A mission to change a nation’s attitude towards learning


The Education Minister spoke calmly but the challenge he laid before the House during scrutiny of his ministry’s budget yesterday, was nothing short of staggering. It is to overhaul this country’s entrenched approach to school, studies and success – an approach that has not only worked for plenty of people here but also won praise internationally. It involves overturning decades of received wisdom about the surest route to a good life, a formula Ms Denise Phua (Moulmein-Kallang GRC) summed up thus: “Many Singaporeans hold dear the mental model that for a good life, you will need good academic results to get into good schools so that you can get into a good university which is the passport to a good job, good salary, good spouse, hopefully good children and the cycle repeats. This is a mental model that cannot be talked away. People can only be convinced if they see and encounter sufficient evidence and personal experiences to replace it.” Continue reading