Minister of Education Chan Chun Sing

What Does Singapore’s Education System Really Need?

By LM — In a recent policy initiative, Chan Chun Sing launched the Forward Singapore Equip Pillar Microsite. This platform is aimed at encouraging fellow Singaporeans to send in their suggestions for improving the current education system.

Will such a feedback session actually work?

Are they pretending to want to listen to our suggestions again? But, end up they will just pick views that match whatever plans they had, and ignore those that don’t. This is the government’s tactics.

They are merely concerned with putting on a show by conducting discussions, talks, and meetings. But when it comes to executing the plans, they have proved themselves to be incapable of meeting Singaporeans’ needs.

What is the problem with our education system?

Although Singapore’s universities are ranked among the top globally, it is filled with many flaws.

Higher education is not affordable.

Much of our raw talent is wasted away due to the high fees of the renowned institutes. Post-graduate degrees are even more unaffordable. It is no wonder that Singaporeans choose to earn a living to cope with rising costs rather than pursue further studies.

We cannot compete with foreigners.

Keeping higher education expensive means we cannot compete with foreigners who can gain their postgraduate degrees easily. This means that no matter how good our education system is, our average students will never win them.

Our education system really needs to find ways to enable younger Singaporeans to thrive in this internationally competitive environment. It should be helping our students find employment opportunities.

We need to align our education system with market needs.

Another major loophole in the education system is the non-alignment of the curriculum with market needs. We keep saying that we need to get foreign talent because we lack the talent in relevant fields. The root cause of this is our education system. How is it that after so many years we still can say that we don’t have enough technological talents?

Our education system focuses more on driving those top-notch grades rather than preparing the students for the practical fields. Most of our students have no real-life market and economy knowledge, affecting their prospects of growth and securing jobs.

We cannot keep complaining that we don’t have talent and yet not do anything about it.