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date: 25 June 2024

Ambitious Goals and Emerging Issues in Singaporean Educationlocked

Ambitious Goals and Emerging Issues in Singaporean Educationlocked

  • Jason TanJason TanNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION

Summary

Singapore, a former British colony with a population of 5.6 million, has made rapid economic progress since attaining political independence in 1965. By the early 1980s, it had become known as one of the four Asian tiger economic powerhouses and enjoyed one of the highest per capita incomes in Southeast Asia. More recently, it has received international attention because of its students’ repeated outstanding performances in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) international comparative educational assessment exercises, as a result of which a small but growing number of school districts in the United States have adopted modified versions of Singapore mathematics and science textbooks. With an ethnically diverse population within a relatively small land area of about 720 square kilometers, Singapore has been ruled for 63 years by the same governing party. The People’s Action Party has, since coming to power in 1959, accorded education priority in terms of serving the needs of economic development and social cohesion. To this day, education remains the second largest item in the government’s annual budget after defense, in view of the perennial governmental concern with harnessing education in the service of economic competitiveness and social cohesion.

Subjects

  • Education and Society

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