Singapore Education System

The Ministry of Education (MOE) manages the education in Singapore. It also controls in the development and administration of state schools that receives in the government funding. The ministries also act as supervisor and advisor for privates schools. There are some differences that prevail among the private and state schools in terms of curriculum, scope in government aid and funding, the burden of tuition on the students and also the admission policy.

The education spending forms of nearly 20% on the country’s annual budget these spending subsidize the government aided private education, state education for the citizens of Singapore. It also funds for the Edusave programme. For the non-citizens, the Educational costs are somewhat high. In the year 2000 the Compulsory Education Act codified as compulsory education for the kids of primary school age. Except for those who are physically disabled.The act warned the parents as criminal offence if they fail to enroll their kids in school and it is the duty of the parents that their kids have regular attendance. For home schooling and for full time religious institutions some exemption were permitted, provide the parents should approach the Ministry of Education and comply with a minimum yardstick.

English is the main medium of instruction. Within the local education system, English is chosen as the official language since 1987 .Even though other languages like Malay, Chinese and Tamil are other official languages; the language of instruction is English for all subjects excluding the authorized Mother tongue languages and their literatures. These official languages and its literatures are not taught in English even though there is a stipulation for use of English at the preliminary stages.


The kinder garden offers education for children between three to six years. The three years at Kinder garden are termed as Nursery, Kindergarten1 (k1), kinder garden2 (K2) correspondingly.

At kindrgarden, the kids are trained to interact with other fellow students. Likewise they are taught two languges like English and their respective mother tongue (Chinese or Malay or Tamil).Many private sectors, that comprises of religious bodies, community foundations, business or civic groups. As many as 200 kindergardens are registered with the Ministry of Education.

Primary Education

The primary education stars from the ages and it comprises of two stages – a 4 year foundation stage (primary 1 to 4) and a 2 year orientation stage (primary 5 to 6). The primary education is mandatory is free However a monthly fee of SGD 13 is collected from every student to meet the sundry expenditure

Foundation stage

The foundation is a formal school education in this stage four year stage, foundation education in English and other Mother language like (Chinese or Malay or Tamil or non Tamil Indian language (NTIL) and mathematics are provided The other subjects taught from primary 1 to 6 comprises of arts and crafts, civics and moral education, physical education and social studies, heath education and physical education.

Secondary Education. From Primary 3 onwards Science is taught.

Orientation stage

After the primary 4 levels the student advance to the orientation stage where according to the ability of the student, English, mother language and Mathematics are taught appropriately. In this stage flexibility is provided to the school to develop their own examinations. To evaluate the student’s ability that will can match with their exam pattern. Now the streaming of student s has been altered. Before the pupils were segregated according to the EM1, EM2, EM3 (English, Mother lanuage1, Mother language at the 1st, 2nd, 3rd language in that order. But the system was changed from 2008. Now the streaming is done as per as the subject. The student can take the mother tongue at the foundation or standard, higher levels. At the Standard of foundation levels, Science and Maths can also be taken.

Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE)

After the completion primary 6, the Primary School Leaving Examination is conducted. The exam evaluates the student whether he is prepared to take the secondary school education. Based on his performance in the PSLES, places are allocated to the students in the secondary school.

Secondary Education

Depending on the PSLE results, the students are put in different educational streams like “Special”, “Express”, “Normal (Academic)”. The difference in between “Special” and “Express “are the students in the special stream take up “Higher Mother Education” that is available only for Chinese, Malay and Tamil as a substitute for mother tongue. If a student pass the Mother ‘O’ level exam it means he has fulfilled the Mother tongue requirement in Singapore. On the other hand a normal mother tongue student has to take another year of study in ‘Mother tongue’ after their completion of ‘O’ level to take up the ‘AS’ level and they have to meet the requirement of MOE.

Pre University

In Singapore there are 18 junior colleges, a centralized institute (CI), Millennia Institute (MI founded in 2004), the oldest Junior college called the National Junior college (NJC founded in 1969) and the newest Junior college called the Innova Junior college founded in 2005.


There are three autonomous universities and each have its own curriculum. They are the National university of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and the Singapore Management University.

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