‘We cannot allow it because schools are neutral places for learning and not platforms for partisan politics.’
– Ministry of Education (MOE), on the Singapore Democratic Party’s request to conduct talks in schools
As much as I envisage schools to be ‘neutral places of learning’, let me put it to MOE that our schools have never been politically neutral: the ideology of our ruling party presupposes our social studies and history curricula to the extent that only one narrative of our country’s struggle for independence is taught, which is that of the PAP.
It is a matter of course that our ruling party controls the narrative arc of our history — they were the victors — and like any other triumphant political party, they frame the story to their benefit.
If Barisan Sosialis were to make up the government instead of the PAP, it is highly probable that they would do the same thing and our history books would be telling a different story.
As such, it is a falsehood that educational institutions and the civil service are non-partisan spaces. They never were and would always take the cue from whomever runs the show in this country.