The Singapore education system has been widely acclaimed for its success in nurturing students to be the leaders of tomorrow. Just recently, Singapore topped an International Ranking compiled by OECD, which pulls together the latest test scores from the Programme for International Student Assessment and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study for 14-year-olds, attesting to its accomplishments. This ranking also points out the correlation between a good education system and economic progress. “Poor education policies and practices leave many countries in what amounts to a permanent state of economic recession,” says the report. As a country with little natural resources, Singapore’s investment in human capital has paid off handsomely.
The curriculum designed in Singapore are proven to be effective in facilitating students’ learning. For example, the national textbooks for Mathematics are considered as a superior alternative to Saxon Math as it exemplifies traditional, pragmatic skills instruction as opposed to reform mathematics.
The education system in Singapore is not only characterized by an emphasis on effective teaching methods. It is purposed to be cumulative and progressive, affording students a seamless education experience. The end goal of the system is to allow students to not only gain academic proficiency but also develop skills necessary for the real world. The introduction of the “Teach Less Learn More” initiative continues to promote creative thinking, analytical skills and self-discovery, going beyond rote learning to nurture self-directed learners. Students are encouraged to go beyond the textbook and step into the real world, to learn beyond facts and grow as individuals.
Students gain personally as they become employable individuals with opportunities to thrive, while the economy also flourishes as it transforms into a knowledge based economy, supported by a capable workforce. What makes the Singapore education system successful is its focus on constantly adapting itself to meet the needs of the country, both economically and socially.
“Our investments in education have provided Singaporeans with the skills and capabilities to succeed and prosper, and to support Singapore’s economic development.”
— Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong