Addressing a crowd at the Singapore International Technical and Vocational Education and Training Conference at Raffles City Convention Centre, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung spoke about the goal of the SkillsFuture program: to make learning in Singapore less reliant on examination and ranking.
Ong Ye Kung, while lambasting Singapore’s “[over-reliance] on [the security blanket of examination scores],” went on to address concerns Singapore’s education system would start to “slacken and lose its rigour.”
The idea, according to Kung, is to strike a perfect balance between objective assessment and holistic learning. While this may seem radical at a glance, with Kung himself anticipating pushback from parents, many have supported the new policy.
For those in favour of the change, some worried if there were fewer examinations, schools would introduce other similar assessments, mimicking traditional examinations in everything but name; however, Kung was quick to address this concern.
As for tuition centres, though, Kung has heard word from a few that do plan to “simulate examination-like conditions to make up for the lost examinations,” which Kung has “strongly [urged] them not to do.”
The changes coming to Singapore will likely come with growing pains, for public schools to parents to tuition centres, but Kung promises the new policy is future-thinking and for the betterment of the country.