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4-1 QA

4-1 QA

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05/09/2014

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Book 4-1
1.What were our educational goals in the 1960s?
a. At independence, we needed to make sure Singapore would be a place of
peace, prosperity and more importantly, a home (nation).
b. In order to achieve this main goal, there were four separate
goals/strategies:
c.The goal/strategy was to provide every child with an education.
i. Schools would be the place where Singaporeans would be
educated for a variety of reasons e.g. jobs
ii. Without adequate schools, these goals would have been difficult to
achieve.
iii. Hence more schools were built. The number of schools expanded
from 222 in 1967 to 267 in 1967.
iv. This would meet the demand from a rapidly growing population
and help Singapore do the next 3 goals.
d.The 2nd goal was to build national loyalty.
i. In the 1960s, parents tended to send to their children to schools
that taught in their mother tongue e.g. Chinese schools.
ii. They continued to identify with their language groups and even the
countries they originated from.

iii. This meant young Singaporeans would rarely have a chance to interact with each other and would continue to see themselves as separate peoples, not one nation.

iv. To deal with this problem, common practices such as daily flag
raising and pledge-taking ceremony were introduced in all schools.
v. This aimed at building a sense of national identity for all races
even though they were separated in different schools.
vi. This practice is still carried out today for the same reason \u2013
building national identity and loyalty.
e.The 3rd goal was to foster social cohesion.

i. In order for the different races to feel they are all one people (one nation), various schemes were put in place to help different Singaporeans share a common experience/interact.

ii. Firstly, the government showed that it was fair to all races. It did
this by providing free textbooks for needy students.
iii. It also made everyone go through a common exam such as the
PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examinations).

iv. In 1960, integrated schools that put 2 language streams together (English and Chinese) was introduced to encourage more interaction

v. In 1966, bilingualism was also introduced to all pupils in secondary 1. This emphasized the importance of mother tongue as a language.

vi. It also helped to impart moral and cultural values.
vii. English became the link language among all races \u2013 this helped
Singaporeans interact with each other.
viii. ECAs (Extra-Curricular Activities) such as NPCC and NCC also
allowed different races to interact in common activites.
ix. All the above helped to foster social cohesion among young
Singaporeans.
f.The forth goal was to prepare for a new economy/economic
development.
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i. The serious unemployment in the 60s meant Singapore had to
industrialise to survive.
ii. To industrialise meant that workers/future workers needed to be
equipped with technical skills to work in factories.
iii. This was done through technical education for all boys and 50% of
the girls in lower secondary.
iv. Vocational institutes and polytechnics were set up and expanded
to meet the needs of the changing economy.

v. And by the 1970s, more parents were sending their children to English medium schools \u2013 English was an important language to learn Western knowledge and new technologies -> this was

where the jobs are.
g.Therefore education was a means to help shape the country in
various ways, be it a sense of national loyalty, social cohesion or
getting students ready for the new economy.
2.What did education policies focus on in the 1970s - 90s?

a. The goals of the 1960s were continued into the 1970s. But there was a need to improve on those policies because students were still not bilingual and many students continued to drop out of school. If students left school early, it would be difficult to achieve goals such as fostering social cohesion or preparing for a new economy.

b.The first change was the introduction of streaming.
i. The main idea was to allow each child to learn at his/her own
pace.

ii. Based on their primary 3 performance, students were streamed into 3 streams, the normal bilingual, extended bilingual and monolingual.

iii. The normal and extended student will eventually move on to secondary schools after they complete their PSLE, while the monolingual student will complete the Primary School Proficiency Examination (PSPE) and move on to vocational institutes to learn practical hands-on technical skills.

iv. Streaming was also continued on in secondary school where there was the special/express stream (4 years of secondary education), and normal stream (5 years).

v. The gifted education programme was also introduced in 1984 for those exceptionally bright students who needed more challenge than the usual educational syllabus could offer.

vi. By the 1990s, streaming was further improved. This included postponing streaming to primary 4 and making all students do the PSLE.

vii. Secondary streaming was also changed to include the normal (technical) stream that gave the less academically abled students who were better hands-on, a technically oriented education. They would then move on to ITE where they would learn useful skills for employment.

viii.Thus streaming was meant to cater to the different learning

needs of students. By doing so, we can cut down on educational wastage due to drop-outs. We can continue to pursue the basic goals set in the 1960s. And we can maximize the ability of our only resource \u2013 Humans.

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c.The second change was to introduce moral education.

i. Other than making sure every citizen was prepared for employment, schools needed to educate students in life-long skills and social responsibility.

ii. Thus moral education was introduced in 1981 to ensure that desirable moral values were imparted to students to make them responsible and loyal citizens.

iii. Religious knowledge was also introduced in 1982 to reinforce values taught in moral education. Students were given a choice of religion to study in.

iv. But parents eventually objected to the syllabus as they contended
it was encouraging students to convert to other religions.

v. This was replaced with the Civics and Moral Education which emphasized what it means to be a Singaporean and how different cultures in Singapore have shared values that brings us together as a nation.

vi. Through exposure in the moral education programme, Singaporeans would develop a national identity, be respectful and responsible to everyone and help shape attitudes that would continue Singapore\u2019s development.

d.The 3rd change was to encourage creativity.

i. This policy came directly as a consequence of the 1985 recession in Singapore that made many jobless. Singaporeans were generally too expensive to hire yet were not providing much value- added quality products.

ii. To improve this, schools needed to produce more creative students with better skills and ideas to overcome this economic challenge.

iii. Because of this, principals were given more freedom in proposing changes that would improve their students\u2019 learning needs and abilities. Teachers were also challenged to be more innovative in their teaching.

iv. Established schools e.g. Raffles Institution or Anglo-Chinese School became independent schools where they could recruit their own teachers and offer subjects and courses not normally available in schools e.g. joint research programmes with NUS or offer ballet as a CCA.

v. Schools who had done well consistently were also given the opportunity to become autonomous schools where they were given more freedom and money to develop more challenging programmes for their children.

vi. The goal was to stretch principals, teachers and students to produce more creative Singaporeans who would give us that extra economic edge. This would help us overcome our economic limitations.

3.What did education policies focus on from the 1990s onwards (meeting the
21st century challenge)?

a. By the late 1990s, economic competition was getting very intense. Information technology became common place, making knowledge obsolete very quickly. It became impossible to teach students everything they needed to know. Our educational focus now shifted to giving students important brain skills that would help them survive in a rapidly changing world.

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