Even though it has limited renewable natural resources at its disposal, Singapore heavily invests in its one abundant natural resource: its people.
The government initiates and maintains a good number of programs so that Singapore citizens and even residents have the best chance to reach their full potential as individuals and as members of modern society. This commitment is perhaps best showcased in the country’s education sector, which receives a high level of support not only from the government but also from private organizations and individual stakeholders. It’s no wonder, then, that Singapore’s education system often tops global rankings, and its students perform remarkably well in international assessment exams.
Many countries want to emulate the example set by Singapore’s education system and maximize their own citizenry’s chances of success. Here are some of the lessons that other countries can learn from Southeast Asian city-state.
Connecting with the Community Is a Priority for Both Local and International Schools
The schools in Singapore not only focus on academic performance; these institutions also make every effort to ensure that their students can develop into well-integrated members of society. Infants and toddlers in the country are given a safe environment where they can gain confidence and increase their level of autonomy. As they grow older and develop more individually, students from both local and international schools in Singapore are given the chance to cooperate with more of their peers and to interact with the neighborhoods surrounding their schools through their co-curricular activities (CCA).
Look into any school overseen by the Ministry of Education or any global international school Singapore residents trust, and you’ll discover that students have the option of joining hundreds of CCAs, many of which give learners the opportunity to give back to their respective communities. Indeed, CCAs are an integral part of the education system in Singapore and are seen as a way of ensuring the holistic growth of the students.
A Significant Portion of the National Budget Is Spent on the Education Sector
A good education system requires sufficient resources so that it can be implemented properly, and Singapore does just that by allocating $13.6 billion to education spending in 2021. This amount is distributed to manpower expenses, operating expenses, and grants to organizations. At the same time, a portion of Singapore’s education budget is also set aside for infrastructure projects, such as the acquisition of land and the construction of new campuses. To improve the quality of education that students receive and to strengthen the foundation of the education system, teachers and educators in the country can also access programs to improve their skills and to help them get insights on the latest in education research.
Providing Quality Early Childhood Education Is of Great Importance to All Stakeholders
Many parents in the country return to work by the time their infants are 3 months old, and many of them depend on the services of public and private preschools so that they can balance their personal and professional responsibilities. The good news is that early childhood care is an integral part of the Singapore education system, and parents are treated as partners in their children’s education. During their stay in their respective preschools and nurseries, toddlers and infants are provided with a safe environment, responsive care providers, and plenty of stimulation. These help young children in their development, and it allows educators to determine if their young charges are reaching their milestones. The daily coordination between the parents and teachers also enables educators to continue their “lessons” at home and to implement necessary interventions at the earliest opportunity. This system ensures that students are ready for the next steps in their education and that their parents can continue working while attending to the needs of their families.
The Government Quickly Implements Practical Solutions to Events That Affect Education
Singapore has always been forward-looking as a country, and this is reflected in its education system. Even before the pandemic began, many schools in the country have been incorporating digital devices and smart systems in their classes. When the pandemic hit, the education sector was quick to respond to the situation by initiating programs that will make digital education more accessible. These programs included providing students with digital devices and special allowances to pay for internet access, as well as using digital banking channels to provide families who have students with special needs the funds they need to support their ongoing therapies and activities. The quick response from the government helped minimize the impact of the pandemic on the country’s education system. It’s expected that some of these programs will continue to be implemented even if COVID-19 is now being treated as an endemic disease in the country.
Singapore offers a great model for an education system that’s accessible, inclusive, effective, and forward-thinking. The investment that the country has afforded the education sector helps ensure its continued stability and prosperity, and it’s a practical consideration that other countries can emulate if they want to improve the potential of their future generations.