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24 Apr 2009, 9.00AM
by REACH Administrator
Government Accepts Recommendations on Primary Education

Following the announcement that MOE had set up a Primary Education Review and Implementation (PERI) Committee in Oct 2008 to study ways to enhance the quality of primary education, REACH received over 100 feedback on the proposed recommendations via REACH’s discussion forum, email, Facebook and an e-Townhall webchat.

Two focus group discussions chaired by the PERI Committee Members were also held in Nov 2008.

After four months of consultation, the PERI Committee finally submitted its preliminary report and recommendations to the Government on 27 January 2009.  Details can be found at this link.

Response from Ministry of Education

Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Education, announced on 14 April 2009 that the Ministry of Education (MOE) had accepted the recommendations of the PERI Committee to enhance the quality of primary education. The MOE will implement the changes progressively over the next few years as many of the recommendations require systematic implementation over the longer term.

  • Balancing knowledge with skills and values

MOE affirmed the need to strike a better balance between the teaching of knowledge and the development of skills and values in order to prepare our children for a more dynamic future.

  • Engaging teaching methods

To better support the holistic development of pupils, MOE will work with schools to balance the use of written examinations and alternative modes of assessment in schools. This will enable schools to track the learning progress of pupils, and provide richer feedback to parents and pupils. MOE will also ensure that pupils’ academic standards are maintained following these changes.

In addition, MOE agreed to the Committee’s recommendation to implement single-session schools, and shared plans to facilitate the transition of all government primary schools to a single-session model by 2016. While it was noted that enrolment in some schools may fall slightly to transit to single-session, MOE assured that every Singaporean child will continue to have access to a primary school near his home.

MOE will also build on efforts to transform teaching and learning under the ‘Teach Less, Learn More’ (TLLM) initiative by rolling out the Programme for Active Learning (PAL), which will provide pupils with early exposure to different activities that complement schools’ current efforts in developing character and useful life-skills.

  • Long-term capacity building and thoughtful implementation

To achieve the benefits of a more holistic education, MOE will invest approximately $4.8 billion to develop new programmes, recruit and train additional teachers, educators and instructors to lead new and existing programmes; and to build new schools and upgrade existing ones with new facilities that support more engaging teaching methods and learning experiences.

To build capacity for the long term, MOE will recruit new teachers from the pool of university graduates or those who qualify for an undergraduate education, by 2015. Opportunities will still remain for eligible non-graduates who have specialised skills to join the profession as teachers in selected areas such as Art, Music and Mother Tongue Languages.

For more details on MOE’s response to the PERI Committee’s recommendations, click here to read the Press Release.

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