Children speaking up in Singapore: progress or peril

Teh, Mui Kim and Stott, Kenneth (2005) Children speaking up in Singapore: progress or peril. In: 14th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association: Free Speech, Privacy & Property Rights in Education (ANZELA 2005), 28-30 Sept 2005, Freemantle, Western Australia.


Singapore has enjoyed enormous popularity and success on many fronts over the years. But to mention Singapore and free speech in the same sentence is, to many, paradoxical. Yet, one of the fundamental freedoms in modern society is the freedom to speak openly and without fear of retribution. Singapore, as arguably Asia's most advanced society on a wide range of criteria, does provide for freedom of speech in its Constitution. But those who know Singapore well have observed that such freedom is carefully and subtly controlled. However, as moves towards globalisation continue and international trends on human rights start to take hold, observers might argue that even an authoritarian-styled government like Singapore's will have to rethink its position and treat fundamental freedoms differently.
As a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, free speech has indeed taken on a new meaning in education policies in Singapore, and in recent years, there has been a shift toward greater tolerance for openness and free speech. In fact, the government has even taken the commendable and unprecedented step of encouraging students to speak up and to express their views through forums and debates. How have schools in Singapore coped with this change? This paper explores the views of some principals in Singapore schools on this issue, and discusses the approaches they have adopted to promote free speech amidst the widespread cynicism.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - Department of Law
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2011 06:06
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: freedom of speech; students
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160506 Education Policy
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160510 Public Policy
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160805 Social Change
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930403 School/Institution Policies and Development

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