What are the Pros and Cons of Conventional Schooling in Singapore?

In our last article, we wrote about how your role as a parent can help your child to improve effectively. Have you looked into the 3 areas?

This week, we will be sharing the pros and cons of conventional schooling model used in Singapore. As we go along, hopefully, you can get a better view of the status quo, and how your child fits into the current model.

Our later articles will also help guide you through what you can do.

Understanding Conventional Schooling In Singapore

We conduct most conventional schooling, whether public or private, in much the same way:

  • Classroom-based learning
  • Teacher delivers the lesson
  • Social environment
  • Syllabus determined by school and MOE

Benefits Of This Model

Good Foundation  – Parents can trust the syllabus. You know your child is learning exactly what he or she needs to progress.

The school is a great place to gauge what your child needs to learn in general to stand among his peers.

Social Learning – Many parents overlook the importance of learning in a social environment. In reality, students bank away far more in essential skills and development that last throughout their lifetime than what they take away from the strict syllabus.

Group projects and activities provide for:

  • Emotional and psychological awareness
  • Indispensable communication skills
  • Intercultural exposure, open-mindedness and tolerance
  • Creative problem solving
  • Intellectual engagement and stimulation

The school environment is one that offers much value toward your child’s social learning and preparedness for life.


Possible Downsides Of This Model

Class-focused – Even within an already streamed class, in a class size of 30 to 40, it is natural to have some discrepancies in the learning abilities and learning styles of the students.

As the teacher caters to the class in general, students may need individual assistance to help make up for the deficits in nuanced teaching.This model often assumes some degree of after-school coaching and supplementation to reach individual potential.

Parental involvement and communication with the teacher thus become vital to a smooth handover of the student to the next grade.

Limitations To Individual Interests – In a predetermined curriculum, there may be limited opportunities to explore specific subject that is of high interest to each child. Students may also become bored with what they must learn.

We will discuss more about what you can do in these situations in subsequent articles.

Test-score-oriented – The system itself is goal focused and test score oriented. It may miss the mark on the learning and process oriented experience, as well as in subjects that are not as universally and easily tested.

Parents may be aware of the different educational goals they have for their children, which may or may not be sufficiently met under this system. What follows, then, is the question of how you can supplement this system? One possibility is for the parent to take on the responsibility of teaching the child at home. Our next article will give advice on what preparations to make before embarking on this course of action.

Follow us in the upcoming articles as we further discuss the questions parents should ask themselves, explore the different learning styles and help answer the question, ‘Does your child need tuition?’ Read the first Article here

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