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Addendum To The President’s Address

Mr Ong Ye Kung
Minister For Education

1. The Ministry of Education (MOE) aims to bring out the best in every child and develop every Singaporean to their fullest potential. We seek to nurture upright, resilient, and confident Singaporeans, with the drive for lifelong learning and skills mastery, and the strong desire to contribute to society.

Promoting Holistic Education

2. We will seek to enhance our students’ learning and educational experience, regardless of their abilities and starting points.

3. Values remain at the heart of education. We will continue to strengthen our focus on Character and Citizenship Education and enhance Values-in-Action programmes, to provide students with more opportunities to build their character. We will deepen students’ understanding of our nation and society, as well as the region and the world. We will continue to build upon our bilingual language foundation, and make the learning of languages encouraging and fun. We are rolling out plans for enhanced outdoor learning and activities.

4. We will foster the joy of learning in our students, to make learning meaningful and enduring for our students, and foster a passion for lifelong learning. As an Asian society, we put strong focus on academic excellence, but we need to continue with efforts to dial back the over-emphasis on examination results, which can dampen the enthusiasm for learning. We are on track to implement the changes to the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) scoring and Secondary One posting systems in 2021.

5. We will continue to enhance Applied and Experiential Learning in our schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs). Through learning by doing, students will be able to cultivate an innovative spirit and apply their knowledge and skills in the real world.

Supporting Aspirations and Lifelong Learning

6. We will support students in uncovering their strengths and developing their talents, by ensuring that multiple pathways are available across the education system. This includes partnering industries to offer our students real world learning opportunities through programmes such as the Institute of Technical Education’s (ITE) Work-Learn Technical Diploma, the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programmes, and the SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree programmes. Through initiatives such as Direct School Admission in schools and aptitude-based admission in IHLs, we recognise the interests and non-academic abilities of students in our admission systems.

7. We will also formalise and strengthen Education and Career Guidance efforts, to give students more time, guidance, and opportunity to explore their interests, and decide on their specialisations and career options. To support this, we will streamline polytechnic courses and introduce more Common Entry Programmes.

8. We are bringing about a major change in our IHLs to also assume the mission of supporting the education and training needs of working adults. In support of industry transformation, our IHLs will significantly expand their offerings of industry-relevant and modular training programmes. Together with private training providers and employers, we will build a vibrant and high-quality lifelong learning industry that enables the continual up-skilling and re-skilling of the workforce

9. All these efforts are anchored on the philosophy of SkillsFuture, which is to support all Singaporeans, regardless of their starting points, to uncover their strengths and interests, and learn throughout life through multiple pathways to develop skills mastery. Over time, our society will embrace a broad meritocracy of skills.

Harnessing Technology to Transform Learning

10. We will build on our efforts to develop ‘smart schools’, to better prepare our students for the future, and to be responsible members of a more digitalised society.

11. We will support self-directed as well as collaborative learning by enhancing the Singapore Student Learning Space, which will be rolled out to all schools this year. Students will be empowered to learn anytime, anywhere, and at their own pace.

12. We will raise the capabilities of teachers as designers of learning experiences, leverage technology to improve learning experiences, and promote collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas.

13. We will strengthen the interface between schools and parents through the Parents Gateway. This online platform will allow both groups to work together to better support the learning needs of our students.

Ensuring Strong Support for Students in Need through Partnerships

14. As we make bold strides in our education landscape, we must ensure that the disadvantaged are not left behind.

15. Education will continue to be a key pillar of social mobility. We are expanding the number of MOE Kindergartens, as part of the Government’s efforts to improve quality, affordability, and accessibility in the pre-school sector, to ensure a good start for all children. Our schools will continue to provide equal opportunities for all students, regardless of background, to access quality education. We will continue to expand and strengthen our ecosystem of partnerships, working closely with our stakeholders to bring out the best in our students. This includes collaboration with Self-Help Groups to provide holistic support to less advantaged students and their families.

16. To cater to students who need a conducive after-school care environment, we will expand the number of school-based Student Care Centres (SCCs) and places. All primary schools will have a school-based SCC by 2020. They will cater to the educational, social, and emotional well-being of our students, especially those from disadvantaged families.

17. We must uphold and enhance education as a platform for social mixing. From 2019, we will reserve 20% of places at every affiliated secondary school for students who do not benefit from affiliation priority. We will actively promote interaction among students of all backgrounds through initiatives such as applied learning, Co-Curricular Activities and Outward Bound School camps.

18. From 2019, we will roll out compulsory education for children with special educational needs. With our social service sector partners, we will deliver quality education to serve the varied needs of our students, optimise their potential, and nurture them to become independent and confident individuals. We will expand the School-to-Work transition programme to offer customised training to help more students secure employment.

Nurturing Lifelong Learners for the Future

19. The scope of MOE’s work has expanded over the years to also cover pre-school and lifelong learning. Education is indeed a lifelong journey. It starts with the transmission of values, nurturing a curiosity to learn, and developing basic literacy and numeracy abilities. It continues through life with the acquisition of skills, knowledge, and experience. We will continue to partner closely with parents, employers, and communities, to mould the future of Singapore.

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