Can afford smaller class size in schools: $30b Budget surplus last decade?


Are smaller size class affordable?

I refer to the article “Reducing class size is good, but mind the costs” (Straits Times, Oct 24).

It states that “Even though reducing class size may improve student learning, it does not mean that Singapore should necessarily go ahead with it. Reducing class size comes at a substantial cost. More teachers need to be hired. And if schools are already functioning at full capacity, more classrooms need to be built.

It is important to ask if the projected benefits of reducing class size outweigh the costs. The answer depends on the current situation facing schools”

In this connection, according to the article “Singapore Budget 2018: Spending needs to grow in healthcare, infrastructure, security and education” (Business Times, Feb 19) – “SINGAPORE will put aside some S$10.2 billion for healthcare expenditure, S$20 billion for infrastructure and S$12.8 billion for education this year, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Monday.”

So, we expect to spend $12.8 billion on education this year, but the overall Budget surplus  was $9.6, $6.12 and -$4.88 billion (deficit), for the last three years, respectively.

Moreover, we had about $30 and $190 billion of reported Budget surpluses and Cash Budget surpluses, in the last decade or so.

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.