April 05, 2018
Speech by Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry Of Education, at the Launch of Temasek Polytechnic’s Micro-Learning Courses at Temasek Polytechnic
Mr Peter Lam
Principal & CEO, Temasek Polytechnic
Ms So-Young Kang
Gnowbe Founder & CEO
Mr Ng Cher Pong
Chief Executive, SkillsFuture Singapore
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. Good morning. Thank you for having me here at the launch of the Micro-Learning Courses (MLCs) by Temasek Polytechnic (TP) in collaboration with Gnowbe. This is an important milestone for TP, marking the polytechnic’s foray into full-online learning for working adults.
2. In the last few years, there has been increasing emphasis and interest in lifelong learning. This topic was recently highlighted at MOE’s Committee of Supply Debate. Even though the SkillsFuture movement was only launched a few years ago, more Singaporeans are already making lifelong learning a way of life. Over 285,000 Singaporeans have tapped on their SkillsFuture Credit in 2016 and 2017. Last year, we saw an encouraging increase of about 126,000 Singaporeans using their learning credit. As of February this year, more than 4,900 individuals have enrolled in SkillsFuture Series courses. The MySkillsFuture portal, which allows individuals to chart their own learning and training journey, has drawn over 1.9 million user visits between October to December 2017. There are also SkillsFuture Advice workshops which are organised in the heartlands. In the last six months, more than 300 such workshops have been conducted, benefitting more than 10,000 individuals.
3. This growing motivation to learn and keep up with the rapid pace of economic and technological changes is a good sign. Today, established processes can be easily disrupted, markets and demand can change quickly. More Singaporeans are recognising the need to adapt and build up strong capabilities not just in their own domain but also in adjacent growth areas. We need to continually gain new skills and knowledge to stay relevant and competent.
4. The SkillsFuture Credit is an important step to encourage Singaporeans to embark on their lifelong learning journey. Through various other initiatives such as the SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace, the MySkillsFuture portal, and the SkillsFuture Series, the national SkillsFuture movement seeks to provide Singaporeans with opportunities to learn, receive training, develop capabilities and achieve their potential.
5. To support the SkillsFuture movement, our Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) are stepping up their role in delivering continuing education and training. Our IHLs are transforming themselves with technology to better support the training needs of working adults. They are moving beyond traditional classrooms or lecture halls on campus – to becoming centres of lifelong learning for all. Through technology, TP will place learning at our fingertips. e.g. through smart devices, and deliver knowledge online, anytime, and anywhere.
6. MLCs are short courses consisting of lessons which take only 15 minutes or less to complete. When we attend lectures in school, each traditional lecture is at least an hour long. With bite-sized MLCs, we can now easily learn in our spare time or while traveling, and complete the MLC in 10 to 20 lessons. With each subsequent lesson, we can see how our learning comes to fruition.
7. Congratulations to TP for making positive strides in this area with the launch of MLCs. This signals TP’s commitment to continually provide the workforce with new avenues, opportunities, and platforms to upskill and reskill. I understand that TP has invested hundreds of man-hours to develop more than 60 MLCs, including 15 standalone Certificated Courses. TP has spent a lot of effort to curate the knowledge, inject some notion of games and put in quizzes to aid our learning and understanding. Ultimately, it is so that we can apply what we have learnt in our life. These MLCs span a wide range of topics for professional and personal development and cover emerging industry trends and life skills. Adult learners can now easily access these short interactive courses and develop relevant expertise for work that is recognised by employers.
8. Another very useful feature of the MLCs is the online learning community formed around each course that offers a platform for learners to share their experiences and problem-solving tips. These online communities not only enrich the participants’ learning journey, they also make the lessons and courses come alive.
9. TP will be taking the bold step of offering fully-online Accredited MLCs. Such MLCs help individuals deepen their skills and knowledge in an area of interest, and these courses can be accorded partial or full exemption in TP’s Diploma or Post-Diploma programmes. This will open up many opportunities for those keen to pursue skills upgrading in an area of personal or professional relevance, thereby enhancing their growth and personal development.
SUPPORTING LIFELONG LEARNING
10. With MLCs, we can continue to deepen our learning journey at various stages of our lives, whenever we desire to pursue a new area of interest or upgrade our skills. To help Singaporeans get acquainted with MLCs, I am pleased to announce that TP will offer one free MLC from a selection of courses to every Singapore Citizen and Permanent Resident starting from today, for the special promotion period of two months. This is an excellent chance for Singaporeans to try out an MLC at no cost, and experience this new way of learning.
11. I am also happy to share that in the next 12 months; Singaporeans can use their SkillsFuture Credit to offset the course fees for these MLCs.
12. The launch of the MLCs today is a positive step towards creating a culture of lifelong learning culture with innovative and sustainable solutions. TP’s MLC journey has only just begun. They will continue to develop and introduce more engaging and industry-relevant courses to the public. As part of this effort, TP is also actively forming industry partnerships in this new channel of learning, thus ensuring that the skills and knowledge participants acquire online are relevant and applicable.
13. Looking ahead, I am certain that the MLCs will energise our workforce and raise its productivity, as well as enhance our people’s skills and passion for learning. Congratulations to TP and Gnowbe on the launch of this exciting journey. I wish you every success in your endeavours.
14. Thank you.