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Stakeholders in Singapore education

In Singapore, education is highly valued amongst many parents and teachers. High expectations of the standards and level of education that is passed to students are placed upon the education system as a whole (Khong, 2005). There are many stakeholders in education each of whom needs to play his role effectively in order to help all our children learn better and reach their fullest potential (Khong, 2004). This essay will cover the expectations of parents and the roles of students and teachers and on how to manage the different expectations of parents and harness them as a force to enhance students' learning.

So what are the roles of the students before we look into the parents' roles? Students have to value education and want to learn, desiring to get the most out of the experience schools offer  (MOE, 2009). They have to stand firmly by what is right, having understood what is right and wrong from parents and teachers. Students must respect authority and have a sound sense of civic responsibility. Students should work well independently and with others, with purpose, passion and pride in their work. They definitely have to demonstrate spirit of caring and sharing towards others. And most importantly carry their identity and pride as Singaporeans (MOE, 2009).

Now let us look briefly at the roles of parents before going in detail, on how to manage the different expectations of parents and harness them as a force to enhance students' learning. Parents should support schools in their efforts to educate the child (MOE, 2009). They are to take ultimate responsibility for the upbringing of their children and set good examples for them to follow. Parents have to instill a sense of responsibility in their children, helping them to become good citizens ( MOE, 2009). Overall, parents have to show care and concern for their children by being interested in what they do.

Traditionally, education facilitators are primarily responsible for the academic welfare and performance of students, which includes discipline as part of their character development. However, recent findings showed that difficulties exist in compromising the way schools discipline students and the extent parents agree with the actions. This shows that parents agree with the fundamental idea of disciple but not the style especially corporal punishments (Khong, 2004). Hence, the change in societal views of the methods of discipline and restrictions for the facilitators in developing students. Research has also shown that parental involvement in student's education is an influential factor to a student's future (Khong, 2004). Those parents that choose not to be involved drive students to drop out.

How else can the roles of us teachers be affected?

Singapore's Population (numbers are in thousands)









- Citizens



- PRs



Non- residents



This statistics has shown that Singapore's population has grown (Sing stat, 2008). So how does this affect the teachers' roles? It simply means higher the population the higher the rate of students. Hence the number students in a class would be higher too not like those days where it would range from 20 – 30, these days it hits the big 40.

And looking at these two tables, one shows the desires to have children. More Singaporeans desire to have children. This also means higher student rate. And finally the last table shows the divorce rates, which implies that the single parent rate is increasing as well.

So how does it change the social status of the parents and affect the students?The Parents are highly educated. They are more aware of the education system. And by having to cater to high living standards, parents have to work long working hours and the increase in divorce rates leads to more single parents. Hence, all of these lead to difference expectations from different parents.

Now how these affect the pupil? Students literacy levels increase, they get help at home, such as parents teaching them or they go for tuitions and hence they learn ahead of school (MOE, 2009).

Looking at all of these, teachers are definitely pressed highly by parents. Is a smooth relationship between parents, teachers and students possible to enhance the learning of the students? Effective collaboration between educators and families will ensure that our young receive the maximum guidance and help they need to navigate confidently through life. The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and Parent Support Group (PSG), which have been established in a number of schools, serve as good examples of collaboration. Over the years, many parents have been gradually more active in their children's schools and have offered their services to their schools' PTA/PSG (MOE, 2009). PTAs and PSGs provide parents with many opportunities to offer their time, effort and resources to support their children's education. They help the school with the role as the parent volunteers. With their talents, expertise, energy and experience, parents have an unlimited competence for promoting the social, emotional and intellectual growth of their children (MOE, 2009). Partners in Education: Developing Effective Parent Support Groups provides the rationale for setting up PSGs and explains the processes involved (MOE, 2009). It is meant as a starting point for schools with plans to initiate a Parent Support Group, as well as a source of reference for schools which have already established their own PSGs.

Parent's Support Group is a form of initiative, which expects parents to play a more active role in schools (Khong, 2005). These committees are involved in projects, such as enrichment programs for students which aid in disciplining students if appropriate programs are organized. But some of the issues that exist with parental involvements include leading to student that favoritism or view it as an extra workload. Others include parental motivations, parents' expectations of receiving something in return and marginalization to disadvantaged students who came from a poor family background.

Possible solutions exist to encourage parents to be proactive in supporting the parental support group initiative. This includes schools providing packages to the type of services parents can be involved with the school (Khong, 2005). Parents can contribute to schools in various ways such as financial aid, time or talent. These options are catered to the different strengths and resources that parents can offer.

One strategy that will encourage parents to participate in the parent support group initiative is to market the parent support group programs and packages (Khong, 2004). Marketing of this initiative should be careful not to promote any form of marginalization of socio-economic groups, to discourage parents by making them think that their contributions are insignificant.

Schools should initially identify the school's and parents' needs through market research and communicate to compromise these needs. So this market research should be aimed to encourage parents to volunteer and take part in helping the education body develop certain standards.

The schools should also investigate the dynamics of forming a parent- parent- groups rather than parent-teacher- groups. Allowing this sort of interaction provides parents to feel “in level”, share/bond experiences of the students and organize themselves to gather and discuss students' education (Khong, 2004). Thus, saving teachers from any further responsibilities.

Therefore it is important to take into account the parents' expectations of how children are educated and they way it can be enhanced. By involving parents with the school's various co-curriculum and discipline committees, parents will be able to obtain some control over their expectations  (Khong, 2004).

A method of using the parent's negative energy to benefit the school's education system must be formed. Firstly, teachers and the education body must take notice that within this changing world, family compositions have changed as well and make up the smaller blocks of society in Singapore. The most common reason for parent's high expectation on the education system is the fact that they are now more qualified ( Khong, 2005). Issues such as that of single parent's families whom students derive from a dual income family and families where both parents work to earn a decent standard of living in an increasingly costly city-state spend less time with parents. All these factors also contribute to a child's educational process.

Teachers and educators should be aware of societal changes and respond to it appropriately as a bridge between students and parents. In return, parents have to understand that the responsibility of a student's development does not depend only through teacher and the education system.

This new phenomenon is a symbol of the educational systems desire to acknowledge and gather parents as stakeholders in the education system (Khong, 2005). It also allows these parents to have an option on how the school should function. The most important concept is that parent-teacher-school relationships should co-operate to benefit students. One hopes that this initiative will create a more positive environment for children to learn and excel into.

In conclusion, research findings have shown that a student's achievement in school does not depend on income or social status, but to the extent to which the students are motivated by their parents in creating a house environment that encourages learning. Communicate with the student about their expectations and future career and most importantly become more involved in supporting their children's education at school and in the community. 


Home, School and Community Partnerships document. Retrieved September 30, 2009, from

Khong, L.Y.L. (2005). School-stakeholder partnerships: Building links for better learning. In J. Tan & P. T. Ng (Eds), Shaping Singapore's future: Thinking schools, learning nation (pp. 112–122). Singapore: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Khong, L.Y.L. (2004). Family matters: The role of parents in Singapore education. Marshall Cavendish International.

Stakeholders in Education document. Retrieved September 30, 2009, from

Statistics. Retrieved September 30, 2009 from