Ministry of Education recently announced the removal of examinations for lower Primary levels, specifically Primary 1 and Primary 2, in order to allow for more time to be spent on teaching and learning. How does this affect children?
While some parents are relieved at this change, for it means less tuition and more time for children to adapt to the Primary school system, others are concerned at the lack of a clear benchmark on how their child is faring academically. This could also lead to later detection of a child’s potential academic challenges.
Taking these two concerns into account, an ideal education system seems to be one that takes a balanced approach between scoring academically well and ensuring the child’s psychosocial success. How can this be ensured?
Children are naturally curious, and therefore have the innate potential to be self-directed learners. When their curiosity is encouraged, they are able to go out, explore the world and create inventions – where learning becomes fun and exciting! Schooling is no longer a chore, but a blessing! In this manner, they can score academically well and have better psychosocial outcomes.
When we look back at history, we have seen famous examples of self-motivated learners such as Socrates. What drove Socrates to ask questions, to create inventions? By and large, he was a self-directed learner, one who was naturally curious about the world, imbuing the quality of passion for learning.
Our system, and any good educational system hopes to cultivate such learners, who would go out and learn on their own. A self-directed learner’s motivation comes from more than grades, it comes from understanding the process of learning and deeply engaging in it.
Is curiosity and engagement enough? It may have been enough during Socrates’ times, but not in today’s world. To deeply engage in any form of learning – from science to mathematics, one needs a good command of English. English language skills clearly matter, even for other subjects (Parents World, 2019) for it’s the basis for understanding instruction in any other subject; it’s the basics of communication and interaction.
In order to ask questions about the world, you need to be able to express yourself well, fluently and in a language that is understood by many. In this manner, English plays a pivotal role, for it’s the basis of communication in all other subjects. From an academic perspective, being able to read and write in English quickly can lead to better comprehension of questions, and formation of answers that can be easily and fluently translated onto paper. This increased processing speed allows for better time management.
How can we then best prepare children regardless of the new educational changes? Encourage their curiosity and support their learning of English! At School of Concepts, we revolve our curriculum around these two pivotal goals. We understand that education systems fluctuate according to the job market. There’s no way to predict that a student with a degree today will end up with a job tomorrow. The only way to ensure and best prepare children for tomorrow’s world is through encouraging them to become self-directed learners and to give them a strong foundation in English.
If you would like to know more about our programmes, visit our website at www.schoolofconcepts.sg, or give us a call at 6909 1883.