Ong Ye Kung: Dual Approach for Education System

The future of Singapore’s education system will be driven not just by national needs, but also the "bottom-up" aspirations of Singaporeans, said co-Acting Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung on Sunday (4 Oct).

This would mean more diversity in our education system not only in terms of the courses and universities available, but also in the credentials that people achieve which will impact how qualifications are recognised in society, Mr Ong added.

“Our education system from the start was focused a lot on national needs. It started with survival...As a result, that was a key motivation to develop the education system the way it was. It is top-down, functional, efficient and some say utilitarian,” Mr Ong said.

He added that the dual approach – taking into account national needs and Singaporeans’ aspirations -  will recognise individuals for their passions, talents and abilities. Singaporeans will see a "flourishing of different pathways" to develop their talents.

Efforts have already been made on this front. In March, the Government launched the SkillsFuture scheme, which helps Singaporeans to keep on developing skills to advance their careers.

How can we strike a balance between helping Singaporeans realise their aspirations and meeting national needs?

What are your thoughts on the Government’s efforts to recognise individuals for their passions, talents and abilities through schemes like SkillsFuture?

Sources: “Education driven by not just national needs, but bottom-up aspiration too: Ong Ye Kung” (The Straits Times, 5 Oct 2015), “MOE working to make education system more diverse: Ong Ye Kung” (TODAY Online, 5 Oct 2015)

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