How the rise of the digital economy in Singapore is impacting the education sector

The steady rise of the digital economy in Singapore is leading to a realization of the challenges caused by such an economy. Local industries have changed their recruitment methodologies to accomodate the changes happening in the economy. People with ICT skills have become more valued and their earnings have gone up.

Industries such as manufacturing have seen laying off of staff due to automation of jobs. The digital economy has also affected those working in white-collar jobs where their jobs have also been automated.

However, the most affected industries are the retail and transport industries, that have taken the brunt of this rise in the digital economy. These industries have been decimated by eCommerce and other apps.

These changes have transformed the way companies organize their labor, production, and trade around the world. This has all be made possible by the interconnectivity using technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, the internet of things and robotics.

How Singapore is responding to the digital economy in the education sector

Singapore has taken adequate steps in ensuring their education system is sufficient enough to accomodate digital changes happening in their economy. The Ministry of Education has been at the forefront of promoting skilling of students from primary schools to universities.

The ministry will introduce Applied Learning Programmes in primary schools. This program will help equip the students with knowledge about artificial intelligence, cloud computing and robotics to primary school children. The ministry indicated the only way to ensure better adoption of technologies is by starting at an early age.

Education department commitment to emerging technologies

Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung continued by saying the Applied Learning Programmes would continue in secondary schools. Emerging technologies would be taught to these schools. He also indicated that his ministry would continue putting more emphasis on Mathematics and sciences, which are the backbone of technology development.

The ministry faces an uphill task, especially with teachers who will be dealing with pupils who are digital natives. The fast-changing technologies will also pose a challenge to teachers who will have to be reskilling regularly to keep updated on these changes.

However, the government of Singapore sees this as a necessary step in bridging the gap between the digital economy and the education sector. This is a necessary step for the development of the country and the country is taking measures to ensure a smooth transition of these students in the economy.

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