Singapore & Education Ryan Vanderhorst

Singapore gained its Independence in 1965 from The United Kingdom and has a population of 5,607,300. As of mid-2015, 61% of the population were citizens, while 39% were permanent residents, foreign students, or workers.The people of Singapore speak several different languages including: English, Malay, Tamil, and Chinese. A majority of people living in Singapore practice religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.

Singapore is located in the continent of Asia, which covers 687 square kilometers.
Singapore's Competitive Global Market

Singapore has become one of the most competitive economical countries in the world. Globally, Singapore ranks 3rd in foreign exchange, 2nd-largest casino gambling market, 3rd-largest oil-refining trading center, and world's top logistics hub.

Unemployment rates are traditionally the lowest among developed countries. Since 2005, the unemployment rates didn't exceed 4%. The government actively provides assistance programs to the homeless and needy through the Ministry of Social and Family Development. Singapore's currency is the Singapore dollar. The country has been considered a tax haven for the wealthy due to low tax rates on personal income. Singapore has the world's highest percentage of millionaires. One out of every six households have at least one million US dollars.

Singapore & The Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has primary control over the development and administration of state schools receiving government funds. MOE also supervises the private school sector, while also monitoring their curriculum. About 20% of Singapore's national budget is spent on education. To put this into perspective, in 2015, the United States spent 6% of its national budget on education. The primary language spoken in Singapore education is English. In an ordinary classroom, the student to teacher ration is 21:1.

Literacy - Enrollment - Attainment

In 2014, 96% of Singapore's population was considered literate. Males had a slightly higher literacy rate of 98% compared to females at 94%. In the same year, the school systems had a total of 510,714 students enrolled. Singapore's school systems are broken down into three different levels: Primary, Secondary, and Post-Secondary. 66% of students receive their Secondary diploma, while 47% go on to receive their Post-Secondary diploma.

The school year is flipped compared to the United States. In Singapore, the school year is divided into two semesters. The first semester begins in January and runs until the end of May. The second semester begins in July and ends in November. I have listed the grade level equivalencies below to show the correlation between grade level and age.
Teacher Instruction
  • Highly-scripted and uniform across all levels and subjects
  • Fit-for-purpose and pragmatic
  • Draws on a range of pedagogical traditions (Eastern & Western)
  • Primary focus is curriculum
  • Focus is placed on factual and procedural knowledge
  • Prepare students for end-of-semester and national examinations
  • Emphasis on mastery of specific procedures
  • Teachers focus on the right or wrong answer

In Singapore, there are over 200 kindergartens that are registered with MOE. All kindergartens are considered apart of the private sector. In school, students are taught how to interact with others. Focus is placed on personal and social skills, as well as written and oral language, numbers, music, and outdoor play.

Primary School

Primary Education is free to all students under the order of the MOE. During what is considered the foundation stage, students are taught skills in foundation of English, mother tongue, in addition to Mathematics and Science. Other subjects taught include civics and moral education, social studies, physical/health education, music, and art. After Primary 4, students are streamed based on their ability. Based on a students scores, he or she may take subjects at different levels at the end of Primary 4. Gifted Education Programs are in place to help develop gifted students, where emphasis is placed on critical and creative thought. At the end of a students Primary education, he or she will take the national Primary School Leaving Examination. Based on his or her scores, he or she will choose a Secondary school. Secondary schools are also able to choose a certain amount of students who they want to attend their school.

Secondary Education

Based off their leaving examination, students are either placed in an express track or normal academic track. In the express track, students build foundation skills in their mother tongue or receive additional learning in another foreign language. In the normal education track, students take subjects that are more technical with aspects of design and technology. Most students are streamed into a variety of different courses such as English, Mathematics and Science, and Humanities. Additional elective subjects include: Computing, Theatre Studies, and Drama. Students are required to participate in one co-curricular activity which include: Performing Arts, Clubs & Societies and Sports & Game Competitions.


After completion of Secondary school, students will participate in Singapore-Cambridge Ordinary Level examination. Their results will determine which Pre-Universities or Post-Secondary institutions they may apply for.



Created with images by LittleMouse - "marina bay garden by the bay singapore" • wirralwater - "Kmtc Jakarta at singapore"

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