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 Primary School Education System - No need for overhaul

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Registration date : 2009-01-03

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PostSubject: Primary School Education System - No need for overhaul   Primary School Education System - No need for overhaul Icon_minitimeWed Jan 21, 2009 5:46 pm

Primary School Education System - No need for overhaul
Education Minister says primary school system is working well.
By Judith Tan

SINGAPORE'S primary school education is not in need of a fundamental overhaul, but increasing the confidence of pupils and igniting their interest in learning would be helpful, a new report has concluded.

Education Minister Ng Eng Hen revealed the findings of the report by the Primary Education Review and Implementation (Peri) Committee at a symposium on Wednesday morning.

The report says Singapore's current primary school system is working well, but there is room for tweaks to improve interest levels and student confidence.

'An emphasis on science and mathematics is still important to do well in today's technologically-driven world,' said Dr Hen.

Speaking at the Singapore-MIT Alliance (SMA) 10th Anniversary Symposium, Dr Ng said the Peri report has suggested different and more engaging teaching methods to assist the development of primary education, but did not give details on its proposals.

He also said Senior Minister of State Grace Fu has asked for 'a sizeable commitment' to expand existing primary schools, build new schools and facilities, hire more teachers and support staff.

Dr Ng agreed that it was 'worth spending if stakeholders are convinced that these changes will bring positive benefits to our students'. But, he did not divulge the amount of the proposed 'spending'.

Peri will release its recommendations next week and these will be fully aired at the Committee of Supply debate on the Education Ministry's budget in Parliament later.

Dr Ng also announced that his ministry is studying ways to provide more opportunities for polytechnic students to further upgrade after graduating.

He said Singaporeans need no convincing that the key to ensuring continued economic development is through education, but warned against being lulled into complacency and believing that success is 'formulaic and inevitable'.

'We can play perfectly the music of a great composer but as a soulless rendition, achieve little effect,' he said.

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