This year's Singapore National Day Rally took place on Sunday, August 18 at ITE College Central. As promised by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong focused on city development to climate change among a host of subjects during his speech. He also talked about having good quality and affordable pre-school options for all the residents of the Republic.
Singapore is known as educational high-achiever. In addition, it should be noted that Singapore has been ranked highest in primary and secondary international tests in subjects like Maths, science and reading in the year 2016. Education Minister Ong Ye Kung earlier stated that by next year over 90 per cent of secondary schools here will scrap mid-year examinations for Secondary 3, while more than half of primary schools will do likewise for Primary 3 and 5.
The Ministry of Education has announced last year that from new academic year, underlining and/or colouring the failed subjects, overall total marks and pass or fail result and class-level position will be removed from the report book of primary and secondary students.
However, during the National Day Rally, PM Lee has discussed other plan which will help Singaporeans as well as the education system. He said that recently some women MPs from the ruling party, People's Action Party (PAP), led by the SPS, surveyed young parents on pre-school system and they found that the parents are concerned about the affordability of the education for their children.
"The MPs made a valid point that pre-schools should be like housing and healthcare where we have a good and affordable funded option for all Singaporeans," said PM Lee. "For many Singaporeans, in fact, the majority, government-supported funded option is high quality and more than satisfactory. I agree with them.
"For housing, we have HDB, for healthcare we have the restructured hospitals. Similarly, for pre-school, we should have good quality, government-supported choices available to all Singaporeans."
PM Lee clarified that this is "in fact our policy."
He mentioned that currently just over half of all pre-school places receive government support and it is now their aim to bring this ratio up to 80 percent.
The government has already started the job, as they have spent almost $1 billion a year on early childhood education and "this will more than double in the next few years."
PM Lee hopes that after the implementation of these ideas, parents will no longer have to think that pre-school education is an expensive phase of their children's life.