For more than a decade, Singapore has always been near or at the top of international leagues in terms of education. Continuous academic achievement by the country’s students have resulted in endless appreciation from their East Asian neighbours and head-scratching from the West.
It makes one wonder: what is it about the Singaporean educational system that makes it so effective?
The Singapore School in Cebu
The Straits Times recently carried a story about Filipina Trixie See Suarez, 43, who opened a Singapore-style school in Cebu five years ago. Her admiration of Singapore’s brand of education drove her to open the Singapore School Cebu, which uses textbooks and a curriculum from the country to teach science and mathematics.
Her school started with just 78 pupils from pre-school to Primary 4. Eventually, she added the upper primary and secondary levels to accommodate older students. Today, the school teaches over 200 pupils, majority of them from the Philippines.
According to Suarez, attending Singapore-type schools is the perfect stepping stone for many children in Asia.
Understanding Instructional Regime
In general, classroom instruction in Singapore is uniform across all subjects and levels. According to JCU.edu.sg, the teaching is fit-for-purpose and coherent, which draws inspiration from Western and Eastern traditions.
Singaporean teaching also focuses on preparing students for high stakes examinations and transmission of procedural knowledge. Teachers also place additional emphasis on the mastery of specific procedures and clear presentation of problems, especially in math.
The Logic of Singapore’s Education
Singapore boasts of a distinctive educational system that dwells in a unique set of institutional and historical cultural influences. These factors explain the effectiveness of their educational system, especially with their current assessment environment.
The configuration of institutional arrangements, historical experience and cultural beliefs produced a must-have system other regions want. Their teachers also shape the understanding across systems, which include the nature of learning and teaching.
More schools in foreign regions are adopting Singapore’s educational system. Parents and educational experts look forward to the Singaporean curriculum helping children go anywhere they want in the world.