Press Releases

March 05, 2018

Many Paths, New Possibilities – Ready for a New World Together: Empowering Individuals, Nurturing Joy of Learning

1.In line with the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s continuing efforts to develop future generations of resilient, innovative and curious lifelong learners who are empowered to chart their own paths of success, and rooted in sound values and a shared Singapore identity, MOE will:

  1. Nurture innovation through Applied Learning;
  2. Refresh our approach to National Education;/
  3. Enhance Financial Support for students at primary, secondary and pre-university levels;
  4. Increase the annual Edusave contribution rates.

NURTURING INNOVATION THROUGH APPLIED LEARNING

2. To engage students in their learning, MOE will provide more opportunities for applied learning throughout the curriculum. Learning comes alive when students are involved in hands-on, experiential learning, which allows them to situate and apply their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts. This is the critical catalyst that builds on the learning in the classroom, and takes it forward to enrich students’ overall learning.

3. Secondary schools currently offer a range of Applied Subjects, Elective Modules and Applied Learning Programmes (ALPs) which cater to learners of all abilities. By 2019, more than 50 schools will offer Applied Subjects at the O-Level, and 30 schools will offer MOE-ITE Applied Subjects at the N(T)-Level. All secondary schools and more than 80 primary schools now offer an ALP. MOE will support all primary schools to establish an ALP by 2023.

4. To help schools leverage Applied Learning opportunities effectively, MOE will provide more guidance to teachers in designing meaningful Applied Learning experiences for students. Schools are also encouraged to provide ungraded learning spaces to encourage students to explore and experiment with new ideas.

5. Applied Learning opportunities will be complemented with Education and Career Guidance programmes, enabling students to discover their interests and passions. Students will be equipped with the dispositions, knowledge and skills to be lifelong learners, enabling them to make informed decisions for their own transition to further education or the start of their career.

REFRESHING OUR APPROACH TO NATIONAL EDUCATION

6. To prepare students for an increasingly complex world and develop them into concerned citizens who will actively contribute to Singapore, our education system needs to anchor them in sound values and a shared Singapore Spirit. Therefore, MOE will be strengthening efforts in values-based education to provide students with more authentic experiences to nurture morally upright and socially responsible students.

7. As part of values-based education, National Education (NE) in schools will be refreshed following a review conducted by a 30-member National Education Review Committee (the ‘Committee’) between September 2016 and October 2017. The Review looked at various ways to make the learning of NE richer, more authentic and relevant to students. The list of Committee members is in Annex A.

8. The Committee recommended that NE be anchored on citizenship dispositions to guide our students in exploring and examining their Singapore identity, and in helping them realise that all Singaporeans have an important role to play for the country to thrive. These citizenship dispositions are:

  1. A sense of belonging to Singapore: To develop a shared understanding of who we are, and the values that are important to Singaporeans as a nation;
  2. A sense of reality about Singapore’s constraints and vulnerabilities: To be aware of the contemporary realities which affect us as a nation amidst the backdrop of a less predictable world;
  3. A sense of hope towards Singapore’s future: Having confidence and optimism in Singapore’s future and the resilience to face the challenges ahead.
  4. Ultimately, these citizenship dispositions will cultivate in students a strong sense of belonging to the community and the nation, and develop in them a will to act – where students are motivated to be active citizens who have a collective resolve and a shared sense of mission to build a Singapore for all.

9. To nurture these qualities in our students, NE will be driven by three thrusts, in order to provide students with rich, authentic and relevant learning experiences:

  1. A shared and lively Singapore narrative will be generated: Students will discover and own a narrative of Singapore that is more multi-dimensional and relevant to their lives. This means dedicating curriculum time to bring contemporary issues into classroom discussions, so that students can engage in these discussions and better understand the perspectives of different Singaporeans. Curriculum resources will also be constantly updated, so that the content will remain relevant and up-to-date.
  2. Citizenship experiences will be created and enhanced for all students: Students will be encouraged to reflect on what it means to be Singaporean through milestone citizenship experiences in schools, such as through an NRIC presentation ceremony for 15-year-old Singaporean students.
    Schools will be encouraged to better design learning experiences, where students will assume ownership and contribute to their communities. Such learning experiences will, in turn, cultivate in students a concern and commitment towards their communities.
  3. A professional community engaged in pedagogical innovation: Educators will be given the time and space to have open dialogues with their peers on contemporary issues. They will also be equipped with pedagogical skills to facilitate meaningful classroom discussions. Experienced educators will spearhead pedagogical innovation within the teaching fraternity, to support their peers in guiding discussions in the classroom.

ENHANCE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS AT PRIMARY, SECONDARY, AND PRE-UNIVERSITY LEVELS

10. MOE is committed to ensuring that no Singaporean child is deprived of an education or educational opportunities, because of their financial circumstances. To strengthen support for Singaporean students who need financial assistance for their education, various financial assistance schemes from the primary to pre-university levels, will be enhanced with effect from 1 April 2018.

MOE Financial Assistance Scheme

11. The monthly Gross Household Income (GHI) criterion to qualify for the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) will be raised from $2,500 to $2,750. Similarly, the monthly per capita income (PCI), which benefits larger families, will be raised from $625 to $690. About 6,000 more Singaporean students are expected to benefit with the increase in the MOE FAS income criteria. In addition, the bursary quantum for pre-university students on MOE FAS will be increased from $750 to $900 per annum.

12. Similarly, the monthly GHI ceiling to qualify for the Special Education (SPED) FAS will be raised from $2,500 to $2,750, and the monthly PCI ceiling from $625 to $690. Details of the MOE and SPED FAS coverage are in Table 1 of Annex B.

School Meals Programme

13. MOE will also increase the meal provisions under the School Meals Programme (SMP) from the current 7 meals to 10 meals per school week for secondary school students on MOE FAS. These provisions are similarly extended to students aged 13 and above and on SPED FAS.

Edusave Merit Bursary

14. The Edusave Merit Bursary (EMB)1 is given to Singaporean students in the top 25 per cent of academic performance for their level and course, and whose household income does not exceed the prescribed income criteria. The income criterion for EMB will be raised to a monthly GHI of $6,900, up from the current $6,000. Similarly, the monthly PCI criterion will be raised to $1,725, up from the current $1,500. Details on the EMB award quanta are in Table 2 of Annex B.

Independent School Bursary

15. For students in Independent Schools and Specialised Independent Schools (ISSIS), the income criteria for Independent School Bursary (ISB) will also be revised – with more students from middle-income families receiving higher fee subsidies. These changes will help ensure that an education in an ISSIS remains affordable for all. Details on the ISB are in Table 3 of Annex B.

16. Overall, with these enhancements, the various financial assistance schemes will cost close to $100 million per year, and benefit around 90,000 students in total.

INCREASE IN EDUSAVE CONTRIBUTION RATES

17. From January 2019, the annual Edusave contribution rate will be raised from the current $200 to $230 (increase by $30 or 15%) for the primary level, and from $240 to $290 (increase by $50 or 20%) for the secondary level. With the increase in the contribution rates, this will cost MOE around $100 million per year. Students may use their Edusave balances to pay for approved fees as well as school-based enrichment programmes to broaden their learning experiences beyond academics, and help them discover their passion and interest.

Footnotes
  1. The EMB is targeted at Singaporean students in all Government and Government-aided schools; junior colleges and centralised institute; independent schools and institutions; specialised schools; the Institute of Technical Education and the polytechnics. EMB recipients are from more modest backgrounds and within the top 25% of their level and course in terms of academic performance. They have demonstrated good conduct, and fall within the income eligibility criteria. These students must not be recipients of any Edusave scholarship.