The crucial reason behind the push for applied learning in Singapore

Jul 08, 2019

There was a message at the grand ceremony of the International Science Youth Forum 2018 from Dr. Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Communications and Information and the Ministry of Education that there will be a push for the applied learning methods in the secondary schools and the higher learning institutes for bridging the division between what is learned in the school and how it is pertinent to the real world. 

Alongside, Singapore and the government remained devotedly pro-science and in support of the pursuit of the nation’s scientific excellence.

Applied Learning: What is it?

It refers to the teaching method where students get the opportunities to see how and what they learn for addressing problems in the real world. Applied learning can shape the curriculums and find the solutions to the challenges thrown by the real world. It will let the students go outside the school gates and learn about science in the field as an important curriculum and not any random occasional field trip.

As per Dr. Janil, there wasn’t any anti-science movement in Singapore and the government has a strong concentration on moving forward in the sphere of science. Singapore as a nation, society and government completely trust in scientific methodology and principles that urge science and the pursuit of scientific excellence. The government is consistently putting its fund on research. $19 billion was budgeted in the year 2016 for science and technology research over the upcoming half decade.

Since the year 2017, over 80 of the 191 primary schools in Singapore have Applied Learning Programs that are shaped by the schools for helping the students apply their learning to the real world. By the year 2023, all the primary schools will adopt the Applied Learning Program or ALP.

The Ministry of Education will provide support to the schools with ALP for boosting and strengthening their programs and capabilities. It will nurture innovation and creativity, and the children will be ready for facing the future. Applied learning is diverse and exciting, and can cater to a variety of interests like STEM, humanities, languages, aesthetics, business, entrepreneurship and inter-disciplinary fields. The students can learn through experimentation. 

The new Science Center will play a pivotal role in the provision of applied learning experiences for all the students after the completion by the mid - 2020s. The Ministry of Education will make another big investment and put aside a vital budget for developing the new Science Center.

Ability of Applied Learning:

Applied Learning has the ability to bring science to life through interactive experiences and displays. It will be in compliance with the home-grown and the international companies for the provision of a variety of programs for the youth. 
As per MOE, over 50 schools will offer O-Level MOE Applied Subjects, and 30 schools will give proposition of MOE-ITE Applied Subjects at Normal/Technical Level. The subjects that are examinable at the N and O Level are electronics, sports science, exercise, mobile robotics, and drama. At present, 49 secondary schools offer Applied Subjects and 18 secondary schools proffer MOE-ITE Applied Subjects.

Financial Assistance Scheme:

Enhancements have been done to the financial assistance scheme for benefiting approximately 90,000 students. More will be done for the learners coming from the lower income families through the enhancement of the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme. The Singaporean students at the primary to the pre-university level can vail the scheme. 

The income criteria will grow from approximately S$2,500 in the gross household income per month to around S$2,750. The monthly per capita income that provides benefits to the larger families will grow from S$625 to S$690. Approximately 6,000 more Singaporean students can benefit from this income criteria rise. Ten meals will be given for the students belonging to the secondary school under the program. Along with the enhancements, several financial assistance schemes will cost around S$100 million per year to the government. The schemes will provide benefit to approximately 90,000 students in totality. 

The bottom line is Applied Learning is based on the experiences that go beyond the four walls of the classroom and grades so that the kids can be capable of solving real-life problems. It also cultivates the students’ skills and interests in certain areas that are relevant to the supporting industries and the developing competencies of the 21st century.


Applied Learning refers to the teaching method where students get the opportunities to see how and what they learn for addressing problems in the real world. Applied learning can shape the curriculums and find the solutions to the challenges thrown by the real world.

Article Posted in: Academics

Sudipto Das

Sudipto writes educational content periodically for MyPrivateTutor Singapore and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got more than 5 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO and graphic designing.

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