Policy changes coming up: Heng Swee Keat

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat at a press conference on Tuesday, Aug 6, 2013, to mark the end of the Our Singapore Conversation exercise. Key concerns raised by 47,000 people who took part in the year-long exercise will see a "substantive" Go
Education Minister Heng Swee Keat at a press conference on Tuesday, Aug 6, 2013, to mark the end of the Our Singapore Conversation exercise. Key concerns raised by 47,000 people who took part in the year-long exercise will see a "substantive" Government response, including a change to the Primary School Leaving Examination. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM

KEY concerns raised by 47,000 people who took part in the year-long Our Singapore Conversation exercise will see a "substantive" Government response, including a change to the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).

The policy changes will centre on housing, healthcare and education, issues that kept cropping up when citizens came together in over 660 sessions, to talk about the future Singapore they wanted to see.

This was revealed by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who heads the mass engagement exercise, at a press conference on Tuesday to mark the end of the year-long national conversation.

He launched a newsletter, titled Reflections, that captures the voices and themes of the mass engagement exercise. 60,000 copies will be distributed to the public and it has been posted online at www.oursgconversation.sg/reflections.

Mr Heng would not go into details on the policy changes to come, beseeching patience for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally (NDR) speech on Aug 18.

Pressed by reporters, he would only acknowledge that one announcement would be a change to the PSLE, a major exam that has been the subject of much debate recently due to the stress it places on youngsters.

Five "aspirations," distilled from the OSC sessions, will serve as a guide for Government policy from now on, Mr Heng added.

They are:

- "Opportunities" in a competitive economy,

- "Assurance" that housing and affordable healthcare will always be within reach,

- "Purpose" in lives that celebrate achievements beyond the economic, and that value shared memories and heritage spaces,

- "Spirit" in communities that organise ground-up initiatives and take care of their most disadvantaged,

- "Trust" between the Government and the people, as well as among Singaporeans.