In Singapore, I have had the opportunity to meet Dinah. A conservatory teacher, passionate about music. Thanks to the Couchsurfing APP where I published an ad to let the community of Singapore know that I was going to be a few days and I wanted to meet educators and exchange experiences in the field of education and creativity.
In this case, technology facilitated my contact with Dinah. As soon as she read my message she wrote to me and offered to guide me during a day of my stay in the city. She showed me her school and explained to me what the education system was like in Singapore. She is actually from Malaysia and 10 years ago she decided to change country to work at a music school in Singapore. It is much easier for Malaysians to get a job in Singapore than for another person from another part of the world. Although, yes, getting nationality is something else!
I wanted to know why the education system in Singapore and the best grades in science and mathematics are so successful. To begin with, she explained that the education system is divided into three basic levels: Preschool, Primary Education and Secondary Education. At the end of Primary, children take a test called Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), that marks what they will study next.
The High School is determined by the grade obtained in the PSLE exam and its aspirations. They have varied programs such as those that prepare them for university or those specialized for those who want to acquire specific knowledge, such as art, music or sports.
In total they are between 5 and 6 hours in school that corresponds to the whole morning and in the afternoon they carry out extracurriculars and different volunteering proposed from the school. The teachers have many more hours of class preparation and extras than those of our schools.
Teaching in Singapore stands out, above all, for respect for diversity, dialogue and reflection. They avoid memorization and strengthen discussion groups.
About the language, I have found they have an excellent level of English compared to other countries because their programme really boost bilingualism. They are aware of the importance of English to open up to an increasingly global world, so from the Department of Education they promote this language. On one of the facades of the department building, there is a banner where they invite to speak the English language to reach an excellent level of English in 2020.
Thank you very much Dinah!!!