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National Education

National Education (NE) aims to develop national cohesion, cultivate the instinct for survival as a nation and instill in our students, confidence in our nation's future. It also emphasises on cultivating a sense of belonging and emotional rootedness to Singapore.

MOE has adopted a two-pronged approach in the cultivation of national instincts among pupils: First, to develop an awareness of facts, circumstances and opportunities facing Singapore, so that they will be able to make decisions for their future with conviction and realism.

Second, to develop a sense of emotional belonging and commitment to the community and nation. This approach is amply captured in the phrase "engaging hearts and minds".

The following are some information on NE in Singapore.

Purpose of NE

The objective is to develop national cohesion, the instinct for survival and confidence in the future,
  • by fostering a sense of identity, pride and self-respect as Singaporeans;
  • by knowing the Singapore story -- how Singapore succeeded against the odds to become a nation;
  • by understanding Singapore's unique challenges, constraints and vulnerabilities, which make us different from other countries; and
  • by instilling the core values of our way of life, and the will to prevail, that ensures our continued success and well-being.

Head, Heart, Hands Framework

The "Head, Heart and Hands" framework was recommended by the Committee on NE in March 2007.

Head Heart Hands NE Framework 2007.png
In engaging the “Head”, students should be actively involved in their own learning; beyond knowing, they should think through issues and arrive at a deeper understanding of the challenges facing Singapore and what it means to be Singaporean. In engaging the “Heart”, students should connect emotionally with the Singapore story; their love for the nation should be the outcome of their appreciating Singapore and having a deeper sense of belonging. In engaging the “Hands”, students should have opportunities to give back to society, and realise that everyone has a part to contribute to and create Singapore’s future, and, where possible, to lead in different fields of society.

Head”, “Heart” and “Hands” will be the focus of engagement at all levels, but with varying emphases as appropriate to the age and maturity of the students . The “Hands” concept also expands on the original “Lead Singapore” outcome for post-secondary students to emphasise the fact that all students have a role in contributing to and creating Singapore’s future.

The three principles in the second ring – Quality, Customisation and Ownership, are guiding principles that underline all of the Committee’s recommendations. In particular, going forward, more emphasis should be given to a customised approach. For example, as students progress from primary to secondary levels, they should gradually move from understanding basic facts about our nation’s past, to understanding how Singapore is evolving in the present. As they move into post-secondary levels, the engagement should deepen their grasp of the complex challenges facing Singapore, while they ponder the possible futures for our nation.

The outer-most ring represents three key groups of stakeholders that are involved in the delivery of NE – educators, students and the community. This reinforces the idea that NE is owned by everyone, and emphasizes the importance of community partners in the process of NE.

National Education Messages

  • Singapore is our homeland; this is where we belong. 
  • We treasure our heritage and take pride in shaping our own unique way of life.
  • We must preserve racial and religious harmony. 
  • We value our diversity and are determined to stay a united people. 
  • We must uphold meritocracy and incorruptibility. 
  • We provide opportunities for all, according to their ability and effort.
  • No one owes Singapore a living. 
  • We find our own way to survive and prosper, turning challenge into opportunity.
  • We must ourselves defend Singapore. 
  • We are proud to defend Singapore ourselves, no one else is responsible for our security and well-being.
  • We have confidence in our future. 
  • United, determined and well-prepared, we have what it takes to build a bright future for ourselves, and to progress together as one nation.