This article will first foreground the importance of instruction in society before infering the intent of instruction in society. The focal point of this article will so be narrowed down, concentrating on the primary intent of Singapore instruction system. This article surveys the execution of the policies in Singapore instruction, bespeaking the strengths of these policies. At the same clip, countries of internal contradictions and where questionable premises may hold been made are besides indicated. Deductions on instructors and pupils of these adopted policies are besides explored. Challenges that prevarication in front in the hereafter are besides identified and solutions for the sensed ineffectualness in these policies made are besides presented at the terminal of this article.
Cardinal Wordss: Purpose of Education, Implications, Challenges, Solutions
Education has an immerse impact on human society. It serves as a platform to leave cognition and accomplishments to do mankind a rational animate being. Without instruction, worlds would non be rational to be able to distinguish between the rights and wrongs. Therefore, it is apparent that the “ intent of instruction is to derive the cognition and accomplishments necessary to do informed and sensible determinations. ” ( Howe, 2000, parity. 1 ) It is through instruction, a state is so being able to accomplish growing and development.
In a recent “ Global Competitiveness 2010 ” study, Singapore ‘s economic system is ranked foremost in Asia and 3rd in the universe ( “ World Economic Forum ” , 2010, parity. 1 ) . What factors constitute to a little state for accomplishing such a singular consequence?
Bing a little state with limited resources, Singapore can merely number on its cherished plus – human resources, to help the state in its economical growing. Hence, the authorities has started puting to a great extent in its people by puting great accent on the instruction of all time since it gained independency in 1965. Harmonizing to the figures of Singapore Budget 2010, an sum of $ 9.664 million has been allocated to Ministry of Education ( “ Singapore Budget 2010 ”
, 2010, parity. 2 ) . This sum is doubled the amount allocated to Ministry of Health of $ 4.181 million. It merely shows how much the Singapore authorities is numbering on its people to lend back to the state after they have stepped into the on the job society. As stated in the mission of the Singapore instruction service:
“ The mission of the Education service is to model the hereafter of the state. The service will supply our kids with a balanced and all-around instruction, develop them to their full potency, and foster them into good citizens, witting of their duties to household, society and state ” ( “ Ministry of Education ” , 2010, parity. 2 ) .
From the above mission statement, we can state that the function of instruction is to “ model the hereafter ” of Singapore by supplying pupils with “ a balanced and all-around instruction ” so that they can make their “ full potency ” to go great assets for the state.
There are many different ways an person or an organisation can make to go an plus for the state. In a recent fraud instance in Singapore, a sure “ executive secretary of a manager of one of the “ Large Four ” accounting houses ” , Siew Siu Yin was found guilty of hammering her foreman ‘s signature and assisting herself to $ 642,000 of his money ( Singh, 2010, p.B6 ) . If each person is educated academically but non holistically, he or she would be gaining money through the wrong manner.
This explains why instruction in Singapore is geared non merely to the instruction of academic topics, but besides towards a holistic instruction, making all-around hereafter Singaporeans to vie and last in the modern universe. This goes to demo that the ultimate intent of Singapore instruction is to accomplish national endurance and economic prosperity – in a socially and morally unsloped manner.
Adoption of Realism as Educational Philosophy & A ; Meritocracy as Key Policy
In order for a state to hike its economic system, it is ideal for workers to be talented and well-educated in order to maximise economic growing. “ The accent on rational capital has prompted many states to see the function of schools chiefly as fixing pupils to be knowledge workers who will heighten the state ‘s economic fight. ” ( Tan & A ; Wong, 2008, p.8 )
In Singapore, the educational doctrine of Realism which has been adopted since the independency of Singapore in 1960s “ has been credited with advancing a earthy signifier of instruction that prepares pupils for a knowledge-based economic system. ” ( Tan, 2006, p. 25 ) As such, schools in Singapore are seen as academic establishments entrusted with the map of fiting pupils with the needed accomplishments and cognition for the universe of work and life based on a subject-matter course of study.
Besides, it is really common to see most endeavors or organisations enrolling employees based on their academic making as the basic demand. For illustration, “ Skillsforce Management Consultancy Pte Ltd ” is looking for an Accounts Manager. One of its stated enlisting demands is the academic making of a “ minimal [ vitamin D ] egree in [ a ] ccountancy ” ( “ Skillsforce Management Consultancy Pte Ltd ” , 2010, parity. 4 ) , followed by other soft accomplishments which they are looking for in employees. This shows that even if one is equipped with other qualities or soft accomplishments but without run intoing the minimal academic making, he or she would non be able to measure up for the interview.
In other words, academic making still plays a major portion in acquiring one a good occupation with good wage in Singapore ‘s society. Of class, there are people like Steven Paul Jobs ( Co-founder of Apple ) , a college drop-out, who need non possess high academic making in order to be successful ( “ Encyclopedia of World Biography ” , 2010, para.3 ) . However, such exceeding instance belongs to the minority group.
Furthermore, due to the fact that Singapore is a little state, lacking of natural resources, “ meritocracy is the best agencies to maximise the different capacities of a population ” in a just manner ( “ The Education System in Singapore – Meritocracy ” , n.d. , para.4 ) . This explains why Singapore adopts the political orientation of Meritocracy in instruction.
As Meritocracy in instruction purposes to convey the best in everyone by streaming pupils based on their ability in faculty members through scrutinies, pupils work hard to acquire what they want so that they can be the best among all. Generally, the more they do, the better off they are. This consequences in intense competition and hostile competition amongst the pupils.
Deductions for Teachers and Students
As a consequence, because of how Meritocracy works, Singapore became a result-oriented society. Producing pupils with good classs tend to be the top precedence for many instructors. We frequently heard instructors stating pupils to work hard to breeze through in their academic surveies as it will vouch one with bright hereafter with good occupation and good wage. Quoting from a celebrated philosopher, Aristotle one time said that “ The roots of instruction are acrimonious, but the fruit is sweet ” ; pupils who wish to stand out in life will work highly difficult academically. As such, many pupils and pedagogues “ see education simply as a stepping rock to extrinsic wagess in life, overlooking its function in pupils ‘ moral and rational development.
( Tan & A ; Wong, 2008, p.8 )
Furthermore, exam-based topics like English, Mathematics and Science are still the chief concern for course of study to fit pupils with the accomplishments and cognition they need for the on the job society. As such, greater accent has been placed on these topics pretermiting the portion on holistic instruction which is one of the missions of instruction.
On top of that, “ because moral instruction has non been accorded scrutiny position, many instructors [ tend ] non to take it earnestly and [ ] frequently use moral instruction periods as a buffer clip to finish the course of studies of scrutiny topics. ” ( Tan, 1994, p.68 ) Teachers who do this are puting a bad illustration to pupils that Moral instruction is non of import. Harmonizing to Albert Bandura ‘s societal acquisition theory, “ most human behaviour is learned observationally through mold. ” ( Wagner, 1977, para.1 ) By making so, instructors are directing a message to their pupils that CME is non every bit of import as the academic topics like English, Maths and Science. Therefore, accent on holistic instruction is once more ignored. In fact, the Singapore instruction should put equal accent on holistic instruction in the course of study instead than concentrating more on academic accomplishments. In this manner, the mission of instruction is so achieved.
Emphasis on Holistic Education should non be discounted
Hence, bottom-line is that developing the ethical side of a kid is the cardinal to making a socially responsible state, which in bend allows it to accomplish more economic ends. If one is non socially responsible, fraud instances like the 1 mentioned earlier and corruptnesss will be happening really normally in Singapore. This will make a sense of fright to the foreign investors and forestall them from puting up their concerns in Singapore, ensuing in diminution in economic growing.
Harmonizing to a recent research by NUS Career Centre Guide 2010, soft accomplishments are besides another component that enterprises and organisations are looking for when enrolling an employee. For case, DSO National Laboratories emphasized that “ [ they ] basal [ their ] appraisal on the campaigner ‘s proficient aptitude for the place of involvement, every bit good as soft accomplishments that are necessary for executing on the occupation. [ They ] besides look for campaigners who portion [ their ] nucleus values of unity, excellence, teamwork, invention and client focal point. ” ( “ The NUS Career Centre Guide 2010 ” , 2010 )
Therefore, it is of import for the future coevals to see emotional and psychological wellbeing including morally and socially responsible. Hence, Singapore instruction has introduced Character Development with a broad array of activities like CCAs and CIP to assist pupils develop such traits.
For case, Community Involvement Programme ( CIP ) aims to “ foster [ the ] pupils to go socially responsible and develops their sense of belonging and committedness to [ the ] state. ” ( “ Ministry of Education ” , 2010, para.1 ) One of the most common signifiers of fund-raising activities is the “ Flag Day ” , where pupils would be distributed to different locations of Singapore to inquire contribution from the populace in the streets. Through this activity, pupils learn the sum collected from the populace is for the less destitute ; as such one should non be taking the money collected inside the Sn for self-usage.
At the terminal of the twenty-four hours, all CIP activities performed by each pupil are clearly documented so as to harmonize the appropriate CCA points to him or her. CIP activities are logged based on the figure of hours that the pupil performs the activity for.
By interpreting CIP into something that is on academic footing, CIP would lose all its initial purpose on making voluntary work that is making on “ voluntary footing ” , and therefore they may non see the value in engagement of CIP. Students seem to be more practical presents to make CIP for the interest of timing in their hours so as to construct up their testimonies or restart increasing their opportunities of acquiring recruited. If there are no CIP hours incurred, will the pupils voluntary to make CIP on their ain agreement?
How is CIP able to ingrain the value of empathy deeply into pupils and how high is the service larning when they randomly ask contributions from the populace with a Sn in manus?
Schools should revise their activities to increase the service acquisition. If clip licenses, school should let pupils to be after what to make for their CIP, alternatively of pre-planning for them. In my sentiment, schools can join forces with different donees such as Society for the Physically Disabled that requires voluntaries to interact and assist the less fortunate straight, through activities like taking them to the library and reading narratives to them on a regular footing. After several hebdomads of service acquisition, contemplations should be done and evaluated to guarantee that pupils have genuinely benefited from the programme. “ The acquisition experience would non be complete without leting an chance for pupils to portion and reflect on the different experiences they had during the service twenty-four hours. ” ( Rizzo & A ; Brown, 2006, p. 8 ) Suggested lesson programs should besides be included which can be used to assist the pupils discuss the twenty-four hours ‘s events and have a more meaningful voluntary experience.
In add-on, making a greater sense of moral values like empathy within pupils particularly the future coevals of leaders of Singapore is important. One of the jobs Singapore is presently confronting is the ageing population. If the younger coevals of Singaporeans deficiency of empathy, there would non be graciousness seen on public conveyances particularly on the trains, where childs give up their seats to the aged. If Singapore were to bring forth a batch of future leaders who are deficiency of empathy, many demands to run into the ageing population such as edifice of fuss-free substructures for the aged would non be met. The public assistance of the state would therefore be neglected because of the deficiency of value in empathy.
Attempts from the authorities have been identified to assist pitch Singapore instruction towards a holistic attack. Integrated programmes are introduced to let the top pupils in the secondary school to short-circuit the O degree scrutiny with the purpose to “ stretch students and supply greater comprehensiveness in the academic and non-academic course of study. ” ( “ Ministry of Education ” , 2010, para.1 ) However, boulder clay today, a minority of merely nine schools offer this sort of option.
With the educational doctrine Realism and Meritocracy adopted as the foundation of the Singapore instruction, Singapore instruction has been successful in accomplishing its primary intent of achieving economic prosperity. However, to be able to achieve in success in holistic instruction, more accent should be placed on it. The value of CIP should be farther enhanced to guarantee that pupils learn from it.
Holistic Education is of import as it plays a portion in learning one to go a morally unsloped individual. A state can non hold people who are knowing but have no moral values. Moral values should be inculcated within each and everyone from immature and these values follow us no affair where we go. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that accent should non be placed simply on the academic topics, but besides on holistic instruction. In order to accomplish success in holistic instruction, CIP should be revamped and do known of its value of engagement to the pupils.
Of class, there are other intents of Singapore instruction, such as advancing racial harmoniousness. However, the aim of advancing racial harmoniousness in Singapore is to guarantee that at that place would non be any racial public violences to do a diminution in productiveness for economic growing. It all goes to demo that the intent of instruction in Singapore is at the involvement of the state – to assist accomplish economic growing in a morally unsloped manner ; if non the Singapore authorities would non pass such brawny amount on the instruction sector.
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