The Singapore Education System – Teacher Explains

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The Singapore Education System – as explained by an MOE School teacher

Singapore’s education system has come a long way since its beginnings in the 1960s. Today, Singapore is renowned for having one of the most successful education systems in the world and it is one of the top performers in international assessments of educational achievement.

The Singapore education system is based on the belief that all students should have access to quality education, regardless of their socio-economic background. The system is divided into three stages: primary, secondary and tertiary.

At the primary level, students are taught the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and the Arts. Students are also given the opportunity to explore their interests through a range of elective courses. The primary school curriculum emphasizes the development of critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills.

At the secondary level, students are given the choice of following either a four-year Express Course or a five-year Normal (Academic) Course. The Express Course focuses on preparing students for the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level examinations, while the Normal Course prepares students for the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level examinations.

At the tertiary level, students may choose to pursue a diploma, degree or post-graduate qualification at one of the many universities and polytechnics in Singapore.

Education in Singapore

The Singapore education system is highly competitive and rigorous. It encourages collaboration, critical thinking and creative problem-solving. These skills are essential to the nation’s economic success.

Overall, the Singapore education system has been successful in developing a generation of highly skilled and well-educated citizens. It has also been credited with helping to attract foreign investment and talent to the country.

Hedonistic Treadmill

However, the system has also been criticized for creating a “hedonistic treadmill”, whereby students are pushed to pursue academic excellence at the expense of other aspects of their lives. This has led to a culture of over-competition and stress among students, which may have a negative impact on their physical and mental health.

It is clear that the Singapore education system has both advantages and disadvantages. While it has created a generation of highly skilled citizens, it has also led to a stressful and over-competitive environment. As such, it is important for parents, teachers and policy-makers to ensure that students have a healthy balance between academic success and a meaningful life outside of the classroom.

Home Tuition Singapore

However, with 8 in 10 students in Singapore receiving external help in the form of home tuition or group tuition, the average student would also need tuition just to keep on pace.

As such, it is highly recommended that parents enrol their students for tuition. If you are looking for a home tutor to kickstart your child’s education in Singapore, you can request for a tutor here!


Miriam is part of the team that operates CocoTutors: #1 Home Tuition Agency in Singapore. We connect Parents and students to Tutors, via our tuition-matching system. You can try out our services at ( or by calling +65 9177 9055 directly.

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