Education

Education in Singapore is managed by Ministry of Education (MOE), which directs education policy. The ministry controls the development and administration of state schools which receive government funding but also has an advisory and supervisory role to private schools. For both private and state schools, there are variations in the extent of autonomy in their curriculum, scope of government aid and funding, tuition burden on the students, and admission policy.[1] Children with disabilities attend special education (SPED) schools run by Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs), which are partially funded by the Ministry of Education. Education spending usually makes up about 20 per cent of the annual national budget, which subsidises state education and government-assisted private education for Singaporean citizens and furnishes the Edusave programme, but the costs are significantly higher for non-citizens. In 2000 the Parliament of Singapore passed the Compulsory Education Act,[2] which codified compulsory education for children of primary school age, and made it a criminal offence if parents fail to enrol their children in school and ensure their regular attendance.[3] Exemptions are allowed for homeschooling or full-time religious institutions, but parents must apply for exemption from the Ministry of Education and meet a minimum benchmark.[4]. Special needs children are automatically exempted from compulsory education. In Singapore, the English language is the first language learned by half the children by the time they reach preschool age and becomes the primary medium of instruction by the time they reach primary school. English is the language of instruction for most subjects, especially mathematics and the natural sciences; the official Mother Tongue languages are generally not taught in English, although there is provision for the use of English at the initial stages. Certain schools, such as secondary schools under the Special Assistance Plan (SAP) which encourages a richer use of the mother tongue may teach occasionally in English and another language. There are also other schools which have been experimenting with curricula that integrate language subjects with mathematics and the sciences, using both English and a second language. Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew related the idea of English as a common language in Singapore that both connected citizens of all ethnic-cultural backgrounds, so no ethnic group is forced to learn the language of another, and tied Singapore to the world economy.
Education in Singapore is managed by Ministry of Education (MOE), which directs education policy. The ministry controls the development and administration of state schools which receive government funding but also has an advisory and supervisory role to private schools. For both private and state schools, there are variations in the extent of autonomy in their curriculum, scope of government aid and funding, tuition burden on the students, and admission policy.[1] Children with disabilities attend special education (SPED) schools run by Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs), which are partially funded by the Ministry of Education. Education spending usually makes up about 20 per cent of the annual national budget, which subsidises state education and government-assisted private education for Singaporean citizens and furnishes the Edusave programme, but the costs are significantly higher for non-citizens. In 2000 the Parliament of Singapore passed the Compulsory Education Act,[2] which codified compulsory education for children of primary school age, and made it a criminal offence if parents fail to enrol their children in school and ensure their regular attendance.[3] Exemptions are allowed for homeschooling or full-time religious institutions, but parents must apply for exemption from the Ministry of Education and meet a minimum benchmark.[4]. Special needs children are automatically exempted from compulsory education. In Singapore, the English language is the first language learned by half the children by the time they reach preschool age and becomes the primary medium of instruction by the time they reach primary school. English is the language of instruction for most subjects, especially mathematics and the natural sciences; the official Mother Tongue languages are generally not taught in English, although there is provision for the use of English at the initial stages. Certain schools, such as secondary schools under the Special Assistance Plan (SAP) which encourages a richer use of the mother tongue may teach occasionally in English and another language. There are also other schools which have been experimenting with curricula that integrate language subjects with mathematics and the sciences, using both English and a second language. Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew related the idea of English as a common language in Singapore that both connected citizens of all ethnic-cultural backgrounds, so no ethnic group is forced to learn the language of another, and tied Singapore to the world economy.

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