The education system will take into account “not just top-down national needs, but also bottom-up aspirations”, says Acting Minister Ong Ye Kung.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) will work towards making the education system more diverse, by taking into account “not just top down national needs but also bottom-up aspirations”, said Acting Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung.
“Our education system from the start was focused a lot on national needs. It started with survival… As a result, that was a key motivation to develop the education system the way it was. It is top-down, functional, efficient and some say utilitarian,” said Mr Ong, speaking on Sunday (Oct 4) at a tree-planting event at Sembawang.
“But today there is a second motivation – that is to recognise that individually we all have our passion, we all want to pursue our passion, we have our inert talent and abilities.”
Mr Ong added that this will have tremendous implications on the development of Singapore’s education system. Already, there are different pathways for Singaporeans to cultivate their talents, and according to Mr Ong, this is the direction that the ministry must continue to pursue.
Mr Ong said both he and Mr Ng Chee Meng, who will oversee education in pre-schools through to junior colleges, will be working in an integrated system in the Education Ministry.
Mr Ong added that his priority is to ensure that students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, do not drop out from school.
“All the students we take in, we must ensure they stay within the system, especially those students that are from a more disadvantaged background, they do not drop out of school. We must keep them in the school system,” he said. “At the same time, the schools have to ensure that when they feed students into our higher education system, they are well prepared and they’re able to enjoy the education and benefit the most of it.”
Mr Ong joined the rest of Sembawang GRC’s Grassroots Advisers Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Mr Amrin Amin, Dr Lim Wee Kiak and Mr Vikram Nair in the Clean and Green SG50 Mass Tree Planting event. The NParks initiative is their first community event since the constituency was formed, following the recent General Election.
A total of 212 trees were planted along Sembawang Nature Way by the grassroots advisers and residents. There were 19 species, including the Sembawang tree, which the constituency was named after.