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Speech by Minister of State for Education Ms Gan Siow Huang at the National Digital Explorer 2022 Awards Ceremony

Published Date: 05 August 2022 04:10 PM

News Speeches

Mr Damien O'Sullivan, CEO, ICDL Foundation

Mrs Helen Chong, Principal, Crescent Girls' School

Distinguished guests, educators,

Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys,

1. A very good afternoon to all of you. I am happy to join you today to witness the launch of this meaningful partnership between Crescent Girls' School and ICDL Foundation.

Embracing a Digital Future

2. Our Covid-19 experience has unlocked many new possibilities for us to reimagine teaching and learning using digital technology.

  1. We learned that teaching and learning doesn't necessarily have to happen in the same time and space. We saw this when we had to conduct full home-based learning two years back. And today, students can take greater ownership over their own learning through technology such as the Student Learning Space (SLS).
  2. We also took the opportunity to introduce blended learning, including integrating regular home-based learning into the school experience. This allows us to enrich students' learning through different modes of learning such as combining traditional classroom teaching with self-directed learning enabled by technology.
  3. COVID-19 has also accelerated the adoption of technology. Students in Crescent Girls, for example, each own a personal learning device. We rolled out these devices to all secondary school students across Singapore last year. This will support the greater use of technology to better support our teachers and students to customise their learning.
  4. The effort to provide personal learning devices to secondary students is one part of the National Digital Literacy Programme, which aims to help students gain digital skills at each stage of their education journey, ranging from simple coding programmes in primary school, to STEM-related applied learning and co-curricular activities. Believe it or not, during the time when we had full home-based learning, I saw for myself how my children were using Zoom for CCA lessons like table tennis. It is actually quite remarkable how through innovation and the creative use of technology, there are no boundaries in learning.

3. We are doing all this because we see technology as enablers that can help our students unlock and fulfil their potential in this digital age. Our students must be adaptable, nimble, and able to effectively wield digital tools to excel in the future of work.

Partnerships Are Key to Preparing Our Students for a Digital Age

4. This is why we value initiatives like the National Digital Explorer programme. With this programme, our students can have the autonomy to gain literacy in digital tools at their own pace. The fact that more than 10,000 students from almost 50 schools are participating in this initiative is testament to their belief in this programme.

5. I thank the ICDL Foundation for your support and continued partnership with our schools to help our students become digitally skilled and future-ready. I would also like to offer my congratulations in advance to the winners of the National Digital Explorer Awards. More importantly, I would like to encourage all our young talents out here who have participated in this programme: I hope that your journey of exploration does not stop here. Stay curious, keep learning, and continue honing your digital skills. All the best!

6. Thank you.