Building character a more important objective for education system

Moving beyond achieving strong academic results in Singapore's education system is commendable (More being done to instil joy of learning, enterprising spirit; July 26).

However, instilling an "enterprising spirit" may not be the most important or relevant objective in education.

More pressing is the unlocking of the vast and varying capabilities in every child.

Education goes beyond the imparting of knowledge and skills.

More importantly, it is about building character.

Moral education is a component that is often neglected in education.

There is an urgent need to teach and nurture the right moral values so that children learn to discern between right and wrong from a young age.

This will provide them with a compass to steer them through decision-making, challenges and difficulties in an ever-changing and complex world.

The "joy of learning" is not a policy or driven by key performance indicators.

Rather, it is an intangible fruit that grows out of a painstakingly constructed educational system that is practical, sustainable and respects the needs and vulnerability of our children.

Children are our future and not guinea pigs for experiments.

In anticipation of changes to the Singapore education system, we look forward to good accountability and sensitive practices rather than quick fixes.

Ho Ting Fei (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2018, with the headline 'Building character a more important objective for education system'. Print Edition | Subscribe