Focus on quality of education and content

Singapore's slide from 10th to 15th place in a global ranking of a country's ability to nurture and attract business talent was reportedly due mainly to the relatively small portion of gross domestic product (GDP) it invests in public education ("S'pore slips in global talent ranking"; Nov 29).

Nevertheless, the quality of our education is not lacking.

Among 76 regions and countries surveyed, Singapore led the pack in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's rankings ("Singapore tops world's most comprehensive education rankings"; May 14, 2015) .

OECD, as many would know, is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 35 member countries, and founded to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

Students in Singapore have also been ranked the world's best in mathematics and science by a key global study ("Singapore students top maths, science rankings"; Nov 30).

Such achievements, despite the lower GDP spending, are due to our quality of schooling and content.

Helping our students achieve their potential is no easy feat. In fact, we continue to encourage Singaporeans to keep learning and retraining throughout their working lives to stay relevant with the right skills and knowledge.

The key to Singapore's success is a better educated and trained workforce.

The value of a dollar spent in education is relative to how well it is used. That only 2.99 per cent of GDP was spent on education last year does not mean Singapore is not spending enough.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2016, with the headline 'Focus on quality of education and content'. Print Edition | Subscribe