Activities to Encourage Secondary School Students to Take Calculated Risks

Published Date: 06 February 2017 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Dr Lim Wee Kiak, Sembawang GRC


To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) (a) whether there are plans to introduce more activities that will encourage secondary school students to think out-of-the-box; and (b) how can schools help to imbue in the students the spirit to take on calculated risks.


1. To better prepare our students to thrive in the future, MOE has identified a set of 21st Century Competencies to develop in all students. Critical and Inventive Thinking is one of the competencies to be developed. By nurturing our students to be more inventive in their thinking, they will be more ready to think out of the box

2. Critical and Inventive Thinking is developed through both the academic curriculum and the co-curricular programmes. Our efforts in this area have been building up steadily over the years.

3. During lessons, teachers stimulate curiosity and creativity in their students through the use of inquiry-based pedagogies, and novel and open-ended learning tasks. Such approaches encourage students to challenge assumptions, explore new possibilities and embrace uncertainties. Such dispositions are also nurtured through authentic learning experiences in Values-in-Action projects and Co-Curricular Activities, where students have to identify problems that need to be solved and come up with creative solutions.

4. We have also been providing students with more opportunities for applied learning. This will enable them to apply skills and knowledge gained in the classroom to address real-world problems. Examples of such opportunities include the Applied Learning Programme and Learning for Life Programme in primary and secondary schools, as well as Advanced Elective Modules and Applied Subjects in secondary schools.

5. To help students grow in their confidence to take calculated risks, our schools seek to provide a learning environment where students can feel safe to make choices, try new ideas and recover from setbacks. We need to help students find more intrinsic motivations in their learning so that they are driven more by a sense of passion. As our schools continue to strengthen their efforts in nurturing such traits in students, we recognise that such cultural shifts will take time and need to be reinforced at home.

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