Tan Hui Ling
The Importance of Education in Singapore
Why is education so important in Singapore? Read this article to find out more!
Singapore’s education system is well-known to be one of the top in world rankings, achieving stellar educational outcomes. This is shown by our consistent placing as the top-five highly ranked countries in educational outcomes. In fact, within the subjects of mathematics and science, Singapore was crowned as “Number One” in the global rankings of 2016, and has frequently outranked fellow-high performing Asian countries like Japan and Taiwan. However, what is the reason behind the government’s decision to invest in education, given the many national priorities?
As someone that has grown up and benefited from Singapore’s education system from preschool to university, in this article, I will give my brief insights on why I feel the government chose to place education as the forefront.
Firstly, education forms the roots for our ability to think critically, which is extremely important in today’s day and age. Critical thinking can include the cognitive skills needed for broad and creative thinking. These skills help us see connections and opportunities, forming the foundation of our technical skills development and progression.
As a student from NUS Business School, I used to think that the knowledge that I learnt in Secondary School, for example, the Sciences, are not relevant to me currently. However, looking back and reflecting, I realised that it was not the knowledge behind Scientific concepts that mattered, but instead it was the “art of learning and thinking” that is the greatest lesson. For example, the essence behind our E=mc2 formulas goes beyond our grades. Instead, it was to train our minds to think creatively, helping us connect multiple ideas and information to form solutions or develop new ways of working. For example, applying these formulas in real-life situations is an example of creative thinking. What are some other concepts/ subjects that you can think of that have helped enhance your learning now?
Secondly, schools provide us with a platform to develop and form our social network. On the emotional and social end, this forms a support system for us; On the personal development end, it can hone our communication and collaboration skills.
Growing up, I have been very privileged to be blessed with loyal friends since primary school, and they form a big part of my personal growth. Therefore, education also served as an avenue for me to develop personal relationships, adding an emotional element to the benefits of education. As someone that has stepped out into the society to work, this skill has been an invaluable asset for me, allowing me to form connections, and understand people on a deeper level, not just as colleagues, but also as friends. Do you remember a time where a friend has helped you get through a difficult moment in your life?
Thirdly, education has also helped me become more self-aware. This can include better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses, and how I can use myself to contribute back to society. This is extremely important as everyone is created to have different strengths and weaknesses, and are meant to complement one another. Without understanding our strengths and weaknesses, we will not be able to fulfill our destiny to improve and be a catalyst of change. Now, pause and think for a moment - what are your strengths and weaknesses?
All in all, this short article has provided my perspective on why I feel education is important in Singapore. Other than better equipping us with the skills to tackle future challenges, the benefits of education also includes personal and social development. What are your thoughts on education in Singapore then? Feel free to leave in the comments below!
Written by: Tan Hui Ling
Edited by: Jamie Tan