Uplift the bottom to tackle inequality: Ong Ye Kung at G-7 education ministers meeting

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said early childhood education is a key intervention in tackling inequality, and Singapore has invested deeply in this area to enhance the affordability and accessibility of quality pre-schools.
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said early childhood education is a key intervention in tackling inequality, and Singapore has invested deeply in this area to enhance the affordability and accessibility of quality pre-schools.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

SINGAPORE - The Republic's approach to tackling inequality is not to cap the top and limit their potential, but to invest in the bottom to help uplift them, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Thursday (July 4).

He was speaking at a round table discussion during the Group of Seven (G-7) Meeting for Education Ministers in Sevres, France - the first time Singapore has been invited to such a meeting.

The G-7 is an informal forum for the seven major economic powers: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Representatives from two other non-G-7 nations, Argentina and Estonia, were also invited to Thursday's meeting.

Mr Ong said at the discussion that early childhood education is a key intervention in tackling inequality, and that Singapore has invested deeply in this area to enhance the affordability and accessibility of quality pre-schools.

Singapore's Ministry of Education (MOE) said in a statement on Friday the G-7 countries adopted a Common Declaration, reaffirming the crucial role of education in promoting equal opportunities for all and in addressing inequality in their societies, at the meeting.

Together with Singapore, Argentina and Estonia, the G-7 countries also issued a communique on anti-bullying at school.

 

"The 10 countries agreed to unite against bullying in all of its forms, and to declare respectfulness as a fundamental principle for people living together and to help ensure that our schools are safe and welcoming places for all students," said MOE.

Mr Ong also held bilateral meetings with Argentinian, Canadian, Estonian and German education ministers.

The 2019 G-7 Summit, which will focus on fighting inequality, will be held from Aug 24 to 26 in Biarritz, France.