Over 1000 Singaporeans, from all age groups and various backgrounds, participated in 24 SGfuture engagement sessions under the “A Learning People” Cluster since January this year.
2. The engagement sessions were a collaborative effort by various agencies - Ministry of Education (MOE), Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), DesignSingapore Council (Dsg), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), Media Development Authority Singapore (MDA), Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Library Board (NLB), People’s Association (PA), and Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA). The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) was also an active partner.
3. Themed “Learning is for Life”, the engagements have resulted in new projects and facilitated further improvements to existing projects related to learning and development. See Annex A for details.
4. One such new project is the Parent Support Group (PSG) Online Resources kit. It aims to build PSG leaders’ capability by providing guidelines, sample resources and ideas on how to start, sustain and self-direct a successful PSG. It also aims to foster a sense of ownership of parent-school partnership through sharing of experiences and best practices. It is a ground-up initiative that is created by parents for parents. The PSG Online Resources kit is in the process of development and more details will be made available in due course.
5. To further spur ground-up ideas, the Lifelong Learning Council, with the support of WDA established the $3 million LearnSG Seed Fund last year to grow community-led learning initiatives. One new project that arose is a comedy skit put together by a group of Youtubers, to promote lifelong learning at the heartlands. Other projects, like People’s Association Senior Academy (SA) and Young NTUC U Heart, will provide new opportunities for volunteers.
6. The participants also actively contributed new ideas to existing projects such as the National Reading Movement and Code@SG movement. As part of the National Reading Movement, NLB now undertakes a facilitator role to encourage companies and organisations to run their own reading clubs and discussion groups, 2 to further promote reading amongst working adults. As for Code@SG, a volunteer community consisting of students, parents, teachers and professionals will be formed to complement existing school-based efforts to promote coding skills and computational thinking skills among students, parents and the general public.
7. Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Mr Ong Ye Kung, the Cluster Lead Minister, said, “SGfuture is a deliberate effort of the government to engage Singaporeans, so that we can better co-create our future together. Learning and development is a process driven by a combination of personal responsibility and motivation, and an effective national education and training system. It is good that concrete projects have come about because of this engagement effort. We will continue to institutionalise public engagement as a normal course of our work. ”
8. Although the formal engagement sessions have ended, the engagement process will continue in various forms through various avenues. Such two-way dialogues and communications between the government and citizens will be sustained and institutionalised as the approach to conceptualise, plan, develop and implement appropriate policies, services and programmes, so as to better serve Singaporeans, and engender a stronger sense of partnership between Government and people.
About SGfuture – “A Learning People” Cluster
2015, our Jubilee Year, was a time for celebration and reflection as we looked back on our past achievements – the building blocks of our success. This year, we turn our eyes to the future through the SGfuture dialogues that were announced in December 2015. We can visualise the future of Singapore and what each of us can do to transform some of those ideas into reality.
With that in mind, MOE, along with our partners, CSA, Dsg, IDA, MCI, MDA, MOM, NLB, NTUC, PA and WDA, launched a series of engagement sessions with the theme of ‘Learning is for Life’.
We live in changeable, fast-paced and volatile times. So, what are the skills, values and knowledge we need to develop today, across all ages and in our institutions of learning, workplaces, and in our community – that will enable us as a people to face challenges ahead with resilience and optimism? What kind of a people do we need to be to, not only survive, but, thrive in tomorrow’s world?
We don’t quite know what that world will be like. But we do know that to be a viable part of that world, we need to be a nation of lifelong learners. We are ready to pick up new skills, we adapt to new circumstances, we innovate, we learn from one another, we take charge of our learning and do what it takes to thrive as a people. We can aspire to greater heights, follow our passion, and build upon our strengths. The path ahead may as yet be uncharted, but together we can make the journey an enriching and fulfilling one as we learn throughout life.
The sessions were conducted around three sub-themes: Learning across all ages; Learning as a community; and Learning for tomorrow.