Education system needs to be adaptive to respond to changing needs: Ng Chee Meng

Education system needs to be adaptive to respond to changing needs: Ng Chee Meng

Friday, 16 October 2015

Media Type
Channel NewsAsia (Online)

SINGAPORE: The Republic's education system needs to be "nimble and adaptive" to respond to society's changing needs, said Acting Minister for Education for Schools Ng Chee Meng.

Speaking in his first official address at the graduation ceremony of the Leaders in Education (LEP) Programme on Friday (Oct 16), Mr Ng said this must happen concurrently with efforts to provide holistic education and develop values in students.

He also noted that the dreams and goals of children today are different from the past, citing the rapid development of technology: "It is incredibly hard for us now to predict what the future will look like. But I know that if we help our children understand their strengths and develop their innate skills, they will succeed. Even skills like the ability to collaborate and communicate well will carry them far."

Mr Ng added: "In the larger scheme of things, we don't just develop the child, but we will need to develop the system, to ensure that all our kids will have multiple pathways and programmes that can help them succeed in their own ways and chase their rainbows. Our jobs are to guide, support and nurture them to make good, informed choices as they grow up."

More than 30 educators, including four from Brunei, received certificates for completing the LEP, which was initiated by the National Institute of Education (NIE). It is a six-month, full-time programme aimed at developing vice-principals into principals.

Programme participants were selected based on their good track records, as well as via a series of rigorous tests and interviews by the Ministry of Education. These participants left the schools where they were working to undertake courses that focused on leadership and management skills. They were also attached to various schools, where they were mentored by the principals in charge.

The participants also went on a two-week overseas trip to countries like the US, Germany Canada, Denmark and Finland, to study different education systems and cultures. Upon graduation, the LEP participants will be posted to schools as principals.

This year, three educators were recognised for their outstanding performance. One of them is Mr Shane Kwok, who is also valedictorian of the cohort. Mr Kwok received the Lee Kuan Yew Award, which is given to the participant with the best overall performance.

Mr Kwok, who is principal-designate of Tampines Secondary School, said: "In the increasingly complex educational landscape, strong leadership is important. So I am thankful that we had this opportunity to enhance our leadership capacity.

"With this leadership capacity and with this clarity of our leadership philosophies and educational philosophies, I think it will help us make decisions a lot better on the ground, decisions that are good for the child, decisions that are student-centric and educationally sound. With those kind of decisions, I think our students will benefit - even our staff and teachers will benefit." 

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