Did you know that mummies and daddies are going to start studying more at work? Education never really ends after you graduate from an institution, and it’s an amazing stepping stone that can take you to greater heights! The Adult Learning Symposium (ALS) 2020 had an opening address by Ms Gan Siow Huang who is the Minister of State (Ministry of Education) where she spoke about the initiatives pertinent to our current evolving pandemic.
Though ALS was being held fully online for the first time, the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) successfully managed to bring more than 1,000 participants to the conference regardless. As accurately described by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Singapore is currently in the midst of a “mighty storm”, COVID-19. We’re unsure if it will persist and can’t wait for a certain direction before taking precautionary action. Hence the Training and Adult Education (TAE) sector would be considering 3 new objectives. This is to aid and ensure that adults in and out of the workplace are thoroughly prepared and ready to brave the long storm ahead. We might not know where this pandemic would lead us, but taking active steps to deal with it is of utmost importance.
Firstly, there would be a paradigm shift towards learning at the workplace! This aims to strengthen the enterprise pillar and the nexus between industry and training. As seen from the success of the Train-and-Place (TnP) programmes by the government, it is testament to the importance of actually strengthening the need to learn at work. Training providers have proven to be able to build up strong relationships with leading media industries worldwide and have successfully scored placements for about 90% of their trainees! Isn’t that great? Not only that, companies also need to do their part to continually train and develop their employees. The government has established several National Centres of Excellence for Workplace Learning (NACE) to support companies, in equipping them with skills needed to train employees. It’s back to school in the office!
Secondly, it’s necessary to accelerate the pace of digitalisation so that we can react fast to the ever-changing scene. As seen during the Circuit Breaker period, almost the whole of Singapore had to rapidly shift towards working from home and conducting lessons online. The government has been working hard in rolling out initiatives to increase the availability and scope of online coverage. One good initiative which aims to help Adult Educators get used to online learning is IAL’s Moving Offline to Online Rapidly, or MOTOR, Initiative. This initiative has a series of guides, resources and short courses for Adult Educators to learn techniques and digital tools which can aid them aid students like you! In terms of shifts in learning style, so is there a need for the educators to learn new and effective ways of engaging students through online platforms!
Lastly, the final shift that the TAE sector is making to further strengthen the quality of their ecosystem. This is done in 3 aspects – easing costs for private education institutes (PEI), enhancing courses to increase its quality and providing expert guidance to training providers. For reducing the costs for PEIs, the enhanced EduTrust Certification scheme has been rolled out and has greatly reduced about $55,000 for each institute. As for the support given to training providers, the government aims to support them by constantly guiding them on the soft skills currently in high demand to pave a useful and good curriculum for the providers to execute! Training providers can then refer to the Critical Core Skills framework as a guide when incorporating soft skills into their curriculum.
For your information, the ‘Current Affairs’ series covers the latest news and developments in the realm of education, added with a dash of discussion and a sprinkle of opinion!
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