Tips, Hints, and Focus for the PSLE Examinations.
SEAB MOE Syllabus PSLE and GCE O’ levels Singapore for Primary and Secondary Schools is by far the main contributor to the social mobility of Singaporeans.
It is the first major exam that starts the path of development for a young individual by training, developing and constructing the psyche of the ultimate student and turning them into a complete Singaporean adult that is capable of competing in this 21st Century workforce.
With SG50, we have now witnessed the effectiveness of education in transforming us into a metropolitan first world country, one that only has human resource that drives this country.
We survived, and then thrived against all odds, whilst in the face of competition against many other resource-rich nations. All this did not come from just plain luck.
We have witnessed too, with the PSLE and streaming of students into secondary schools, how much their PSLE scores alter their outcomes when they grow up.
And I am sure we have to keep our education world class in years to come, even more so with the huge external forces from other markets within the burgeoning Asian region as well as pressures from the international market to keep up-to-date and solve every problem that we will face in the future.
We cannot be naive and think our problems can be solved with a normal, mediocre education, with a low-skilled and highly unmotivated work force. That is not the mark of a first world country. We need to have something special to keep competition at bay.
Dynamism is a highly valued characteristic our children should possess.
I shall loosely quote Gordon Ramsay, “You can’t run a “country” if you can’t even run your own bath.”
And hence, education, training, intelligence, creativity, innovation and persevering hardwork are the hallmarks of a successful country. We need to adopt the mentality that we are larger than what we are, that our world is not restricted to the red dot that makes Singapore a country. But rather, we are in a global community that requires global competitiveness and social skills. And that comes from a world class education.
We need a large canvas of intelligence and expertise, multitudes of captains of industries, pools of talents, and scores of highly skilled individuals to deal with the increasingly convoluted society and economy of the future. And that comes from a world class education.
We, as a nation, bear witness to social mobility, from our previous generations to current generations, and am sure, to our future generations, that doing well in education equates to better salaries, better standards of living and a stable economy. But this didn’t just happen to an individual, and the last 50 years, we have all moved up the social ladder as a collective community. And we have continued to be socially mobile. And that again, comes from a world class education.
As a nation, we have improved leaps and bounds, again, that didn’t just happen by plain luck. We have our PM Lee Kuan Yew to thank for that. But even more so, our society as a whole has taken those steps to rid ourselves of the third world status and decided that this should be the way to go, forwards. And that should always be the way to go, forwards.
All this leads to one conclusion, that of a student that does well in his/her education, will do well in life. That is a rule of thumb of any Singaporean student, and its the easiest and distinct way by far to move up the ladder and achieve success in life.
Let not detractors say that PSLE is getting too hard, for being soft only weakens our pool of talented future human resources. For in Singapore, strength comes from advancing together, and we have to be careful when a minority wants to re-invent the wheel and begs for an easy PSLE.
Let me quote some articles statistics that shows our education is working:
Forbes.com: Why Asian Nations Dominate Global Education Rankings-Not surprisingly, the top four countries overall – South Korea (No. 1), Japan (No. 2), Singapore (No. 3)….put an emphasis on their students developing basic skills….numeracy and literacy.
Straits Times: “Singapore takes third spot in global education rankings“
Wikipedia.org: “Singapore’s education system has been described as “world-leading” and in 2010 was among those picked out for commendation by the former British Tory education secretary Michael Gove…As of 2012, both universities are ranked among the Top 50 in the world.”
Insing.com: Education minister pleased with Singapore’s PISA ranking “To do well, a student can’t get by with just memorisation; he must have real knowledge and the wits to apply that knowledge to unpredictable real-life problems. This is exactly what we want our students to learn in school — the real skills to think critically and creatively so they can succeed in the 21st Century,” said Heng Swee Kiat.
We do need changes to adapt to the ever changing world, and so our education shall be tweaked to allow such changes. But changing the whole system, on something that has worked well, is just suicidal and cataclysmic.
The problem with education is that the effects are not seen straight off, and only in 20 years time, and maybe another 5-10 years after that when the student graduates and starts climbing up their career and contributes to society. Only then will we feel the effect that will be shouldered by the next generation with a wrong education model.
We have come far from where we began 50 years ago, and our success has come from truly hard intelligent pragmatic work. The recipe for success did not come from being weak, or having a compromised education/society. We do have to be careful how any changes will alter our state, as if its for the better, no one complains; but for the worse, everyone pays, ultimately.
Generally, and critically, the higher the education of a Singaporean, the higher they climb up the social ladder. And that is fact. And that starts with the PSLE. And that, is one that parents should never waver in their child’s education.