Primary School Education
A child starts studying at Primary One at the age of six and studies for six years. He/she then sits for the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) before moving on to secondary school for another four or five years. The Primary School Education consists of a 4-year foundation stage from Primary 1 to 4 and a 2-year orientation stage from Primary 5 to 6. The overall aim of primary education is to give students a good grasp of English language, Mother Tongue and Mathematics.
- 6 years of compulsory education
- National examination: Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE)
- Students are encouraged to participate in Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) and Community Involvement Programme (CIP)
Secondary School Education
Secondary School Education places students in the Special, Express, Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical) course according to how they perform at the PSLE. The different curricular emphases are designed to match their learning abilities and interests. In secondary school, he/she can choose- based on his/her examination results to enter in the School Cambridge General Certificate of Education ‘Ordinary’ (GCE ‘O’s) level examinations.
- 4-5 years of education
- National examination: GCE ‘O’ Levels (for Special / Express courses) or GCE ‘N’ Levels (for Normal course)
- All students take part in at least one CCA; CCA performance is considered for admission to JCs, CI, polytechnics and ITE
After the secondary level, it’s a selection whether to go:
- Technical (ITE) or commercial institutes (MDIS, MIS, TMC, SIM)
- Polytechnics (Nanyang, Temasek, Ngee Ann, Singapore Polytechnic) to pursue diploma courses
- Pre-university centres or junior colleges to prepare for the Senior Cambridge General Certificate of Education ‘Advanced’ (GCE ‘A’) level examinations and later on tertiary education
- Centralised institutions
The Pre-U Education prepares students for the GCE ‘A’ Level examination at the end of the 2-year junior college or 3-year centralised institute course. Students who completed their pre-university education will receive aSchool Graduation Certificate.
- 2-3 years of education
- National examination: GCE ‘A’ Levels
- All students take part in at least one CCA. CCA performance is considered for university admission
For tertiary education, the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU) provide a wide choice of courses.
The primary role of ITE is to ensure that its graduates have the technical knowledge and skills that are relevant to industry. ITE is the national authority for the setting of skills standards and the certification of skills in Singapore.
Polytechnics were set up with the mission to train middle-level professionals to support the technological and economic development of Singapore. Reflecting the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests of their students, the polytechnics seek to train students with relevant and specific skills for the workplace to give Singapore a competitive edge as we move into a knowledge-based economy.
Singapore’s undergraduate university education aspires to prepare students not only for today’s world but also for a world where there will be jobs that have yet to be invented and challenges not yet foreseen.
Schools tailored for handicapped children are also available and are mainly operated by managed by private schools/ organisations.