MOE has four strategies to help students cope in post-Covid world
Education Minister says it will prepare students for fast-changing environment
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated many large-scale societal, economic and technological trends, and this will have lasting effects on how people live, work and interact with one another, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong.
To better prepare students for this fast-changing environment, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will adopt four main strategies, he said yesterday.
It will step up efforts to maximise opportunities for disadvantaged students, build multiple pathways for students to hone their strengths, help them develop attitudes and skills beyond book knowledge, and focus more on interdisciplinary learning.
Mr Wong said there are major trends that are already under way that will continue to accelerate, such as online shopping, digital entertainment and virtual communications. These trends will surely continue after Covid-19, he added.
"There will be unequal recovery across industries and countries, post-pandemic, and there will surely be lasting effects on how we live, work and interact with each other for the foreseeable future."
He was speaking on the future of education at the first session of a webinar series by the National University of Singapore (NUS).
The NUS115 Distinguished Speaker Series, with the theme Shaping The Future, celebrates the university's 115th anniversary.
Mr Wong said MOE's first strategy is to double down on ongoing efforts to maximise opportunities for disadvantaged students. The Government will increase investments in research and development to guide such efforts.
"We want to invest more to even out the differences early in life, and give children full access to appropriate health, learning and developmental support," he said.
The second strategy is to ensure that institutions have, and continue to build on, multiple pathways for students to hone their strengths.
"We have long recognised that every child is unique, and we need different approaches to help them learn and grow," Mr Wong said.
He noted that over the years, there has been a wide range of options for students.
For example, schools such as the NUS High School of Math and Science cater to those with specialised interests.
For those who thrive in a more practical, hands-on learning environment, there are schools such as Crest and Spectra Secondary.
This multiple pathway approach must also extend beyond schools to tertiary education, Mr Wong said.
BEYOND BOOK KNOWLEDGE
Third, students will need to develop attitudes and skills beyond book knowledge.
"The way forward for us is to continue to emphasise our competitive advantage and our human strengths," he said, citing skills such as the ability to build relationships with one another and to collaborate and work in teams.
The fourth strategy is to push for more interdisciplinary learning to support career mobility and "prepare Singaporeans for a more dynamic and uncertain future".
But he cautioned that it is important to get the balance right.
"We don't want to swing from one extreme to the other. Subject specialisation is still necessary and will still be important," he said.
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