Education in Singapore
For the first time in history, Singapore has been named as having the top two universities in all of Asia. This includes the National University of Singapore, which rose 14 spots in the World University Rankings since 2012. The method for success goes back many generations, as education in Singapore instructs not only academics but teaches respect for authority and an understanding of the gravity of education.

Singapore, among other Asian nations, neared the top of the international league tables for over a decade. These tables measure child proficiency in reading, math, and science, with high scores showing the success of Singapore’s education system. Singapore’s education method is to approach classrooms with a highly-scripted way of teaching, making teachers ‘teach to the test’ instead of adapting to children’s different needs.

Students in Singapore ‘learn how to learn,’ a generally ineffective method that has been unusually successful in Singapore. Instead of checking the students’ level of understanding, teachers are instructed to check whether students can get the correct answer. The prescribed national curriculum sets the standard by which students learn, with little flexibility or deviation.

Singapore’s universities have been able to compete in the global economy by pouring financial support into research and strategically positioning each university. From the start, students are instructed on their expectations through primary, secondary and post-secondary education.

However, the first lessons students learn are how to know and how to love their country. By strengthening the pupils’ appreciation for their country, they then also appreciate the meaning of receiving an education.

Students in Singapore have been instructed since birth to follow the national and cultural standards that reproduce the instructional regime. Teachers instruct with a type of ‘folk pedagogy’ that reinforces the nature of their instruction, such as ‘teaching is talking and learning is listening.’ However, in recent years these policies have relaxed to lessen student stress.

Despite their unorthodox success, Singapore is realizing that balance is just as important as educational prowess. Education in Singapore has changed to accommodate more stress-relieving activities, such as white-water rafting, since experts in Singapore’s education system now aim to give students a more well-rounded life.

The goal is to move students from being academic-based people to leading emotionally-healthy lives, a change that should positively impact Singapore’s education system. With a combination of previous methods and these new changes, Singapore’s high status in education in Asia and around the globe should remain consistent.

Amanda Panella

Photo: Pixabay