Academic Donald Low is among those who criticised a Raffles Girls School (RGS) spokesman for “elitist” comments he had made about the new campus location.
RGS moved from the Anderson Road campus to a new S$90 million campus at 2 Braddell Rise, this week. The new campus is about 2.5ha bigger than the old school location but RGS plans to maintain the current intake levels for Sec 1 students despite the bigger space.
Speaking to The New Paper about the move, an RGS spokesman indicated that moving to the heartland would foster a closer bond with the community. He added: “Moving away from the luxurious condominiums in Orchard Road will allow our girls to reach out more to the ordinary Singaporean.”
The spokesman drew swift backlash for his comment on social media. Prof Low, who served as the associate dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy until last year, highlighted the comment on his Facebook page and asked: “Beyond semantics and a poor choice of words, what’s wrong with the circled portion of this news report? What does it say about education and class in Singapore?”
Calling the remark “elitist” and “unnecessary,” netizens responding to Prof Low’s question noted that the remark since it seemed to link the school’s location to its identity and seemed to imply that RGS students are elite and have finally gotten a chance to mingle with the lower class due to the new school location:
Others on social media expressed similar views and said that the spokesman is indirectly implying that RGS students are not “ordinary” and felt that the spokesman had an “ivory tower mentality”: