Children speaking up in Singapore: progress or peril

Paper


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

Children speaking up in Singapore: progress or peril

Presentation TypePaper
AuthorsTeh, Mui Kim (Author) and Stott, Kenneth (Author)
Journal or Proceedings TitleProgram and Papers of the 14th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association: Free Speech, Privacy & Property Rights in Education (ANZELA 2005)
Number of Pages8
Year2005
Place of PublicationSydney, Australia
ISBN1863081216
Conference/Event14th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association: Free Speech, Privacy & Property Rights in Education (ANZELA 2005)
Event Details
14th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Education Law Association: Free Speech, Privacy & Property Rights in Education (ANZELA 2005)
Event Date
28 to end of 30 Sep 2005
Event Location
Freemantle, Western Australia
Abstract

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.

Keywordsfreedom of speech; students
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390201. Education policy
440709. Public policy
441004. Social change
Public Notes

No evidence of copyright restrictions.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Law
Office of the Vice-Chancellor
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