The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has repeated its claim that the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) keeps copying its lead, as it announced the upcoming launch of its education policy.
In a statement released on Saturday (6 July), the SDP gave examples of how the PAP has been following its lead when it comes to education. The party said:
“In 1994, the SDP stated: “A major problem of streaming is the effect of self-fulfilling prophecy…It is not difficult for children in lower streams to feel less valued.” A quarter-of-a-century later, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung echoed: “Entering a stream that is ‘lower’ can carry a certain stigma… It becomes self-fulfilling.”
“In 2014, the SDP wrote: “Currently, the main providers of preschool education are private playgroups and kindergartens. The government does not provide preschool education at the national level.” We called for pre-school education to be nationalised. In 2017, the MOE announced that it would institute government-run kindergartens.
“These are just a couple of examples of how the PAP has been following the SDP’s lead in formulating our nation’s education policy.”
The SDP said that the current education system is heavy on rote-learning and exam-taking. and called this approach “out-dated as we head into an era of innovation where critical thinking is of the essence.” The party added: “The current system emphasizes paper qualification to the detriment of knowledge and skills essential for dealing with the realities of the present age.”
Disputing the Government’s stance that the Singapore education system is a first class system, the SDP asserted:
“We can continue to delude ourselves by believing PAP’s rhetoric that its education policy is number one in this and that.
“Or we can come to see the reality for what it truly is: That the PAP continues to wield education in Singapore as a political tool by stifling critical and independent thinking and adopt an enlightened and transformative policy that the SDP is proposing.”
The party then announced that it will launch its education policy on 13 July 2019 (Saturday). The event, titled “Launch of Educating for Creativity and Equality: An Agenda for Transformation,” will be held from 2pm at the SDP Office at 3 Ang Mo Kio Street 62, #02-30, Link@AMK. The event is free and open to the public.
The policy launch is the fifth in a series of campaign events that the SDP has organised since January 2019. It has since released its policies on the cost of living, housing, healthcare and immigration and population growth.
The SDP, led by secretary-general Chee Soon Juan, has said that it “strives to be a responsible opposition party by coming up with alternative ideas to take Singapore forward. We want to give Singaporeans a chance to vote for the SDP, not just against the PAP.”
In an earlier statement, the party alleged that the PAP has copied its ideas as it said: “This is one of the reasons why we know that we are on the right track and the reason why we continue to push for change by presenting our alternative ideas to our fellow citizens.” -/TISG