Understanding of ASEAN in our mainstream schools

Published Date: 01 March 2018 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Kwek Hian Chuan Henry, Nee Soon GRC


To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) what is being done to help deepen students' understanding of ASEAN in our mainstream schools.


1. 1. MOE develops students’ understanding of ASEAN throughout their time in school.

  • In primary Social Studies, students are introduced to the origins, member countries and purposes of ASEAN as part of appreciating how communities in ASEAN member countries are connected through cultural, economic and geographical ties.

  • At the secondary level, students expand their understanding of ASEAN and its member countries through subjects like History, Geography and Social Studies. Students study the key forces and events that shaped the histories of Southeast Asian member countries, and appreciate the importance of ASEAN in forging friendly relations with countries in the region. They explore environmental issues related to social and economic development in Southeast Asia and learn about the role of ASEAN in maintaining regional stability and security.

  • At the pre-university level, students deepen their understanding of the opportunities and challenges confronting ASEAN. Through History, students discuss the effectiveness of ASEAN in promoting peace, security and economic development in the region. They examine the role of the ASEAN Free Trade Area in regional economic development in Economics and Geography. In General Paper, students also engage in discussions about regional issues, including perspectives of ASEAN.

2. When investigating issues related to ASEAN and its member countries, teachers take into consideration age appropriateness, learning load and learning goals for each level. They use authentic case studies and multiple perspectives to enable students to have a deeper understanding of these issues.

3. Schools also enhance students’ appreciation of ASEAN through meaningful occasions. For instance, the annual commemoration of International Friendship Day celebrates the region’s diversity and emphasises the importance of good relations between Singapore and her neighbours. Students interact with their counterparts from the different member countries when they undertake overseas learning journeys in Southeast Asia. Schools also organise ASEAN themed forums to engage students to discuss pertinent regional and international issues. In addition, through the ASEAN Schools Games, our student-athletes not only spar with the region’s best, they also forge friendships and gain greater cultural awareness of their fellow athletes from the different ASEAN countries.

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