The Singapore Ministry of Education has been surveying educators and parents about their concerns with the Singapore education system. The results reveal worries about a perceived over-emphasis on exams and grades that contribute to a high stress education system that overlooks non-academic talents. Additional concerns include anxiety about declining social mobility and rates of inclusion due to disparities in access to education that favors privileged children who can afford tuition.
In response to these kinds of concerns, the Ministry of Education has launched initiatives aimed at strengthening efforts to help every student succeed by:
- building a strong foundation in literacy and numeracy, from the kindergarten level to secondary level. For the primary and secondary school levels, the existing Learning Suppport Programme for Primary 1 and Primary 2 students will be extended through all 6 years of primary education and even to secondary level.
- providing teachers with professional development opportunities to learn clear research-based principles to reach out to “low-progress learners.” These measures will help ensure that all students benefit from the best opportunities in education regardless of their background and pace of development.
- piloting 15 kindergartens in working class neighborhoods in Singapore and providing further support to the pre-school sector, which the MOE has traditionally not been overseeing.
- expanding support for students with special needs by providing additional post-diagnosis services for parents, streamlining the application and enrollment process for special education schools, and increasing funding for low-income students with special needs.
For more information:
More help in Math, English for weaker students
Helping every student succeed (MOE)
Get back to basics of education: Heng Swee Keat
More support for students with special needs (MOE)
Exams and streaming: Recalibrating our education system (commentary)
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