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MOE FY2023 Committee of Supply Debate Response by Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing

Published Date: 01 March 2023 02:00 PM

News Speeches

Learn for Life: Forging Our Collective Future

Starting Strong, Progressing with Purpose

Preparing Singaporeans for the Future

1. Chair, we thank Members for all your suggestions and comments.

  1. In particular, the passionate speech by Ms Denise Phua, and the vivid imagery of Mr Patrick Tay's Ironman.
  2. To Ms Phua, I would like to share that indeed new wine needs new wineskins, not just one type but many types, to cater to the diversity of needs and aspirations of our people.
  3. More importantly, we need new mindsets, which I will come back to, together with Mr Patrick Tay's Ironman.

2. Like the public, some Members have asked MOE to do less.

  1. They are calling for later start times and earlier end times.
  2. They believe in teach less, test less, less stress, and hopefully better results for all.

3. Others have asked MOE to do more.

  1. They want smaller class sizes, smaller schools, closer guidance and supervision, better support for students with higher needs, and more types of learning opportunities.
  2. Including Ms Carrie Tan, who suggested incorporating more nature and outdoor experiences into the curriculum.
  3. Many of you have given us suggestions on what more we should teach in schools.
    1. I was also hoping to hear more views on what we can remove from our students' and teachers' load.

4. Some have called for more porosity in our education pathways, more social mixing in our schools.

  1. Others want affiliation priority and alumni privileges to be maintained, to build stronger school networks and uphold their school culture.
  2. Some have called for the removal of PSLE, others to extend PSLE preparation for our students to more overseas schools.

5. Some have called for smaller school sizes, more niche programmes and CCA.

  1. Others think every school should be able to offer a comprehensive and identical suite of programmes and CCA.
  2. Ultimately, we have to work within the finite resources and time budget of our school system, students, teachers and even parents, to best meet the diverse needs of our children.

6. Every idea is well-meaning.

  1. But it affects different groups of stakeholders differently.
  2. To chart our way forward, we have to first understand the complex needs of the future, and the diverse needs of our children.
  3. A more uncertain world demands resilience.
    1. Resilience comes from diversity of strengths.
  4. A more diverse population with diverse aspirations demands mass customisation beyond mass access.
  5. We should expect a more variegated system, with more models – but within our means and capabilities, and a less structured system to allow us to adapt and evolve faster.

7. We are starting from a position of strength.

  1. OECD's PISA study found that our students from less advantaged backgrounds not only outperformed their international counterparts of similar socio-economic backgrounds, but they did better than the OECD average in all core domains.
    1. These students typically have less access to private tuition, and have still managed to do well by international standards.
    2. This goes to show that our students are industrious, and our education system is doing something right.
    3. Instead of attributing our students' achievements to the private tuition industry, I think we should give credit to our students, schools, and teachers where credit is due.
  1. In recent years, our efforts to support our students to progress to our post-secondary education institutions have also been paying off.
    1. About 97% did so in 2021.
    2. This is significant by any international standard.

8. Nonetheless, we will be the first to acknowledge that our system is not perfect.

  1. Indeed, I don't believe there will ever be "perfection" for our system.
  2. Adaptability, Resilience and Relevancy to the times are much more important attributes.
  3. And we certainly will not sit on our laurels.

9. I have covered the larger philosophical and directional issues of our education system at the Institute of Policy Studies' Singapore Perspectives 2023 seminar.

  1. Members can read the speech online.
  2. I don't intend to repeat them today.

Customised and Porous Pathways for Diverse Learners

10. Instead, today, let me walk Members through the challenges and aspirations for each stage of our education journey.

11. We start by giving every child a good start in life.

  1. There is more scientific evidence, and we all agree that the foundational years play a critical role in our children's holistic development.
  2. Beyond literacy and numeracy, this is also when they develop important socio-emotional skills, and their innate curiosity to learn.

12. Hence, we have taken decisive steps to make affordable and high-quality preschool education accessible to families.

  1. Today, there are 50 MOE Kindergartens (MKs) around Singapore.
  2. We are on track to opening another seven by 2025, and a further three by 2027, based on current plans.
  3. The 60 MKs will contribute to the Government's commitment to achieve 80% government-supported preschool places by around 2025.

13. Today, around 95% of all Singaporean children aged 5 to 6 years are enrolled in preschools, even without making it compulsory under the law.

  1. So that's not our biggest challenge.
  2. However, among children from lower-income families, we still see an enrolment gap at ages 3 to 4, and poorer attendance compared to their peers.
  3. So we need to go beyond enrolment to encourage regular attendance.
  4. More importantly, we need to work with families to create conducive home environments for their children's development.
    1. So that all these efforts will complement and not undo the good work of our preschools.

14. We know that there is no silver bullet in addressing these complex family and social issues.

  1. The Government provides targeted assistance to lower-income families based on their individual circumstances.
  2. This includes supporting them in their parenting journey through KidSTART and highly subsidising the cost of preschool.
  3. Together with the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), we welcome more ideas on how preschools, families, and the community can work together to better support children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

15. Next, for primary schools, let me deal with three issues – Primary 1 (P1) registration, affiliation, and PSLE.

16. Mr Lim Biow Chuan and Mr Louis Chua asked about the P1 Registration Exercise.

  1. Parents consider many factors in selecting primary schools for their children.
  2. Many parents prefer convenient access to a school near their homes.
  3. Others would like their children to join their alma mater, so they can benefit from a similar school experience and become part of the same school community.
  4. Yet others place a premium on the types of programmes offered by a school.
  5. While MOE can guarantee more than sufficient places for all Singapore Citizens and children in our primary schools, no one has found a way to satisfy all parental preferences.
    1. The P1 Registration Framework has to strike a careful balance among the competing considerations.
    2. Each year, about 98% of Singaporean children get into a primary school of their choice, or within 2 km of their residence.
    3. We revised the framework last year, and we will continue to update the system as circumstances change and societal needs evolve.

17. More importantly, we need to promote a mindset shift among us as parents.

  1. Every child is unique in his or her temperament, strengths, and aspirations.
  2. Every school provides valuable and distinctive programmes.
  3. Instead of asking whether a certain school is a good school, the more relevant question to ask is – is this a good school for my child?
  4. As parents, we should choose schools based on our children's needs, rather than the perceived prestige or popularity of the school.

18. Members have also discussed the educational merits of school affiliation.

  1. It enables a school to preserve its traditions and culture, and build a stronger school spirit.
  2. But affiliation, beyond a certain point, is not without its risks.
  3. We need to avoid closed and exclusive social circles, which risk fragmenting and stratifying our society, especially as our society matures.
  4. This means that we must ensure that schools with affiliation remain open, accessible, and inclusive, for students of diverse backgrounds.

19. This balance to maintain the accessibility of our schools to all, regardless of background, is a dynamic balance that we must be prepared to adjust over time according to our societal circumstances and needs.

  1. MOE cannot do this alone without the support of school alumni and parents.
  2. The privileged amongst us must believe in sharing their access and networks.
  3. We must understand the responsibilities that come with success , and not inadvertently form closed social circles. To quote a line from the Spiderman movie - with great powers come great responsibilities. And I hope that all the alumni from successful schools will understand what I mean.

20. Moving on to PSLE, there are calls to remove the PSLE, but for different reasons – all well-meaning, but not always without unintended consequences.

  1. Some think it is too stressful.
    1. But it is neither realistic nor desirable to shield our children from all the stresses they will have to face in life, especially in a more competitive and globalised world.
    2. Our job as parents and educators is to help our children pick up the skills and positive attitudes to manage the demands of school, work, and life in general.
    3. To grow our capacity to overcome stress.
    4. Not just to shield ourselves from unnecessary stress.
    5. We should not demoralise our children through unnecessary and incessant comparison.
    6. Instead, we should help them maximise their potential and do justice to their gifts.
    7. That is why MOE introduced changes to the PSLE scoring system in 2021, so that the results are no longer as finely differentiated, and reflect students' objective performance, rather than relative to their peers.
    8. This encourages students to focus on their own progress instead of comparing themselves with others.
    9. And this is why at all my Edusave award ceremonies, I remind the students that it is more important to keep surpassing oneself throughout life, than just surpassing someone else in an exam.
  2. We have also received feedback that removing the PSLE would allow our children to pursue other dimensions of growth.
    1. Indeed, we have been focusing more on important life skills in our curriculum.
    2. Hence, all weighted assessments have been removed for Primary 1 and Primary 2 since 2019, and Mid-Year Examinations will be removed for all primary and secondary levels this year.
    3. Besides reducing the assessment load and perceived examination stakes, these adjustments free up more time and space in schools to strengthen learning dispositions and holistic development.

21. Some members, including Mr Jamus Lim, Ms Hazel Poa, and Ms Denise Phua in previous years, have brought up the related concept of through-train programmes.

  1. In fact, we have studied this issue very carefully in MOE.
  2. But there are various implications to work through.
  3. First, if we do away with the PSLE, we lose an important checkpoint in assessing a student's mastery of core concepts, as they transit from primary to secondary school.
    1. The PSLE is a useful guide for students to take subjects at appropriate levels at the next stage of learning.
    2. Without the PSLE, it would be more challenging to place students in a suitable educational setting.
    3. Not always better for learning outcomes, nor teaching efficacy.
  4. Second, many parents and students would like to choose their schools and educational setting.
    1. For this group, removing PSLE entirely would deny them this choice, or simply transfer the stress elsewhere, such as competition for P1 registration.
    2. In simple terms – few would hesitate if the through-train programme helps their children get into a popular secondary school.
    3. But many would hesitate if it means they do not have a chance to be in a secondary school of their choice through merit.
    4. We should also consider if a through-train model would reduce opportunities for students to interact with peers of different backgrounds throughout their primary and secondary years.

22. There are other ways to support the learning needs of different students flexibly, without completely doing away with national examinations or moving entirely to a through-train system.

  1. An example is regional CCA groupings.
  2. Yet another example is Subject-Based Banding (SBB), which Mr Baey Yam Keng and Mr Darryl David have asked for updates on.

23. Next year will mark a significant milestone with the implementation of Full Subject-Based Banding (FSBB) in our secondary education system.

  1. Beyond reducing stigmatisation, the removal of course labels will lead to meaningful changes in our students' educational journey.
    1. Students will have greater flexibility to take subjects at a level that is more or less demanding, depending on their strengths, interests, and learning needs.
    2. There will be more social mixing, with increased opportunities for students to interact with peers of different profiles.
  2. However, it is not a straightforward transition for schools to make.
    1. Teachers will need to get used to managing classes with diverse student profiles.
    2. It is actually more work and harder work for our teachers and schools.
    3. Our teachers are willing to do this for the benefit of our students, but we should not think that it doesn't demand more from our teachers.
    4. Students will need to take greater ownership of their own learning.
    5. Our schools also have to grapple with practical issues such as timetable scheduling for various subject combinations.
    6. MOE will carefully and systematically work through these issues to support our schools in the implementation of FSBB, and provide them with the necessary resources.

24. At the same time, if we accept that our children have different abilities and needs, then we would accept that we should not make every school take the same approach to teaching and learning.

  1. This is why we have a variegated education landscape today.
    1. Schools offering the IP, and Specialised Schools will not implement the full features of Full SBB because they cater to specific student profiles through a whole-school approach.
    2. Homogenising all schools for the sake of social mixing alone would come at the expense of our ability to offer mass customisation and differentiated experiences for our students.
    3. And I do not think this is the outcome that members want from us.
  2. Nonetheless, we have sought to enhance diversity in schools through other means, while moving away from the sole dependence on the national exam as a single metric for placement to secondary schools.
    1. This includes our efforts to increase the proportion of students admitted via the Direct School Admission system (DSA), and broadening the DSA selection process to recognise a range of talents, potential, and achievements.

25. Let me now elaborate on how FSBB will change students' educational journey.

26. The vast majority of students will continue to be admitted to secondary schools based on their PSLE scores.

  1. Starting from 2024 Secondary 1 cohort, MOE will post Primary 6 students to secondary schools through three Posting Groups – Posting Groups 1, 2, and 3 – mapped to the PSLE score ranges for Normal(Technical), Normal(Academic), and Express courses respectively.
  2. This ensures that schools continue to admit students with diverse strengths, and students continue to have access to a wide range of schools.
  3. By admitting students from different Posting Groups, schools can also enable diversity at the class level, with mixed form classes that comprise students offering subjects at different subject levels.

27. Unlike streaming, Posting Groups will only be used to facilitate admissions, and to determine students' initial subject levels for most subjects at the beginning of Secondary 1.

  1. Beyond that, Posting Groups will not shape the secondary school experience.
  2. Currently, students may choose to take certain subjects at a more demanding level if they are eligible.
    1. Under FSBB, this flexibility has been expanded to more subjects.
  3. With guidance from their schools, some students have also begun to offer elective subjects at a less demanding level.
    1. This gives them room to pursue their interests without adding unduly to their overall curriculum load.

28. Finally, at the end of secondary school, students will receive a common certificate, the Singapore-Cambridge Secondary Education Certificate (SEC), which reflects their different subject combinations and levels.

  1. Starting from 2027, the SEC will replace the separate Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (GCE) O- and N-Level examinations.
  2. The option of spending a fifth year in secondary school will remain available to students who wish to offer subjects at a more demanding level.
  3. This is to allow them to pace their learning, and potentially access more post-secondary school pathways.

29. To cater to a wider profile of students offering subjects at different subject levels, Full SBB changes will be accompanied by expanded admission and progression pathways in our Institutes of Higher Learning .

  1. Minister Maliki will share more details later.
  2. Students should still have strong fundamentals to thrive in the pathways they choose.
  3. Hence, we will be retaining the existing JC admission criteria to ensure students can cope with the A-Level curriculum.

30. Mr Baey Yam Keng and Mr Darryl David asked if MOE plans to review the A-Level curriculum to ensure that it remains relevant in today's education landscape.

  1. Over the years, we have gradually reduced curriculum content to free up more time and space for the development of 21st Century Competencies, or 21CC as we call it.
  2. Today, the curricular content of most of our A-Level syllabuses is already similar or narrower than the international syllabuses used as benchmarks for comparison.
  3. It is not possible to reduce curriculum content further without compromising the overall rigour.
  4. However, we will be making key changes in other ways.

31. First, Project Work nurtures 21st Century Competencies and life skills through working in teams.

  1. These are the very skills which members have said are essential to thrive in the future of work.
  2. To encourage students to make the most of the exciting collaborative and inter-disciplinary learning experience offered by PW, we will make it a Pass/Fail subject, and exclude it from the computation of the University Admission Score (UAS).
  3. Our students have done well in PW over the years.
  4. Making PW a Pass/Fail subject now encourages our students to exercise greater agency and creativity in areas of interests, rather than be driven by grades alone.
  5. A Pass in PW will still be required for admission to the Autonomous Universities to show that students have attained the PW skills which are critical for future learning and work.
  6. We will implement these changes from the Academic Year 2024 JC1 and Millennia Institute Year 2 cohort onwards.

32. Second, to nurture the joy of learning, we want our students to follow their passions instead of only picking subjects that they will score well in.

  1. To achieve this, we will make changes to how we compute the UAS.
    1. From the Academic Year 2026 admissions, the fourth content-based subject will no longer be counted in the computation of UAS by default, and will only be included if it improves the UAS.
  2. This will also allow our students to better calibrate their learning load so that more time can be redirected to holistic development.
  3. I should emphasise that students will continue to benefit from a broad-based A-Level curriculum, as they still have to offer four content-based subjects, of which one would be from outside their specialisation.

33. Parents and educators may be concerned that our pre-tertiary students will no longer take their fourth content-based subject or PW seriously.

  1. We believe that our students will still apply themselves.
  2. Today, it is already optional for students taking H1 Mother Tongue Language (MTL) to include the subject in their UAS computation.
  3. Nonetheless, these students continue to put effort towards their MTL studies as they are intrinsically motivated to learn and improve.
  4. And this is exactly the positive attitude that we hope to cultivate through our curriculum changes - students taking ownership of their own learning.

34. Lastly, similar to what has already been done for our primary and secondary schools, we will remove Mid-Year Examinations for all JCs and MI.

  1. The time saved from preparing for examinations can be channelled towards deeper student engagement and learning through more varied experiences.
  2. Teachers will continue to use assessments in a formative and calibrated way to monitor learning progress and support each student.
  3. The removal of the Mid-Year Examinations will take place in phases for different levels in JCs and MI starting from 2024.

35. Our efforts to foster stronger 21CC development and ensure future-ready graduates extend to our IHLs as well.

  1. Mr Sharael Taha highlighted that companies value industry-relevant skills and competencies over paper qualifications.
  2. Our IHLs equip students with LifeSkills competencies such as critical thinking, innovation, communication, as well as self-awareness and mental resilience.
  3. Part of the training in IHLs also includes developing inter-disciplinary expertise, which means that students learn to apply knowledge and skills across different fields.
    1. For instance, under the new Minor programme launched by Republic Polytechnic this year, students can embark on additional areas of study beyond their diploma, such as in Business, Digitalisation or Sustainability.

Stronger Support for Continual Learning

36. Let me now turn to lifelong learning, which I am happy to note has caught Members' interest and attention.

  1. Ms Denise Phua noted that in the 2016 OECD Survey of Adult Skills, Singaporeans aged 16 to 34 performed well, while those aged 45 to 65 performed lower than the OECD average in literacy and numeracy.
    1. This is a reflection of how other OECD countries have built up their education systems much earlier than us, and their older cohorts have benefitted from this.
  2. For Singapore, we should take heart that we have done a tremendous job in bringing our schools and higher education system to high standards within the span of the past few decades.
    1. This is why the performance of our younger Singaporeans were comparable with the advanced economies.
  3. But we will not stop there.

37. With lifelong learning, we are now doing more for both our young and young-at-heart, as what we teach and learn in the first 15 years is no longer adequate for the next 50 years without a significant top-up.

  1. I thank Mr Patrick Tay for his suggestions to increase continuing education and training opportunities.
  2. In fact, given the rapid pace of industry transformation, we can expect more dynamic changes in the demand for skills.

38. However, Members have also raised concerns about perpetuating a paper chase.

  1. Indeed, this is not our intention.
  2. The objective of continual learning must be the purposeful and timely acquisition of relevant knowledge and skills.
  3. When a certain defined body of knowledge or skills has been acquired, the qualification then serves to reflect the mastery attained.
  4. The stackable pathways that our IHLs have significantly expanded in recent years enable this.
    1. Today, there are pathways offering substantive skills upgrading at different levels – catering to Nitec, Diploma and Degree holders.
    2. Over the past few years, annual enrolment into stackable courses has grown from around 31,000 to around 36,000 from 2018 to 2022.
    3. We will ensure that training opportunities continue to be industry-relevant, accessible, affordable, and just-in-time, to better meet the needs of our adult learners.

39. Today, we have a 40% lifetime cohort participation rate target for subsidised undergraduate degree places for fresh school leavers, and an additional 10% allowance for adult learners.

  1. In close consultation with MTI, MOM, and economic agencies, we have decided to increase the "lifetime cohort participation rate" for publicly-funded university degrees by 10 percentage points, from 50% currently to 60% by 2025, so that more Singaporeans can obtain a degree from our AUs, not just at 18 years old, but throughout their lives.
  2. This takes into account the demand for degree-level manpower across the economy in the medium term, arising from our industry transformation efforts.

40. The move to a "lifetime cohort participation rate" concept symbolises the change in mindset that we need to embrace.

  1. There is no need to rush to frontload education, as there will be more subsidised places for CET pathways to support upgrading later in life.
  2. It is also about ensuring that the format of these CET programmes is suited to the needs of our working adults, and to the industries that they work in.

41. The AUs have begun to innovate their offerings to better cater to adult learners' needs as well.

  1. Let me illustrate using the ICT sector.
  2. Mid-career workers looking to switch into the ICT sector can pursue a degree in Applied Computing at SIT while working.
    1. The degree programme will be delivered through a mixture of asynchronous and in-person learning to help adult learners manage their busy schedules.
  1. Polytechnics' Post-Diplomas will also be recognised for credit exemptions, to provide a more seamless upgrading pathway for Diploma holders.
  2. Individuals who are already working in the ICT sector can deepen their skills or pick up new specialisations through SIT's micro-credentials.
    1. These are modular courses which deliver job-related skills in areas such as Computer Networks and Software Engineering.
    2. They can also stack these micro-credentials towards the Applied Computing degree.
  3. Alternatively, individuals who prefer a more skills-based upgrading pathway can sign up for the 42-Singapore programme in computing, a collaboration between SUTD and Ecole 42.
    1. There are no academic prerequisites, and students will undergo industry-relevant training centred on project-based and peer-to-peer learning.

42. MOE is also studying how to better support mid-career workers by enabling them to upskill ahead of job transitions.

  1. In the past year, under the Forward Singapore exercise, we heard from Singaporeans on the barriers to reskilling and upskilling, particularly for those in their 40s and 50s.
  2. We are looking at ways to reduce the high opportunity costs of training for this group of workers, to enable them to participate in more substantive training for a skills reboot.
  3. For example, we are considering how to provide more support through a SkillsFuture Credit top-up, and training allowances for mid-careerists in transition who go for intensive full-time training.

43. However, to achieve lifelong learning, just shifting individual attitudes and raising the supply of training programmes will not be enough if employers continue to fixate on credentials.

  1. We need employers to hire and compensate workers fairly based on their skills rather than paper qualifications, support workers in their upskilling, and provide opportunities for workers to apply new skills at work.
  2. This will ensure that after undergoing training, Singaporeans can get a real boost to their employability and wages, and access to better job opportunities.

Achieving Our Vision Through Technology, Educators and Partnerships

44. Chair, I have talked about providing customised and porous pathways for continual learning across the life course.

  1. Three key enablers undergird this vision – technology, educators, and partnerships.

45. Technology is altering every aspect of life, and education is no exception.

  1. Technology has raised the productivity in our schools.
  2. We have and will continue to digitalise and streamline manual processes with the use of Parents Gateway, a one-stop portal for schools to communicate with parents.
  3. This has helped to alleviate teachers' administrative load.

46. But as Mr Darryl David, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, and Dr Wan Rizal have observed, the potential of EdTech goes beyond that.

  1. We have seen how technology allowed learning to continue across all schools even through COVID.
  2. EdTech also allows for mass customisation of teaching and learning, catering to the diverse learning needs of our students.
  3. These have been enabled by our national online learning platform, the Singapore Student Learning Space, or SLS.
    1. With your permission, Chair, may I ask the Clerks to distribute a screenshot of the SLS?
    2. Members may also access these materials through the MP@SGPARL App.
  4. The screenshot shows the SLS resource library, where students can learn a range of academic subjects from primary school to pre-university, as well as to explore other non-academic topics such as financial literacy.
  5. Students can access these online resources via the SLS anytime, anywhere.
  6. Let me share two examples:
    1. First, with the Mother Tongue Language Text-to-Speech and Speech Evaluation tools, students can practise their oral communication skills and receive feedback instantly. I'm quite sure most parents do not know this.
    2. Second, students can use simulations and interactives to visualise concepts which might otherwise be hard to grasp.
    3. For example, the movement of individual particles in a wave, or the relationship between distance and time illustrated by the movement of a train.
  7. With the SLS, all our students have effectively been equipped with a "personal tutor" – that is, a wealth of resources and tools to guide their individual learning – no matter their financial resources.
    1. The screenshot which we have distributed is meant as a taster for the parents among us.
    2. I hope that members will find time tonight to log in with your children to explore its many useful features. This is a friendly cost-saving tip for all parents - no need to go and buy other schools' exam papers. Try our SLS for free.

47. Imagine the future of learning augmented by EdTech, where our:

  1. higher-needs students can identify and improve on their areas of weakness by revisiting lessons and resources at their own pace, and
  2. higher-ability students can stretch themselves by progressing to more advanced topics or topics that interest them.
  3. This mass customisation uplifts the bottom and stretches the top without overloading our teachers.

48. In the next phase, MOE will also introduce AI-enabled systems to better support our educators to teach more effectively.

  1. To give an example, the Learning Feedback Assistant for English Language will provide basic and personalised feedback on grammar and spelling to students, allowing our teachers to focus on more complex aspects of language use, such as creative expression and tone.
  2. MOE will progressively implement these systems through the SLS from the fourth quarter this year.
  3. We will share more about our long-term EdTech plans in the coming months.

49. Today, MOE already takes a two-pronged approach in supporting our students' diverse learning needs.

  1. First, we put more resources where the needs are higher.
  2. Schools have the flexibility to deploy teachers to teach students with higher needs in smaller pull-out classes.
  3. Second, we focus on recruiting and training competent educators to ensure that our students receive high-quality education.
  4. In the future, we can add a third prong to capitalise on EdTech further to enable self-directed and adaptive learning, to better support our students with different needs.

50. As EdTech becomes a pivotal part in our strategy to support the diverse learning needs of our students, our teachers must also grow and be conversant with EdTech.

  1. I thank Ms Denise Phua and Dr Wan Rizal for their interest in how we empower our teachers.
  2. MOE will continue to support our teachers with training and resources to develop their capacity to teach with technology.

51. To help teachers plan for their personal and professional development, MOE is refreshing the Teacher Growth Model.

  1. Teachers will learn more about pedagogies that lend themselves better to 21CC development, digital literacy, as well as content and skills related to STEM and environmental sustainability.

52. Indeed, educators are the backbone of the education system.

  1. Rest assured that we do not tolerate any abuse towards our teachers.
  2. We have provided schools with clear guidelines on establishing positive home-school partnerships.
  3. I hope to have everyone's support to respect the professionalism of our teachers, and not create undue stress for our teachers when they do not fulfil our individual demands.
  4. Supporting our educators in focusing on higher value tasks, and providing them with opportunities for professional development are some ways in which MOE supports the well-being of our teachers.

53. Finally, I agree with Mr Shawn Huang and Mr Sharael Taha about the importance of forging partnerships for education.

  1. Parent Support Groups (PSGs) have been active partners in enhancing our students' educational experience, such as in the area of Education and Career Guidance.
  2. For instance, in Palm View Primary School, the PSG invites parents in diverse occupations to share with the students about their work.
  3. Such collaborations help our students better understand their interests and aspirations, as well as the range of careers available.

54. Alumni also play an important role in plugging students and fresh graduates into industry networks.

  1. For example, SMU's Alumni Mentoring Programme provides a platform for students and graduates to gain insights into specific industries and discover job opportunities.

55. I call on companies and unions to work closely with our IHLs and schools to help our people keep up to date with fast-paced industry developments and emerging opportunities.

  1. We share responsibility in preparing our students for the workforce and inspiring the next generation.
  2. Some companies have partnered our schools to broaden students' exposure through the Applied Learning Programmes (ALPs).
    1. For example, as part of Dunearn Secondary School's ALP in STEM, food scientists from F&N Ltd conducted a workshop for interested students to learn about processes behind the creation of new drinks.
    2. The F&N food scientists have also been conducting annual Food Science career talks for our graduating students. I hope to see more of such partnerships.
  3. It is a win-win situation when companies and unions are directly involved in the training and development of IHL students.
    1. All Polytechnics, ITE and most AUs have made internships a compulsory component of their courses.
    2. Last year, more than 2,300 companies partnered our IHLs to provide internships.
    3. The students were able to connect what they had learnt in the classroom to their workplace, while the companies were able to access a new pipeline of talent.


56. Minister Maliki will now elaborate on MOE's other priorities.

57. I promise Mr Patrick Tay, I will come back to Ironman before we conclude.