Two members of the teaching fraternity have been honoured for their exemplary contributions to the teaching of economics.
Mr Haniss B. Ali, senior teacher for economics at Nanyang Junior College, and Mr Khoo Gee Hwee, lead teacher of economics at Pioneer Junior College, were given Outstanding Economics Teacher awards by the Economic Society of Singapore. Both are aged 51.
Congratulating the winners at a ceremony yesterday, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran said: "Economics has been described, sometimes unfairly, as a dismal science. But good teachers can excite our curiosity and passion."
Mr Haniss, who has been an economics teacher for 24 years, said: "Good is relative but every teacher aspires to do the best for his students. Economics can seem detached from the classroom, so we need to bring real-world examples to our students so they can have a feel for it."
The awards, which were started by the society last year, were presented at the annual Singapore Economic Policy Forum at the Regent Hotel.
At the day-long forum, economists also discussed the new challenges faced by the Singapore economy.
Mr Iswaran told the gathering that sound economic analysis plays a key role in designing policies for inclusive growth.
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
Good is relative but every teacher aspires to do the best for his students. Economics can seem detached from the classroom, so we need to bring real-world examples to our students so they can have a feel for it.
MR HANISS B. ALI, senior teacher for economics at Nanyang Junior College.
He cited the challenge of stagnating incomes faced by the middle class in many countries, an outcome that has largely been blamed on globalisation.
In fact, the International Monetary Fund has studied the falling labour share of income around the world and found that in advanced economies, this largely reflects technological changes like automation.
With anti-globalisation sentiments and rhetoric coming to the fore in the politics of many developed countries, sound economic analysis can play a key role in guarding against such views taking root, Mr Iswaran said.
"It can help to accurately diagnose the problem, eschew sweeping statements and conclusions, and propose policies that can help ensure that the fruits of growth are accessible to all."