PAP Kindergarten fee up
The PAP kindergarten is a national institution. Its existence around the heartland and for the last 30/40 years mean that whole generations of Singaporeans have benefitted from them. Many Singaporeans see the National Service as a national institution for male bonding, a phase of life that all young Singaporeans have in common. A common background to share and talk about. The kindergarten's impact is even more pervasive. Young boys and girls went through them in the early foundation days of their lives. And it was education and upbringing at a very affordable cost. But affordability is now an issue. In 2006, the monthly fee was $30.50. It went up to $50.60 in 2007. It is going to be $95 a month starting 1 Jul 08. Some parents are crying foul. Some thought that the increase in fee was due to the provision of airconditioning in the classroom as some richer parents have requested for it. So they have appealed for a lowering of fees rather than the comfort of aircon. It is true that many Singaporeans are getting more affluent and would like to live in a more comfortable environment. And airconditioning is becoming a necessity. But is aircondition so desirable? Nothing wrong with pampering our young in such comfort. But with the high fuel cost and electricity bill, not many hardlanders are going to be able to afford such comfort for long. And for those young pampered boys, they will have to get used to life without aircon when they enter NS. Unless military training camps will have aircons in time to come. The jungles surely have no aircon. Another problem with the high fees is that it does not gel well with the push for bigger families. The high education cost and now the high kindergarten fees are going to deter parents from having a brood. Then again, maybe hardlanders who cannot afford it should not have too many children. It is going to be very tough on their pockets. And many will pooh pooh the little increase as another affordable thing. For those who can afford it, what is $95 a month.