It is quite a well-known fact that Singapore’s education system is top-notch and results from the PISA test and many others is a testament to that. In international examinations, Singapore emerges as the top country in performance of the exam. Typically, Singapore students are well known for performing exceptionally well in Science and Mathematics. This also goes to show why Singapore places a huge emphasis on STEM education.
An overview of what Singapore’s education system is like:
Every annual exam determines how students move forwards in each year. This is what is called as the process of streaming. This had gathered some heat in the past regarding its “segregative nature” as obviously the fast-paced learners would eventually be separated from the slow-paced learners.
However, this mode of separating is known to be effective as different set of students would be given different kind of attention whereby teaching methods are tailored to meet specific needs. While there is a stigma attached to this streaming process, schools are trying to normalise this by teaching students that it is perfectly alright to be a late-bloomer and fast-paced learners should not discriminate against their peers who need a little more time and effort than them to understand concepts.
The major national examinations include PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination), GCE-O Level (General Certificate of Education-Ordinary Level), GCE-N Level (General Certificate of Education Normal (Academic) Level), and GCE-A Level (General Certificate of Education Advanced Level). These are major milestones that determines how students further progress in their education. It also determines the career path that they would eventually take.
So, what makes the education system so special?
OUR EDUCATION POLICIES
Singapore’s education system does not hang on to the grades and expects students to excel beyond academics. It does not matter how well students know their theories, and how high their grades are if they do not know how to apply themselves. Students need to be able to explore their talents and fearlessly develop new skills as the corporate landscape is evolving rapidly.
The jobs that are vacant right now may become obsolete very soon as Artificial intelligence is certainly taking over the low-skilled work. Human minds are capable of loads of creativity and invention; thus, the Singapore government aims to harvest the best ideas and innovation from young minds. The education policies are tailored to meet this aim and this is certainly a special feature that adds value.
The curriculum is designed in a such a way that equal amount of attention is given to each subject and it is spaced out and alternated in such a way that students do not get mentally exhausted. Coupled with co-curricular activities, students get a good amount of exposure and it encourages them to be creative thinkers.
Teachers motivate students to go beyond their comfort zone and engage themselves in higher-order thinking. Memorising facts and figures from the textbook is a very small percentage of learning. As students travel up the academic ladder, they will come to realise that studies and work in the future will demand much more from them.
The quality of training that teachers receive and the amount of passion that teachers have for their job are the predominant reasons for the stellar academic performance of students in Singapore. National Institute of Education does an excellent job in sieving through and picking out the best teachers to give the responsibility of moulding the future of Singapore.
Teachers have to undergo performance assessments to ensure that they are consistently competent enough to teach students.
Our forefathers have made conscientious effort to craft the right policies and design the best curriculum for students. Through the test of time, with many trials and errors, Singapore’s education system is one of the best in the globe.