Director-general of education Wong Siew Hoong who oversaw PSLE overhaul to retire on March 31

Mr Wong Siew Hoong (left) will be succeeded by Madam Liew Wei Li. PHOTOS: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

SINGAPORE - Director-general of education Wong Siew Hoong will retire on March 31 after 38 years of service during which he oversaw key changes such as the revamp of the PSLE scoring system.

He will be succeeded by Madam Liew Wei Li, 49, who is currently deputy director-general of education (schools) and director of schools, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) in a statement on Monday (Feb 28).

Mr Wong, 62, started his career as a teacher in 1984 and was appointed director-general of education in April 2015.

Before that, he was principal of Tanjong Katong Secondary and Raffles Institution, director of schools, and deputy director-general of education (curriculum).

In its statement, MOE said Mr Wong has made significant contributions to the education system and oversaw several key shifts.

These include changes to the PSLE scoring system to grade pupils in wider bands rather than T-scores.

MOE also introduced full subject-based banding in secondary schools to replace Secondary 1 streaming by 2024, as part of efforts to cater to the strengths of students across different subjects.

Most recently, Mr Wong helped helm MOE's response to the Covid-19 pandemic to teaching and learning in schools.

The statement said: "Under his guidance, schools successfully took precautions to safeguard the well-being of students and staff, and also put in place home-based learning so that students' learning could continue undisrupted."

It added that Mr Wong also oversaw a refreshed curriculum that seeks to integrate character and citizenship education with lessons and co-curricular activities, and enhanced mental health and cyber wellness education across primary and secondary schools.

He also oversaw the roll-out of the Student Learning Space online platform and the policy of providing a personal learning device to secondary school students, and played a key role in strengthening digital literacy in schools through the National Digital Literacy Programme, said MOE.

Mr Wong also worked with the teaching fraternity to add effective teaching practices into the Singapore Teaching Practice model and through it, promote pedagogical improvements and innovations, the statement added.

Mr Wong said: "It has been my immense privilege to serve in the teaching service, to work with so many dedicated fellow teachers and, together with them, help our students develop and grow to their fullest potential."

Permanent Secretary for Education Lai Chung Han said: "I would like to thank Siew Hoong for his sterling leadership as director-general of education over the past seven years.

"He has been an exemplary educator for almost four decades, and I would like to express MOE's deep appreciation to him for his many significant contributions to the education service and Singapore."

Mr Wong's successor, Madam Liew, joined the education service as a teacher in 1994 and has held a range of leadership appointments in schools, the MOE headquarters and public sector agencies, MOE said.

Of her new appointment, she said: "I look forward to working with our highly professional, nurturing, and dedicated teaching fraternity to provide the ballast, direction and momentum for future generations to contribute their dynamism to Singapore in a global world."

Mr Wong will continue to be involved with MOE after his retirement as an adviser, MOE added.

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