Singapore students: rote learners?

“Singapore’s 15-year-olds top PISA problem solving tests” Students from Singapore and Korea emerged number one out students from 44 countries in the recent PISA problem solving test, which put the students’ real–life problem-solving skills to the test.
It has proven that Singapore students are quick learners and are able to solve problems in unfamiliar contexts. However, Singapore’s notorious stressful education system has earned students the title of rote learners. Rote learning is a memorisation technique based on repetition, a learning method that is often debated against.
Singapore students often rank high on academic charts, one example being when Singapore ranked 2nd for Mathematics and 3rd for Science and reading in December last year. However, some countries that ranked high on these charts surprisingly did not do well in the problem solving test.
This has also proven Singapore students capable of critical thinking and not just hours of memorisation.
“I think the reason why Singapore is doing well is because Singapore has very close eyes and ears of what’s happening in the world and the economy, and I think maintaining that is very critical.” said OECD’s Andreas Schleicher.
“Who says Singaporean students are rote learners?” added PM Lee Hsien Loong while commenting on the PISA test this time round.
Congratulations to the students that aced the test and brought pride to Singapore!

-See Mun


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