Lee Hsien Loong on the new statutory board for preschool education
As part of Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong’s 2012 National Day Rally speech, he made special mention of the government playing a more prominent role in preschool education.
PM Lee observed that times have now changed with shifting family structures, more households with dual incomes and fewer chances for children to be together to grandparents, siblings and cousins.
He also stressed that good pre-school education is an important phase to prepare children for later life.
The Government will be play a more active role in pre-school education, but it won’t nationalise the sector, said PM Lee as he announced the setting up of a new statutory board that will oversee the pre-school education sector.
New measures to upgrade preschool
PM Lee also revealed a number of other measures that would provide an upgrade to the pre-school experience in Singapore. These included: teacher training to raise standards, including starting a few Government-run preschool centres to test new kindergarten education concepts, upgrading training for teachers, giving more support to low- and middle-income families and opening up the pre-school sector to more anchor operators. All of these steps are to complement the PAP Community Foundation and the National Trades Union Congress kindergartens.
No nationalised preschool system
In spite of recent calls from some groups, PM Lee stress that the preschool sector will not be nationalised to give parents a choice and he is confident that the results from these new measures will be visible in five to seven years.
PM Lee also urged parent in his speech: “Please let your children have their childhood.” and he observed that over-teaching at the preschool stage will make a child grow up, “..narrow and neurotic.”
Sources: Asia One