Singapore Education Focuses On Building Knowledge-Based Economy
Meritocracy is a fundamental principle in Singapore’s education system. This system aims to identify and groom bright, young students for leadership positions. In Singapore, academic grades are important. Good academic standing and excellent school credentials are significant for the students’ career prospects in the job market.
The emphasis of Singapore’s education is focused on developing the country’s human resource and manpower capability its continuing quest to build a knowledge-based economy. The government of Singapore devotes 20 percent of its Gross National Product (GNP) to education.
Singapore has a centralized educational system and t is the Ministry of Education (MOE) that sets all learning standards.In the recent years, education in Singapore did not only become a springboard in building human resource capabilities. The government pushed in developing education as a source of revenue. In 2002, the government initiated the “Global Schoolhouse” program, which aimed to attract international students to enrol in tertiary schools in Singapore. In the same year, the education sector in the country contributed a 3.6 percent to the economy.
Meanwhile, with its aim to imbibe academic excellence among its students focused on improving the students’ skills in Math. Math, being a major subject in all levels of education worldwide, has become a core educational focus in Singapore. The Singapore Math, which is focused on the in-depth understanding of the essential math skills, has become a popular teaching method in Math in different countries including the US.
The Singapore Math started when Singapore began to take a new approach in the production of its Mathematics textbooks. Initially, the textbooks came from other countries. With the new education system, the Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore (CDIS) began working to improve textbooks as the Ministry set new goals for math education. The new goals on Math were focused on problem-solving and the heuristic of the model drawing. This initiative produced new developments in learning, which made Singapore’s math students excel in the international community.
With this reform, dramatic improvements in math proficiency for Singapore students on international assessments were seen. Throughout the years, Singapore’s students made waves in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). The TIMSS is an international assessment of the mathematics and science knowledge of fourth grade and eighth-grade students around the world.
TIMSS was developed by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). It allows participating nations to compare students’ educational achievement across borders.
Due to its remarkable mathematics program and the support of its people, Singapore has placed first on the TIMSS in 1995, 1999, and 2003, and in the top three nations in 2007.
The recent TIMSS revealed that Singapore primary four and secondary two students rank as the best in the world in the subjects math and science. The study sampled a total of 12,500 primary four and secondary two students between 2010 and 2011.
TIMSS evaluated test scores in 63 countries and the results showed that Grade 8 students in Singapore led in science and came in second internationally in math.Meanwhile, Singapore also ranked 1st in math and 2nd in science among grade 4 students.
The Singapore Ministry of Education released a statement on Singapore’s achievement in the recent TIMSS and lauded the efforts of Singaporean students. The Ministry said that the studies show that Singaporean students received strong support from their schools and homes, which has helped to cultivate their interest in math and science.
The country’s achievements in international assessments in Math and even in Science reveals Singapore’s focus on developing their students, not only to shine in school, compete in international community, but also to achieve academic excellence that will help maintain the country’s economic stability.