Forum: Unsurprising that students know little of Singapore's history

I was not surprised to read the comments made by former chairman of the Public Service Commission Eddie Teo lamenting that many of Singapore's brightest students left him with the impression that they had very little knowledge of Singapore's history (Tommy Koh sings praise of hawker centres at book launch, Jan 30).

Inevitably, seeking academic excellence in core subjects like mathematics, the sciences and languages comes at the expense of "less important" knowledge, such as on Singapore's history, which has little or no bearing on entry into top schools and universities.

With parents who want their children to gain entry into top schools investing time and financial resources in a child's education to help him do well in these core subjects, where would he find the time and joy to learn about Singapore's history?

I doubt existing national education lessons in schools leave much of an imprint on students.

To help students learn more about Singapore's past, perhaps a certain number of school hours could be set aside each year for students to visit Parliament and important historical sites in Singapore, or knowledge of national history could be made an examinable subject in schools.

Gabriel Cheng Kian Tiong

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