Let’s be practical about the rules

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the 30 Nov 2010 letter by Mr Chen Junyi.

Mr Chen deems fairness as possible only if all schools are the same. Since reality differs from he deems to be fair, he concludes that fairness is an impossible, unachievable and impractical goal.

Applying Mr Chen’s logic to all other aspects of life would render the pursuit of fairness futile. Take balloting of new flats for example. Unless everyone can be guaranteed a flat of the exact same location, floor, size or design, there can be no fairness in balloting. Does that mean we shouldn’t ballot? That would be most silly indeed.

Mr Chen fails to understand that our purpose is to be as close as possible to being fair even if we may never be entirely fair. We should strive to eliminate or reduce unfair allocation criteria that are based on home distance or based on the fact that the parent is an alumnus or an RC member. The effect of this would be to spread good students evenly to all schools in Singapore instead of them being congregated into several famous schools. This would in turn lead to the homogenisation of schools that would be the very criteria for fairness that Mr Chen seeks.

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