SINGAPORE - Both new ministers for the Ministry of Education said that they are determined to continue building more and better pathways for Singaporeans to meet their aspirations.
This work will go on while the education system expands "in both scale and complexity," Acting Education Minister Ng Chee Meng and Acting Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a joint message to the education fraternity on Monday morning.
Both men took on their new posts at the start of this month.
Mr Ng, 47, the former defence chief, will oversee pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, and junior colleges.
Mr Ong, 45, a former top civil servant, will be in charge of matters related to higher education and skills training. This covers the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics, universities, private education, and continuing education and training.
In their note, they said: "Having two ministers in one ministry is not new, especially in a large ministry such as the Ministry of Education (MOE).
"Our portfolios are quite distinct, and most of you will find your work falling into one or the other, but we must firmly recognise that our work is integrated and synergistic."
They added: "We must continue to ensure that students leaving the school system and entering the ITE, polytechnics or universities continue to do well, and do not fall out of school."
Mr Ng and Mr Ong said that they look forward to "building on the good work" of their predecessor, Mr Heng Swee Keat, who is now Minister of Finance, and many educators and staff over the past generations.
In schools, MOE will develop students to be their best in all aspects - morally, cognitively, physically, socio-emotionally and aesthetically, they said, adding that it will partner parents and equip every Singaporean with the drive to learn beyond school.
In the higher education and skills sector, the ITE, polytechnics and universities are already "highly regarded internationally", they noted.
"MOE will be doing more to drive the national effort - SkillsFuture - to support all learners, from students, to youths, to adults," they added, referring to the national move to equip students and workers with industry-relevant skills.
MOE will also help to hone Singaporeans' talents and abilities and give them the opportunities to master their crafts, they said, adding: "This will have important implications on the way people learn, when they learn, how they learn, what credentials they achieve, and how workplaces and society recognises them."
All these will be essential in ensuring Singapore's success in an increasingly complex world, they said.