Foster passion for learning with less focus on grades: Education Minister Ong Ye Kung

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung has called for society at large to put less emphasis on academic results to allow students to foster a passion for learning. In his ministry’s addendum to the President’s Address, Mr Ong acknowledges that Singapore places strong focus on academic excellence but he calls for the need to continue “efforts to dial back the over-emphasis on examination results, which can dampen the enthusiasm for learning”.

Mr Ong also outlined the ways that the Ministry of Education (MOE) will improve the educational experience for students. There will be multiple pathways in the education system for students to develop their talents and strengths. Students will also get more guidance to help them decide on their specialisations and career options.

The institutes of higher learning will also be working with private training providers and employers to help workers improve their skills as part of efforts anchored on the philosophy of SkillsFuture. Mr Ong also spoke of how technology will be used in learning and stressed the need to ensure that the disadvantaged are not left behind.

Mr Ong emphasised that schools “will continue to provide equal opportunities for all students, regardless of background, to access quality education” so that education will continue to be a “key pillar of social mobility”.

This is certainly a move in the right direction. Social mobility comes from passion for learning. To want to learn is even more important in this age, where we are witnessing disruptions in every sector. The passion for learning will increase one’s potential to be in the forefront when disruptions happen and contribute effectively.

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