Singapore produces one of the most competitive OECD PISA students and has also ranked number 1 a few times and a position in the top 10 almost every time, so what does the education system of Singapore provide its students which makes them so good? Surely, the student’s interests and hard work play the biggest role in it but kids all across the world have almost the same capabilities for example you can’t say that Pakistani kids are dumb that’s why it wins nothing and have never obtained a stop in top 20 OECD PISA rankings. So there is something else that Singapore does to get such good results and that something is its schooling system.
Singapore has removed the competition part of education and improved the learning of every student their priority. Primary and secondary school report books will no longer indicate whether a pupil finishes top or bottom of the class, while subject and group averages, overall total marks, and minimum and maximum grades are set to disappear.
School reports will not show underlined or highlighted failing grades or record a pass or fail result at the end of the year. Discussions, homework, and quizzes are set to replace marks and grades as the preferred method of collecting information on the performance of young primary school pupils.
While the older primary and secondary students will also study in a less competitive environment. Marks for each subject will be rounded off to the nearest whole number without decimal places to lower the emphasis on academic success. Ong Ye Kung, Singapore’s Education Minister backed these steps as; “Learning is not a competition,” when these changes were made back in 2019.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) is planning a series of changes aimed at discouraging comparisons between student performance and encouraging individuals to concentrate on their own learning development. Singapore’s new approach to education is in stark contrast to the neighboring states that crowd the OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) education rankings. This confirms that everything is not about competition.
The system in Singapore presents very different paths and directions and overall gives students a better chance to discover their fields of interest and excel in them, that way the professionals of the fields would be passionate about it and put their heart into it.
In Pakistan, the careers of kids are often chosen by their outdated parents or students often choose their own career wrong because they have not been provided with enough career guidance. Students are not given enough space outside learning and memorizing stuff and trying to beat their own friends in class to actually discover what they like and make a career out of it. Parents on the other hand, instead of encouraging kids to try different things, urge their kids to always perform better in class so that they don’t have to face public shame.
Good teachers are also a very important aspect of the education system, while only the ones who can’t get a high-paying job in their field opt for a teaching career in Pakistan. In Singapore, the NIE, the entity established to prepare teachers, principals, and superintendents for their school system, has established a stringent process for educators’ selection and training. Only one in twelve candidates who apply to become teachers becomes one.
The most common path is first to earn a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university. To qualify for consideration, the college graduate must have graduated in the top third of his or her class. Candidates wanting to teach in a secondary school must have majored in the subject they wish to teach. Elementary school teaching candidates must have majored in either English, math, or a foreign language.
Candidates who meet the above criteria are then called into an interview. The four-educator interview panel delves into why candidates want to become teachers, their teaching aptitude, communication skills, and personal demeanor. An integral part of the interview is a series of role-plays and essay writing concerning how the candidate would approach specific classroom situations. Eighty percent of the students interviewed are rejected!
Candidates who advance past the interview are then hired by the MOE and assigned to a classroom and mentor for three to six months. In other words, Singapore pays qualified candidates to become a teacher. Forty percent of those selected to receive the classroom experience fail in meeting standards and are removed from the program.
The remaining candidates are then required to attend a 16-month coursework program at the NIE, earning a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. Candidates earn $3,600-$5,000 a month while in the program. Very few students fail or leave the program once selected. Upon completing the NIE coursework, candidates are assigned to the same school where they are student-taught and begin their teaching career. This way only the most trained educators and experts in their fields are given the responsibility of teaching the youth and the products of such amazing mentors are also excellent.
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