Singapore has one of the most successful education systems in the world. Many surveys have proved that Singaporean students are smarter than most students in both Europe and North America. Two Singaporean universities are already listed by the Times Higher Education World University and ranks in the list of top 75 universities around the world. Study Singapore Educational Consultancy cites that the nation’s teaching system is more flexible and transferable than other countries.
All these things made Singapore education system a model for many nations looking to prepare their students for the complex demands of the 21st-century knowledge economies and institutional environments.
Why is Singapore the most regarded educational system in the world? What do teachers in Singapore do differently to train their students?
In an interview with Financial Times, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, “In Singapore, we try to train people for the jobs they can fill. When our students graduate they find jobs straightaway.”
Here, we have explained the reasons behind the nation’s successful educational system:
* Teaching Standards:
This is the very root cause that is making the country’s education system so efficient. Choosing qualified and proficient educators are part of the ‘Thinking Schools, Learning Nation’ programme by MOE. The teachers are carefully screened, trained and developed professionally before their recruitment. For example, candidates are carefully picked from the top third of high school graduates with strong academic ability. Thereafter, they have to undergo a training recommended by the National Institute of Education (NIE). Following the completion of the training, these prospective teachers are required to attend professional development course of 100 hours.
* Mastery Approach Mathematics:
Although mathematics is the most challenging subject for a high percentage of students around the world, Singapore students are recognized for their brilliance in mathematics. Thanks to the nation’s mastery approach which encourages students to learn mathematics with the visual and hands-on aids like blocks, cards and bar charts. Besides, the mastery system provides ample time to the student to learn as they can’t move on until they have passed each level.
* STELLAR English Programme:
To make the country’s multilingual students familiar with English, Singapore established English Language Learning and Reading (STELLAR) programme in 2006. It was designed to improve the student’s language skills with interactive courses incorporating drama techniques and role-play.
* Parents language skills
Parents also play an important role to shape their children’s academic career in Singapore. They involve in their child’s educational activity and provide them with educational resources, books and private tuition. The high expectations from parents encourage children to perform well in their studies. In this way, both parents and the education system support students in Singapore.