The Development of Private Education Organizations in Singapore Essay Example
The Development of Private Education Organizations in Singapore Essay Example

The Development of Private Education Organizations in Singapore Essay Example

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  • Pages: 15 (3932 words)
  • Published: August 15, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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Singapore's education systems have made considerable progress in enhancing the quality of education over the last 20 years. Consequently, parents and students now enjoy increased options and opportunities.

The government of Singapore has implemented new educational systems to give schools more freedom and encourage a varied teaching approach. These policies were put in place during the late 1980s and early 1990s, which included creating independent and autonomous schools, introducing a school ranking system, and establishing quality school awards. The Ministry of Education (MOE) is responsible for overseeing education in Singapore, including the management of public schools. Moreover, the MOE receives government funding and has control over private school evaluations and decision-making.

The curricula, government support, and admission policies of both private and public schools in Singapore undergo changes. The text can be divided into four sections that discuss the development of private education in Singapore and t


he factors contributing to the establishment of private educational organizations within the country. Additionally, it explores government policies, societal demands, and globalization. Previous literature and its limitations are also covered in a separate section.

This article gives an overview of the expansion of private education organizations in Singapore, discussing their advantages and disadvantages, as well as strategies to surpass public schools. It also summarizes the development of private education organizations in relation to Singapore's education policies.


Definition Of Private Education Organizations

In this article, we define private education organizations as comprehensive schools, many owned by individuals, companies, or religious institutions with limited liability. These private schools in Singapore cater to both local and international students, including working adults.


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on the Development of Private Education Organizations

This section explores the origins and growth of private education in Singapore. The population comprises Chinese, Malay, Indian, and European immigrants with a British colonial heritage that lasted for over 140 years until 1819. In 1959, Singapore achieved self-government status under Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and the People's Action Party (PAP).

Following its incorporation into Malaysia, Singapore achieved independence on 9th August 1965 by enhancing its governance capabilities. In the last fifty years, it has made incredible strides in both social and economic aspects, solidifying its position as one of Asia's leading nations. Despite facing constraints in terms of natural resources and size, education remains pivotal in upholding racial and social unity.

The Singapore government has prioritized the provision of high-quality human resources to support societal and economic progress. This goal has been achieved through the establishment of numerous schools and allowing private education organizations to create their institutions. The main objective is to ensure that all children in the country have access to education, particularly in mathematics and science. The government's dedication to education is evident in its allocation of more than 20% of its annual budget for this purpose (Ministry of Finance, 2004). Additionally, both the regulation and financing of Singapore's education system are under government control. According to the Singapore Department of Statistics in 2002, there have been 36 new private education institutions established over the last two decades in response to increasing demand for certification, diplomas, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and professional courses.

In 2002, there were a total of 148 private instruction establishments offering similar classes. Some, such as the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts

and the Singapore Institute of Commerce, had been operating for over 50 years and had a good reputation. The majority (83 out of 148) were located in the central business district (CBD), while the remaining 65 were outside the CBD.


The private instruction organizations operated on a larger scale than the average private instruction industry. In 2002, each organization employed an average of 31 workers and collected an average operating revenue of around $2.7 million.

In 2002, private establishments in the private instruction industry experienced lower profitability and earning-expenditure ratios compared to the previous year. The total enrollment for private instruction organizations in 2002 was 114,500 students, with 40,600 students graduating. The majority of students were enrolled in Business Administration, Information Technology, and Fine Applied Arts programs, which accounted for approximately 81 percent of the total enrollment.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) classifies institutions offering certificate, diploma, degree, higher degree or professional courses into various categories such as Commercial Schools, Foreign System School Islamic Religious Schools, Private Kindergarten Regular Schools Privately Funded Schools Special Education Schools.

The development of Private Education organizations is driven by government policies aimed at providing quality human resources to meet social and economic development needs. It also fosters a strong sense of population within the country. To ensure an inclusive education system with diversity, the government has implemented several policies that encourage growth in Private Education. Singapore's membership in the World Trading Organizations (WTO) positions it as one of Asia's fastest-growing states.

Singapore has attracted numerous organizations to invest in various fields including finance, education, and industry. Education has also been utilized as a tool for societal engineering. For instance, during the

1960s, male students were obligated to study technical subjects related to machine industries. In 1966, a bilingual policy was introduced where English became the primary language and the mother tongue served as the secondary language. The government aligned education with other sectors such as the economy, national defense, community support, and the economy itself. Singapore's education system focused on implementing new educational changes and making significant investments in educational resources and infrastructure to enhance human resource skills. Consequently, private educational organizations were provided ample opportunities to flourish and grow within Singapore.

Private education organizations have the capacity to attract both local and international students, contributing to the growth of GDP through taxes and promoting a diverse and competitive education system. Singapore aims to join the ranks of nations with a thriving economy and highly educated citizens. The government of Singapore recognizes the significance of education as a catalyst for economic progress.

According to the Department of Statistics in 2000, the education services sector accounted for 1.9% of Singapore's GDP. The objective of this industry is to expand its GDP contribution within a range of 3 to 5%. This expansion is expected to be driven by a rise in international students who pay full fees. Moreover, the Singapore government aims to establish itself as a global education hub and strengthen educational capacity.

Singapore's scholarships and integration into prestigious universities attract talented individuals globally, resulting in a significant number of international students meeting Singapore's workforce demands. Consequently, many of these graduates secure employment within the country. Education plays a crucial role in connecting advanced scientific knowledge and information communication technology due to globalization. It provides vital information and techniques that

fuel technological advancements across various sectors like transportation, communication, and industry.

Globalization has expanded students' access to analyze topics aligned with their school's curriculum, learning, research, and service maps. Education plays a vital role in building a democratic, fair, and equal world. The rapid and efficient communication facilitated by cyberspace enables the circulation of ideas, capital, culture, traditions, and media images to reach global audiences. Consequently, education systems worldwide have undergone transformations due to globalization. This has placed significant pressure on these systems as they strive to meet societal expectations and compete in the global marketplace.

There are increasing concerns about the quality, support, certification, and direction of the education system. These worries have prompted various changes in response to globalization by the Singapore Government. Consequently, private establishments and organizations have also invested in Singapore's education sector. Their goal is to attract individuals from foreign countries by introducing technology, enhancing school curriculum, improving organization and management techniques, and implementing other innovations. To remain competitive, these private educational institutions incorporate both international and local components.

The Impact of Social Demand

In Singapore, education plays a crucial role in advancing both society and the economy.

Not meeting the high demand for education and inadequate investment in it will result in parents opting for private providers instead of public schools. Attaining higher education enhances the chances of obtaining well-paying jobs, thereby increasing school attendance. Consequently, government education systems encounter difficulties in managing the sudden increase in enrollment and implementing necessary changes. In certain instances, dissatisfied parents may explore alternative educational choices.

Concerns are being raised by parents about the lack of diversity and creativity in public schools, as well as their belief that education

systems should adapt to meet the specific needs of economies and societies. Additionally, overcrowding has become a problem in public schools due to population growth. Furthermore, private schools provide courses that can equip individuals with the essential skills and expertise needed for a fiercely competitive workforce. As a result, private schools play a vital role in offering these opportunities.


Summary of previous research

Drumhead: This working paper examines concepts and categories developed in private higher education research and assesses their relevance to lower levels of education. In the Dominican Republic, a study is conducted to investigate the growth of private primary and secondary schools. Three sectors - Catholic, elite, and demand-absorbing - and categories of finance, administration, and function are considered.

Drumhead: The paper focuses on two types of clients: those involved in educational planning and administration in both developing and developed countries. Additionally, developed countries need to plan and administer education privatization. Government officials and policy-makers should have a comprehensive understanding of education planning and administration in relation to national development.

Drumhead: This research emphasizes the importance of building and promoting a vision for Asian regional education and integration.

Besides, it is necessary to enhance and strengthen trust and a sense of unity among the people of Asia, as well as to highlight the importance of Asian human resources on a global scale. This study proposes the need for diverse perspectives achieved through discussion and collaboration. Instead of relying solely on a single model or ideal, we should establish an educational framework in the Asian region that can make significant contributions to the formation of an Asian Community, as well as to peace and prosperity in the region.

In summary, this research examines and compares the development of private education in Hong Kong and Singapore. The title of the study is "Independent schools and independent schools in Singapore: A study of two privatization initiatives aimed at promoting school innovation." A comprehensive analysis is conducted to examine the role and innovation in independent and private schools in Singapore, including interviews with sixteen school principals, the Minister of State, and the Director of Education.

This paper examines the important qualities of private school principals in Singapore. It emphasizes the significance of effective leadership, including the establishment of trust, promoting communication between principals and teachers, and maintaining high ethical values. The findings are based on a study conducted in 10 private schools in Singapore.

The functions of principals in schools and the community have been examined and evaluated through the incorporation of surveys. As a consequence, the private school industry has introduced a sector of reconciliation to the traditional school sector, as well as a profit-making industry. Thus, our focus is on the "profit-making" objectives. Unfortunately, many school principals have not been honest in terms of both academic values and profits. In summary, this research reexamines the independent schools scheme introduced in Singapore in 1987. The government did not control all schools, allowing many schools to become independent. While the government continues to receive financial support, these schools lack control in finance, staff deployment, management, salaries, and curriculum. This research establishes a background model to analyze and evaluate the independent schools and their organization.

The purpose of this is to emphasize societal and educational disparities. It also explores how authorities play a role in promoting privatization policies

and addressing inequalities within private schools and education.

Literature Review

The education market functions based on the interaction between parents as consumers and schools as service providers. Parents seek high-quality schools for their children, while both public and private schools strive to gain advantages in the education market. Notably, the growth of competition within the administrative sector is crucial for retaining resources and students (Goral, 1997). The involvement of governments in the education system is vital for effectively controlling and overseeing education in the marketplace.

According to Levin's research in 1987, applying a market-oriented approach to the school sector in response to societal demands can enhance overall performance. In Singapore, numerous private schools have been established by private education organizations. As a result, effective leadership becomes crucial in private schools. It has been emphasized that effective leadership can establish trust, promote communication between principals and teachers, and uphold ethical values at a high level (Victor Yu S.O, 2009). Additionally, various sectors need to focus on developing private schools.

To illustrate, when analyzing the development of primary and secondary education privately in the Dominican Republic, it is necessary to consider three sectors: Catholic, elite, and demand-absorbing. These sectors include classes in finance, administration, and map (Mendoza, 2007). Additionally, in developed countries, education privatization requires careful planning and management. Government officials and policymakers have concerns about education planning and management in relation to national development (Belfield & Levin, 2002). As a result, Singapore has implemented a diverse education system. The emergence of private schools has led to a more competitive environment within the education system (Foskett, 2002). In 1987, the Singapore government relinquished control of all schools, leading to educational inequalities.


authorities is responsible for correcting private school policies related to societal and instructional matters (Tan, 1993). Private schools serve the purpose of diversifying the education system and promoting competition between public and private schools, stimulating the market for education (Adnett & Davies, 2002). The core objective of competition in education is not only to improve the learning environment, but also to enhance the quality of education to meet the demands of society, parents, and other stakeholders. Furthermore, it allows clients to choose and pay for their preferred education services (Smith & Meier, 1995). In many developing countries, governments are unable to meet all the educational needs due to limited financial and administrative capabilities. Consequently, private schools are established at a rapid pace to address the lack of educational services in public schools.

In the field of education, the quality of instruction and societal reputation of private schools is consistently lower than that of public schools. However, this is not the case in developed countries like Singapore, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where the public education services are sufficient. These countries have implemented universal or compulsory education policies. In Singapore, private schools do not receive government funding and face competition from public schools such as the National Technological University and National Universities of Singapore. As a result, private schools must have effective strategies, including offering diverse courses, competing with other educational providers, and seeking demand-driven support. Schools operating in competitive environments often employ various marketing tactics to attract future students.

Furthermore, private schools must possess effective marketing strategies in order to enhance their reputation, attract and retain students (Levin, 1997). The survival of many private

schools relies on their ability to enroll new students and provide diverse and appealing educational resources. In certain developed countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, where education is not compulsory, parents have the opportunity to choose the best quality education for their children. Consequently, private schools are more favored than public schools. Private schools can rapidly improve the quality of education and gain more societal prestige. As a result, private schools may possess a greater competitive advantage over public schools in these developed countries (Bray, 1995).

Private schools in the public school competition sector strive to enhance the quality of instruction and academic achievements in order to attract both local and international students. However, the education evaluation system has some negative consequences. Parents with high incomes have numerous options to choose from when selecting schools that offer excellent academic performance and high social prestige for their children. The quality of private schools is crucial and is assessed based on educational inputs and outputs. Educational inputs encompass resources such as students and materials, as well as teacher qualifications and the teacher-student ratio. Educational outputs reflect the number and type of graduating students, as well as the number of achievement tests taken by students (Tsang, 2002).

Teacher quality greatly impacts a student's academic performance. Private schools, which have higher operational costs, tend to perform better in this regard. This is because they have more teachers per student, who are well-qualified and spend more time with each student. Private schools are able to meet the academic needs of their students effectively. A strong academic background is often desired by students and their parents as it increases their

employment opportunities and the likelihood of pursuing non-manual careers. Through the fees paid, students and parents have a range of choices and prioritize academic subjects to achieve their desired outcomes (Bashir, 1997 and Prsachropoulos, 1987).

Private schools in Singapore aim to attract talented students, establish effective school plans, and attract high-quality instructors through efficient management and policies. These schools also strive to provide equal opportunities for education to children from different backgrounds, addressing any unfairness and inequality in the provision of education. However, public schools in Singapore are generally regarded as superior to private schools due to their limited enrollment capacity and rigorous entrance examinations. From the past until 2002, a total of 148 private education organizations were established in Singapore.

The text mentions various private instruction organizations in Singapore. These organizations have been in operation for different durations. Four organizations have operated for over 50 years, such as the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and the Singapore Institute of Commerce. Additionally, there are 38 organizations that have been operating for less than five years, 33 organizations for five to nine years, 41 organizations for ten to 19 years, 18 organizations for 20 to 29 years, 12 organizations for 30 to 39 years, and 2 organizations for 40 to 49 years.

In 2002, private schools in Singapore graduated a total of 40,600 students. These students received certifications, diplomas, degrees, higher degrees, and professional qualifications. The graduates from private schools contribute significantly to the Singapore workforce and are associated with multinational corporations.

The development of private education institutions serves an important urban-development function. The government will employ various urban-development tools and tax incentives to enhance the quality of private schools.

Restriction of old researches

The previous studies have failed to analyze the registration decisions made by applicants when choosing between public and private schools. While Singapore is known for its developed economy and high-quality education system, there is limited research highlighting the impact of factors such as race and financial assistance on student outcomes in private schools. Additionally, previous studies have overlooked the need for a framework to evaluate private education organizations and identify the key factors that contribute to their competitive advantage. Therefore, future research should involve interviews with students and parents to gain insight and effectively evaluate the development of private education organizations in Singapore.


The advantages of private instruction organizations

First and foremost, private education organizations offer innovation and flexibility.

Private schools have the advantage of being able to improve their plans and practices more efficiently to accommodate their students due to their lack of external support. Additionally, private schools often have smaller classroom sizes, allowing students to receive more individual attention from their teachers. This facilitates easier studying and the ability to ask questions. Furthermore, as students come from different countries, they bring with them the culture and traditions of their respective nations. This international mix enhances the students' learning by providing opportunities for skills development, experiences, and cross-cultural communication. Moreover, private schools view students as customers.

Private schools consistently prioritize meeting the needs and concerns of their students, providing a multitude of activities and resources. Additionally, they offer classes that encompass various age groups, allowing younger students to learn from the experiences of their older

peers. Thus, private schools foster a lifelong learning experience.

Private schools are chosen by working adults or older students who want to further their careers through education. These schools offer a variety of courses and degrees, including certifications, diplomas, bachelor's degrees, and graduate degrees. They also collaborate with international universities, providing students with opportunities to earn international accreditation. However, private schools in Singapore face several disadvantages. They have a poor reputation among local students and receive limited support. The regulatory environment and policies are quite strict as well. Furthermore, parents generally prefer to send their children to public schools due to their trusted instructors, curriculum, and facilities.

Therefore, private schools in Singapore do not have equal opportunities to provide high-quality education as government schools. Only government universities are allowed to issue grades and private schools are not permitted to do so. Additionally, unlike in Australia or Canada, private schools in Singapore do not receive government support. Although the government encourages international universities to establish operations in Singapore, they have not changed their policies to allow local private schools to issue grades. This concern arises from the fear that if private schools were allowed to issue grades, they may prioritize profit over providing quality education.

This has an impact and hampers the government's mission to establish the country as a center of global education.

The growth of private education institutions system

In Singapore, there are over 300 private schools, which provide various programs in fields such as information technology, business, language, etc. These programs cater to the high demand from both local and international students. Additionally, private schools collaborate with renowned foreign universities from countries like the United Kingdom, United States,

Australia, Japan, etc., to offer a wide range of courses with certifications, diplomas, bachelor's and postgraduate degrees. Furthermore, private schools offer students the opportunity to acquire international accreditation in a comfortable and efficient environment.

To gain a competitive edge, private schools in Singapore should take steps such as expanding their course offerings, establishing partnerships with popular foreign universities to ensure recognition of accreditation, improving school facilities like classrooms, library resources, computer equipment, etc. to create a comfortable learning environment, and efficiently providing international student services like accommodation and visa assistance, insurance coverage, student counseling, orientation programs, etc. Additionally, private schools in Singapore should obtain two accreditations, namely CaseTrust for Education and Singapore Quality Class for Private Education Organizations (SQC-PEO), to ensure high quality standards, regulatory compliance, and sound business policies.


To stay ahead in both the economy and education sector, Singapore is focused on nurturing its human resources. It is crucial to enhance the country's image and showcase its achievements in fields like life sciences and technology. As a result, Singapore has been making continuous improvements in its education system.

Singapore has implemented various schemes and policies to create a diverse education system in order to gain a competitive edge and adapt to globalization. Over the next few years, Singapore aims to become a global schoolhouse, presenting numerous opportunities for private education organizations to develop and contribute to the country's education system. However, in the context of globalization, these organizations also face several challenges including competition, finances, human resources, facilities, and curricula in order to gain prestige among both international and local students. This is especially evident in a multicultural and multi-region country like Singapore, where private education

organizations encounter both challenges and opportunities.

The private instruction organisations must create a clear plan to adapt to the development of the Singapore instruction scheme.

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