Best channel to import legal immigrants into SG: Accept them into mainstream primary schools

By tripleg

I offer the following reasons to reinforce my recommendation.

1) Currently, enrollment of foreign students into mainstream schools is capped at a proportion of five percent. Although not insignificant, when measured relative to the proportion of foreigners constituting the workforce in Singapore, this number definitely has room to go up to say, ten percent.

2) We do possess sufficient capacity in our primary schools to accept them as our local student population shrinks (read: more and more schools are either closing down or merging).

3) At merely 7 or 8 years of age , the minds of these foreign students are still very malleable, hence they are most receptive to new ideas and cultures. With enough time on their side as far as becoming properly adapted is concerned, I reckon it wouldn't be much of an issue to fully assimilate them into the Singapore society at large.

4) The foreign student's manner of academic advancement in local schools can also serve as a good benchmark in determining whether he/she qualifies for permanent residency (PR) or citizenship in the future. Foreign male students in particular could be offered an opportunity to become permanent residents upon graduating from a polytechnic or junior college, contingent on his willingness to complete National Service (NS). Should he choose not to pursue this option, then an explicit understanding shall exist: if he applies for PR in the future, his chances will be greatly diminished owing to the fact he did not discharge his NS obligations. Those who fail to graduate with decent grades on the other hand can still choose to work in Singapore and be a contributing member of the economy; a review of the individual's application for PR or citizenship would therefore be timely after a period of say, 10 years.

5) Having foreign students in mainstream schools is a great source of revenue for the government. Note that a foreigner studying in a primary school pays about $600 per month in fees.

This route of legal immigration ensures that we have well qualified and fully assimilated legal immigrants who can be perceived as equivalently local as they would have lived in Singapore for a long stretch since young. With this strong sense of belonging fostered in the process, we can count on them to add genuine value to the Singapore story.


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