Committee of Supply debate

Secondary: Greater scope for outdoor education

Participants taking part in an activity at  OBS at Ubin on March 30, 2016.
Participants taking part in an activity at OBS at Ubin on March 30, 2016. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

The Education and Manpower ministries yesterday outlined a range of new measures to prepare students and workers for a more challenging economic landscape. We look at the key changes.

More opportunities will be provided for students to benefit from outdoor education, to build confidence and teamwork, forge camaraderie, and lay the foundation for active and healthy living.

A five-day Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) expedition-based camp will be compulsory for all Secondary 3 students from 2020, by which time the new $250 million OBS @ Coney is expected to be ready. Students from different schools will be brought together, giving them a chance to interact and collaborate.

The Ministry of Education's four Outdoor Adventure Learning Centres, such as the ones in Jalan Bahtera and Labrador, will also be upgraded over the next few years to cater to more students.

Acting Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng said outdoor education provides students with rich learning experiences outside the classroom.

These experiences will help them develop attributes such as resilience and ruggedness, he added.

More schools will also offer specialised art and music programmes.

Two extra secondary schools will offer the Enhanced Art Programme and another will provide the Enhanced Music Programme from next year, bringing the total number to nine and four schools respectively.

Calvin Yang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2016, with the headline 'Secondary: Greater scope for outdoor education'. Print Edition | Subscribe