Mr Ong Kong Hong, Divisional Director, Curriculum Planning and Development Division 1, Ministry of Education, Singapore expressed in a statement that the 4-year Bicultural Studies Programme, offered from Secondary 3 in selected schools, facilitates the students with a strong interest in biculturalism and in understanding contemporary China and the West. This programme aims to promote bilingualism in English and Chinese, and enable the students to gain a deeper appreciation of international issues involving China, Southeast Asia, and the West through a Singapore perspective.
Apart from the programme, the students will get several other opportunities to learn about other cultures within Singapore and globally to help in developing a global outlook and cultivating cross-cultural skills.
He mentioned that the Singapore school curriculum also helps the students to better understand and appreciate diverse cultures. The Humanities curriculum will help the students in learning about the Singapore story and explore the diverse experiences and narratives of people in the past and present. The subjects like History, Geography and Social Studies, orient the students about the culture and society of other countries, and Singapore’s association with the region and the world. The initiative will enable the students to develop an understanding and appreciation for multiculturalism through the Character and Citizenship Education curriculum.
He said, “Mother Tongue Language classes help our students to develop cross-cultural perspectives. Schools conduct the Conversational Chinese and Malay programme to encourage students to learn an additional language beyond their Mother Tongue. Those who are keen can also take up a third language in school to strengthen their cultural awareness.”
The Ministry of Education will continue with efforts to help students remain anchored to the Singaporean heritage and culture, while equipping them with the knowledge, cross-cultural skills and global awareness to navigate an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.