A full-day school curriculum can level the playing field for children, said Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Chia Yong Yong.
The extra hours in school will allow students to complete their homework, freeing up time to develop essential abilities such as problem-solving skills and an appetite for risk-taking. Chia considered such traits necessary for the ongoing technological revolution.
The current academic model “runs the risk of not harnessing the potential of all our young people” who do not have access to enrichment and tuition classes, she said.
As a result, those from more advantaged socio-economic backgrounds who have access to these classes will outperform their peers.
A full-day curriculum can also facilitate a move away from an environment in which “children cram or are hot-housed for better grades”. They can then be pushed to challenge one another by creating and devising solutions to problems.
“Despite living in Industrial 4.0, our schools continue to certify competencies relevant to models of the earlier industrial economies,” she said. “While basic subjects remain important, I submit that we should review our curriculum and make structural changes to our education landscape.”
Chia gave the example of applying a transdisciplinary approach to the curriculum, where students are challenged to use their knowledge and skills across subjects to achieve certain outcomes.
She also suggested having classes simulate real-life scenarios to allow students to analyse, brainstorm, make judgement calls and role-play, reported TODAY.
Such lessons will empower students with the ability to anticipate, adapt and overcome, so that they will have the confidence and courage to be different, she added.
“It is imperative that we build this psyche. If we cannot, whether as businesses or individuals, we will have neither the courage not the drive to innovate.”