Voices Of Youth

MOE should guide schools on free time

The move to free up three weeks of curriculum time every two years must be welcomed by schools as they can now have greater control over their curriculum (Fewer exams: Time freed up for other learning activities; Sept 29).

While I support the move, I am concerned about how schools intend to spend these precious three weeks, especially since they occur in the key transition years of the students.

For one thing, will the schools be bringing in or developing their own set of applied and inquiry-based learning, as envisioned by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung?

Both require spending significant resources, and teachers will first have to be trained to optimise such learning tools.

However, not all schools have the resources to implement such changes.

Well-funded schools will be better equipped to incorporate creative learning tools into their curriculum and might probably go further to develop their own pioneering learning techniques.

Schools with fewer resources will be at the losing end if they cannot keep up with the advancements in teaching methods.

We do not want to see huge disparities in the quality of learning activities conducted in these three weeks of freed curriculum time in different schools.

Hence, the Ministry of Education should come up with a framework to get schools to share best practices in using new learning tools, or provide some initial funding for schools to kick-start development of their own niche teaching methodology.

Lee Yu Xiang, 23

University undergraduate student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2018, with the headline 'MOE should guide schools on free time'. Print Edition | Subscribe