Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

MOE to build on making education a social leveller amid coronavirus pandemic, says Lawrence Wong

SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Education will continue to focus on education as a social leveller, as well as work to ensure schools can continue to operate even if the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said.

“One priority for my team and I is to ensure that education remains an effective social leveller. And the resources that we provide to our schools should reflect this important ethos,” he said.

But the ongoing pandemic has also raised issues that the ministry will have to think about – how to allow students to resume activities outside their classrooms, how exams will be conducted if the pandemic continues, and how to respond if there are unexpected waves of infections.

“We are applying our minds to see what adjustments are needed,” he said.

“Assuming that the pandemic will be with us for a long period of time, perhaps a year or even longer… we must stay vigilant but at the same time, ensure that learning is not compromised.”

Beyond academic matters and classes, extra-curricular activities are an important part of the learning experience, he noted.

Mr Wong was speaking to reporters at Marsiling Secondary School on Friday (Aug 14), in his first media doorstop since the Cabinet reshuffle two weeks ago. It is his third school visit in his new post as Education Minister.

He spoke to students in some classes, and toured the school grounds.

He also made a stop at the school’s vertical vegetable garden, which is used in an applied learning programme to teach students about environmental issues such as food sustainability.

Students grow and harvest crops such as kangkong. They donate the vegetables to local charities and take the leftovers home.

Mr Wong added: “Our overarching priority for education remains the same and that is to bring out the best in every student. We recognise that all the children are different.

“Each one has different gifts, talents, interests, aptitude, so we want to be able to engage them so that they can find out what their strengths are, and achieve their fullest potential.”

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