Thursday, August 03, 2006

Reply from MOE

Fox got the reply he asked but not quite hoped for. He has been too busy to publish this online until now. It is a standard reply but, nevertheless, it is better than nothing.

Dear Fox,

Thank you for your email dated XX XX 2006 to MCYS Feedback Unit.

As a government agency, MOE strives to share as much relevant information as possible that would be useful to the general public whom we serve. However, this must be carefully balanced as resources are needed to generate and maintain the information regularly, for the information posted to remain useful. Given the vast amount of information available, it is necessary for MOE to prioritise and make available only those information that would be of greater relevance to the general public.

With this in mind, you may wish to note that some of the information that you are looking for can already be found on the MOE website, albeit not in the order of format you have asked for. We have enclosed an example below for your information:

We would however, take your feedback into consideration when we next review the scope of information that would be useful for the general public consumption. Prior to the review, we regret that we would not be able to provide you the specific statistics that you have requested for.

for Quality Service Manager
Ministry of Education

Like a good citizen, Fox popped over to the recommended link and found something interesting. Associate Professor Ong posed the question:

To ask the Minister for Education (a) why the difference in tuition fee grants between a local and a foreign undergraduate is only $590 per year; (b) how does the Ministry justify the tuition fee grant of $12,830 per foreign student regardless of their affordability; (c) whether the Ministry can explain why there is no means-testing when awarding the $12,830 grant per foreign student when means-testing is applied when awarding CCC-university bursary and study loans to Singapore students.

Actually, Fox wishes to point out that the grant is a lot more than $12,830. The last time Fox was in NUS, he received a letter from MOE every year stating that he had been awarded a subsidy of around $18,000. If he recalls correctly, his foreigner contemporaries in his university also enjoyed a similar amount of subsidy, maybe less $590. Clearly, Fox feels the need to inform the public that the figure of $12,830 is wrong and there is misleading information on an official public webpage of the Singapore government.

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