65 million should have been spent on them.

In total, there could have been $400 million spent by the government to bring in international students to study in Singapore.

Now, let’s put the possible $400 million into a bit of perspective. If you just look at how much Singaporeans would have to pay for university tuition fees, this $400 million might actually enable all Singaporeans who are currently studying in the local public universities to study for FREE!

Read more here.

(4) Only 6% Of Singaporean University Undergraduates Receive Scholarships


In 2013, the total undergraduate enrollment at the NUS and NTU was 49,463. As 14% would be on scholarships, this would mean that 6,925 students would be on scholarships. Since two-thirds of those on scholarships would be foreigners, this means that 4,617 of those on scholarships are foreigners.

Next, since 18% of the students are foreign students, there would be a total of 8,903 foreign students. If 4,617 on them would be on scholarships, this would mean that 52% of the foreign students would be on scholarships.

Also, as only one-third of those are scholarships are Singaporeans, this would mean that only 2,308 Singaporeans would receive scholarships. However, there are 40,560 Singaporean (and PR) students, which means that only 6% of these students were on scholarships.

But, why is it there there are only 6% of Singaporean and PRs on scholarships while 52% of foreigners get to be on scholarships? Also, of the 6% of Singaporean and PR on scholarships, how many of them are actually Singaporeans?

Read more here.

(5) Class Sizes Are Too Big In Singapore (Biggest Among The High-Income Countries!)


So, what is the truth? This it it – the government had said that, “Most primary and secondary schools have classes of 40 students or fewer, while Primary 1 and 2 classes have 30 students or fewer. We plan on the basis of 30 students per class at primary 1 and 2 and 40 students per class at the other primary and secondary levels.

What’s more, when you compare Singapore’s class sizes with the other high-income countries and even some developing countries, you will see that no other country has class sizes bigger than Singapore’s – no other country has class sizes bigger than 30 in primary education and 40 in the secondary education!

In fact, this precarious phenomenon is not restricted only to primary and secondary education.

When you look at the student-faculty ratio for our universities and compare it with the top universities in the world, you will see that we also have over-populated class sizes!

According to the government, the “student to faculty ratios (SFRs) at the autonomous universities (AUs) … for programmes such as Science, Engineering, Social Science, and Business” is 20:1.

And when you compare this to all the other top American and British universities, all of them have SFRs which are significantly much lower than Singapore’s!

Read more here.

(6) Singapore Has The Biggest Wage Gap Between The Educational Levels Among The Rich Countries


When you compare the starting pay of workers of the different education levels in Singapore with the other countries, you will see that university graduates in Singapore earns the highest wages relative to someone with a below upper secondary education!

In fact, the disparity in wages between a university graduate and Singaporeans with a below upper secondary education is the widest among the high-income countries!

Not only that, the disparity widens – because university graduates are most likely to be the only ones who will see significant pay increases over their lifetime!

Read more here.


  1. subra1991

    Roy, I’m really amazed by all the hardwork you put in to gather this statistics to wake up fellow Singaporeans,….but still most of us to choose to stay in the dark….

    I hope when Reform Party turns comes for the election rally,….please do bring out all your findings in AMK election rally & give PAP & LHL a slap in their faces….

    Merdeka for opposition voice in parliament …to have a check & balance in parliament from the arrogant ruling party who is in power for the past 56 years….dictating our life’s all this while….all started from LKY….

    Regards Subra

    Sent from my iPhone


      • Antoine DeMarco

        When statistics are posted, the reference source should be listed. From which scientific publication did these statistics come? One cannot believe unsourced data. Print legitimate sources for data and stop the insulting remarks. Let the legitimate, scientifically sourced data speak for themselves…yes, the word data is plural.

    • Ted

      Every school is a good school, but if not every student is a good student then how?
      I was a very bad student… In fact, my teachers and school were very tolerant with me and my friends…. So, how? Shouldn’t my school kick us bad students out in order to maintain their image ? It didn’t, so to me my school is a good school… Even if it’s not on par with the top schools…
      Thank you moe for giving such good schools to Singaporeans… Good schools do not mean good grades, it boils down to the students…

      • lea xian loon

        Despite all that the student writes for the exam scripts and how cambridge marks them, Do you know how are O and A level scripts “moderated” by MOE and SEAB?

  2. The Oracle

    The usual half-truths (not heart truths) from Roy.

    I just checked ONE number – average annual tuition fees in the US – that Roy claims is US$5,402, beside and below Singapore’s US$5,583 on one of his graphic creations. And the answer? “According to student support organization College Board, published tuition fees for 2014/15 at state colleges are an average of US$9,139 for state residents, and $22,958 for everyone else. This compares to an average of $31,231 at private non-profit colleges.”

    So how does Roy get $5,402? By being very selective with the truth! CHECK Roy’s numbers and you will – again and again – find that he plays fast and loose with the facts. Roy NEVER lets the facts get in the way of his arguments.

    The fact is that the Singapore government offers Tuition Grants to all third level students that typically pay 70-80% of the course fees. Singapore Citizens get a bigger subsidy than PRs or foreigners Also, PRs and foreigners have to serve a bond in return for the grant but citizens typically do not.

    Roy also fails to mention scholarships (some are specifically for hardship), student loans, the simple fact that many students work part time (oh no, they actually might have to WORK like I did to get through university?) or the fact that Singapore is small so students typically live at home and do not need additional funds for accommodation that many students in other countries must bear.

    Compare like with like and Singapore is definitely NOT the worst place for education – except in Roy’s twisted world.

  3. Heart attack from heart truths

    The data is so one sided. Its like taking the top one percent of those who scored 99% of PLSE and say these ppl are more likely to go to NUS and this is so unfair… DUH.

    Also, NUS is considered cheap already. To compare properly we must compare apples to apple. NUS NTU are among the top universities in the world. Schools such as MIT and Harvard have among the highest school fees which is used to fund high quality research. You speak as though research no need money. Quality education should be free!

    • lea xian loon

      No offence to your lower education, because I suspect you’ve never received proper uni education when you wrote “NUS NTU are among the top universities in the world”.

      I’ve studied full time and graduated under these 2 schools before. And I’m not very proud of them

      Get your facts right, before you type or open your mouth again. You’re making PAP look more stupid

      • Ted

        Well, substandard students do exist in Ntu and nus… Just goes to show that u r one of them…
        It is not pap that look stupid but urself…

  4. Singapore Citizen Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Subtle Denial of Medical Treatment by the Singapore Government for Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

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