Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Raising funds: Nothing wrong with ACS but...

It is finally over because the event is over.

When a mother wrote to stomp complaining about ACS aggressive fund raising, I thought she had sent her boys to the wrong school. ACS will be always be ACS. Better to quietly transfer to another school. They will not change for you.

The school is more than a century old and is the place the who is who sent their boys to be educated. That is just euphemism for rich people and their community. Such folks will always want to mix with their types (nothing wrong with that).

MOE has rules about what you can or cannot do, so if schools like ACS wants to give their boys more, you have to get the funds from the parents. All these roundabout ways of moving what is in the parents' pockets to the school fund is beside developing the boys, it is poor form to simply write cheques.

If you feel you can't contribute your share, I am sure it is not a problem because most families could and they would gladly accommodate you. But from your point of view, you would feel you owe them something. That is when a mother decided that is not how things should be. To me she was just banging her head against the wall. It was useless and a waste of time. The wealthy have chosen this school and this school it is.

The neighborhood school could never give the exposure and education ACS could provide with its resources. That is why Petunia lambasted her boy's primary school but is over the top with praise for ACS. Petunia forgot that whilst the neighborhood school is not right for her kid, it is often the good school for most of our kids.

So I wonder if charity for most at ACS was not just the ultimate ego trip? When they grow up it will be called Philanthropy. For Petunia, is it not simply an example of charity amid the poverty of love? She is a Christian and so I would like to borrow from 1 Corinthinas 13: If I give my body to be burned but have not love, I am nothing.

By and large ACS is charitable but it isn't loving. The school will be a major contributor to the wealth and income gap in Singapore. Its efforts to narrow that gap would be futile but they never claim to try. Well I am not complaining. By and large we cannot expect better. Not here, not anywhere. That's life. There was a Tan Kah Kee and now after a long time there is still no successor.

There is charity and there is selfless charity. They are not the same. But for the handful of selfless boys ACS could produce from time to time, I think it is worth it.

I think better go to Hwa Chong than ACS especially when Protestant Christianity is losing its way. Tharman was from ACS but his son went to Hwa Chong. Also why not Catholic High?

Update: 3:15 pm

I came across this story earlier today and wanted to use this story to supplement my main post but lost it. Just saw Yahoo telling the story and found the link to the original story in the NYT.

Some boys from ACS will some day do as Dan Price in the NYT story, but I expect many more men and women from the neighborhood schools would step up to this even if you compare using ratios. In fact they are doing that but without ostentation. It is hard to find them but with some serendipity you will come across such on and off.

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