50 years after Singapore gained independence, official statistics by the Ministry of Education, Singapore, reveal that Malays have sustained low academic achievement. Therefore, the possibility of a politically induced systemic inequality as a point of investigation has been raised. The relationship between this system and the reproduction of inequality, particularly through education policy, remains unclear.
Recently published in Critical Discourse Studies the article "INEQUALITY AS MERITOCRACY: The use of the metaphor of diversity and the value of inequality within Singapore's meritocratic education system" by Nadira Talib & Richard Fitzgerald, examines the way the metaphor of diversity provides a moral basis for inequality in Singapore.
This study is concerned in unfolding the will to power, and how specific values and outcomes are made desirable within Singapore's education policies.
The authors argue for change to be driven exclusively by changing political economies as a simple and certain way forward, drawing on Nietzsche's work on revaluation and trans valuation of values.
The main purpose of this study is to challenge the "taken-for-grantedness" that economic growth is the only way forward, and examine how this ideology dominates morality.
Talib & Fitzgerald's analysis emphasizes that value judgements are continually at work in the policy discourse despite the level of meritocracy that the Singapore education system promotes. They consider whether it is in the interests of the Singapore people that 'talents' should get privileged access to knowledge as it is through this more opportunities for the rest of the population can be created.
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