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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Ministry of Education’s Addendum to The President’s Address

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by May 23, 2014 General

Our Goal

  • Our goal is to bring out the best in every child, in every domain of learning, in every school, at every stage of the learning journey, whatever the starting point.
  • We will achieve this by working in partnership with parents and the community.

Our Challenge

  • Our pioneer generation of educators through their hard work, dedication and perseverance had contributed significantly to the strong fundamentals in our education system today.
  • But the future our young will grow up in, will see greater complexities and challenges.
  • Our children will need a compass and navigation skills, not a map with well-marked paths.
  • A compass so that each child has a sense of direction, a sense of right and wrong, character and values, self-mastery, resilience and perseverance, compassion, empathy, leadership and social skills to work with others, and the heart to contribute to our community and nation.
  • Navigation skills so that each child can analyse situations, apply knowledge to solve novel problems, collaborate and work in cross-cultural teams in a globalised information age, imagine and invent new possibilities, and chart their own paths together as one people.

Our Compass

2 Key Principles
  • Student-Centric: Our children will be our key focus, and we will organise our educators and harness our resources to bring out the best in every child.
  • Values-Driven: Our children must develop a strong moral compass, forge robust character and acquire deep expertise and competencies to thrive in a fluid and unpredictable future.
3 Key Dimensions
  • Breadth: Broad in providing opportunities and multiple pathways, in an open and inclusive system, to develop different talents in each child to the fullest. Broad and holistic education, to allow each child to discover their interests and strengths over a wide range of disciplines, and create connections across different domains of knowledge.
  • Depth: Deep values and a deep commitment to Singapore and fellow Singaporeans, built on a strong core of values and character. Depth and rigour in the foundation of numeracy and bilingual literacy, in critical and inventive thinking, in communication, collaboration and information skills, and in civic-literacy, global-awareness, and cross-cultural skills.
  • Length: Lifelong Learning, with age-appropriate learning at each stage catered to the child’s pace of development. Learning for the long haul of life and not just for exams.
4 Key Shifts
  • Beyond academics – to a stronger focus on character, values, and different ways of learning.
  • Beyond theory – to a stronger focus on application to solve problems and create new things.
  • Beyond qualifications – to a stronger focus on lifelong learning of deep skills and expertise.
  • Beyond schools – to a stronger focus on partnerships with parents and the community.

Our Immediate Priorities

Well-rounded Individuals with Deep Civic Consciousness Rooted to Singapore
  • Our children will receive a more holistic education, and will experience:

    • Age-appropriate pre-school learning experiences, with Singapore-centric content.
    • Closer interactions and guidance from co-form teachers in lower primary years.
    • Wider access to Arts, Sports, Games, Outdoor Education and activities in Programme for Active Learning, to discover their interests and talents, and to develop values and socio-emotional skills from a young age.
    • Better amenities, such as indoor sports halls, music rooms etc., and well-trained teachers for Physical, Art and Music Education in all our schools.
    • Sound Character and Citizenship Education at all levels, with Values-in-Action projects that benefit the schools’ immediate community and deepen our children’s commitment to Singapore and fellow Singaporeans.
    • Less emphasis on chasing the last point with changing of PSLE T-score into broader bands of merit, creating time and space for our children to channel their energy towards also developing their other competencies.
      Open, Inclusive and Diverse Pathways to Provide Opportunities for All
  • Our children will have opportunities to access a range of diverse pathways, each leading to peaks of excellence, to develop their strengths and interests to their fullest potential whatever their starting point, and find success in their own way.

  • A child will:

    • Choose from a range of secondary schools each providing distinctive educational programmes catering to different strengths and interests.
      • The child will come to appreciate how learning in the classroom is applied in real-life, and be interested to learn more, in Applied Learning Programmes.
      • The child will develop values and character and strengthen their people and social skills, in Learning for Life Programmes.
    • Experience more flexibility in subject offering at lower secondary levels in all our schools, to cater to different strengths in different subjects.
    • Choose from more publicly-funded university options, as places are increased from 13,000 to 16,000 by 2020, and graduate with skills sought by industry.
    • Develop deep skills relevant to the industry, and take part in research, innovation and enterprise in the polytechnics and ITE, as we continue to enhance applied pathways to better cater to our students’ strengths and interests.
  • All Singaporeans will benefit from:

    • Increased capacity for continuing education established in close collaboration with the industry, to upgrade their skills and acquire new competencies.
    • Stronger educational and career counselling on new career possibilities that makes the best use of their interests, talents and capabilities.
    • More productive and engaging learning, via the use of technology, across all our schools and institutes of higher learning.
  • Our children will have access to these pathways, whatever their starting point:

    • A strong start for every child, including children from less advantaged families, through quality kindergarten curriculum resources refined in MOE’s affordable pilot kindergartens, and better quality pre-school programmes across the sector.
    • A child who has fallen behind will benefit from support in the form of levelling-up programmes that ensure a strong foundation in literacy and numeracy skills.
    • A child who can benefit from a structured and supportive environment in after school care, particularly where parents are both working, will benefit from a further expansion in Student Care Centres and places in our primary schools, and from the programmes that these centres offer in collaboration with VWOs and SHGs.
    • A child with financial difficulties will continue to be supported in all our institutions.
    • Our students with special education needs will also receive more support as we work with other agencies and the community to step up efforts to diagnose special education needs early, and provide support through school-based programmes, specialised services, SPED schools, and programmes in collaboration with employers to smoothen the transition from school to work for SPED students.

Supporting our Teachers and Strengthening Partnerships

  • Our teachers are our nation builders, as they are instrumental in educating our next generation.

    • We will recognise good teachers, through a more robust career architecture and talent management framework.
    • We will strengthen teacher training and on-going professional development, infusing the latest local and international research findings where relevant via AST and NIE.
  • Parents remain our most important partners.

    • We are grateful to parents who participate proactively in enhancing the schools experience for theirs and others’ children e.g. through Parent Support Groups.
    • We will continue to engage parents to support our schools to benefit our children.
  • The community provides an authentic environment for learning beyond the classroom.

    • We will collaborate with the community in Applied Learning Programmes and Learning for Life Programmes, aesthetics, sports and service learning activities.
    • As part of our Values-in-Action programme, our schools will serve the needs of the community they are in, and the community can provide authentic learning experiences for our students and see our schools as valuable assets of the community.

Conclusion

  • With rigorous programmes, dedicated teachers and committed partners, we are confident we can Bring Out the Best in Every Child – and provide every child with a compass and the skills to navigate the challenges of tomorrow.
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