The Asian nations are notorious for two things education related; producing the highest exam-scoring students of any country in the world and having those same students be less-rounded than a triangle with sharpened corners covered with spikes.
But today that all changes as the Ministry of Education recognizes the efforts of twenty-three schools that endeavoured in a labour of love to give their students a slightly rounder educative experience. The most prominent of these schools are the Yio Chu Kang, Si Ling and Bukit Batok Secondary Schools which have demonstrated innovation in school management, student development and teaching. The former has even managed to incorporate drama, dance and robotics classes into its curriculum for the majority of its normal stream students, a massive move in gaining students interest to be sure.
Principal Janice Heng explains the motivation behind their movement, “We actually hope for students to be able to have their interests sparked in some of these areas. And they are able to pursue it as a hobby, as a lifestyle when they grow up. Or even pursue it as their post-secondary education.” The other twenty schools have been recognized for their efforts in driving activity in Character and Citizenship Education, Student All-Round Development, Teaching and Learning, Partnerships and Staff Well-Being and Development.
One of the schools, Gan Eng Seng School, which has heavily integrated technology-enabled learning into the school’s secondary-level curriculum, has been recognized for its Best Practice in Teaching and Learning. The school’s Head of Department of Technology, Ms Serene Seetoh, speaks out in support of the scheme’s self-directed nature, “Self-directed in the sense that teaching is no longer become inside the classroom but it goes beyond – anytime, anywhere.”
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