Singapore education system best in Asia, says study by EIU

Singapore has been ranked first in an Economist Intelligence Unit (EUI) study, based on a country's ability to prepare students for their future career challenges.

Singapore school
Students leave for classes after their recess at a secondary school in Singapore Reuters

Singapore education system has been given the topmost rank in Asia by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in their index, which was released on Tuesday, September 19. The study says Singapore is best equipped to prepare students for future challenges, with a score of 80.1 out of 100. The study was set up by Charles Chen Yidan, who is the co-founder of Tencent, a mainland tech giant, and his Yidan Prize Foundation.

Globally, Singapore has achieved fifth rank, after New Zealand, Canada, Finland, and Switzerland, which scored 88.9, 86.7, 85.5, and 81.5 respectively. In Asia, Japan got the second rank, followed by South Korea, Hong Kong, and China. The focus of the study was to assess how governments prepare people between the ages of 15 and 24 with useful skills that will aid their career.

Study chart
Study Chart EIU

The study report explained that future workers will have to compete with people all over the world for education, jobs, and career growth- abolishing national borders and boundaries. For optimum efficiency, they need to be dynamic, adaptable, and flexible to new trends. It added that students, nowadays, have to learn technologies which are perpetually evolving, accompanied by challenges such as urbanisation, climate change, migration, and shift in demographics.

The survey on economies' education policy environment was also topped by Singapore, with a score of 88.8. Other Asian countries like South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and China got rank 5, 12, 22, and 27 respectively.

Study chart
Study Chart EIU

In terms of teaching environment, Singapore ranked eighth (78.7), after Japan (86.9) and South Korea (82.0), which got rank 4 and 5, respectively. Although teachers in Singapore get paid significantly lesser than the other Asian countries mentioned here, they have been given utmost credit for this achievement. The study observed that Singaporean teachers sometimes digress from traditional teaching methods by including activities such as robotics and coding, which help students develop their creative and cognitive skills.

"The guiding idea behind them is to allow students to make connections between concepts learned in the classroom and practical real-world applications of those concepts, facilitated and encouraged by teachers," said the study. However, Singapore needs to have more beyond-the-classroom initiatives, aided by businesses, schools, universities, and the general society, it added.

In 2016, Singapore ranked first in the list of countries having the highest built-asset income per person in Asia, according to a study on the Global Built Asset Performance Index- which measures a country's economic performance- by Arcadis, a global consulting and design firm.