Singapore - Education

For the year 2000, adult illiteracy was estimated at 7.6% (males, 3.6%; females, 11.5%). All children who are citizens are entitled to free primary education. Primary schooling is available in all four official languages. Under the education system implemented in stages after 1980, the first three years of primary schooling emphasize the learning of English and any other official language, after which students are streamed, on the basis of performance, into an additional three or five years of primary school. Upon completion of primary school, they can join the Vocational and Industrial Training Board for vocational training, or if they qualify, they can take four or five years of secondary schooling leading to two-year courses in junior colleges or three-year courses in school centers at the pre-university level.

In 1996, there were 269,668 students 198 primary schools, with 10,618 teachers. Student-to-teacher ratio stood at 25 to 1, where it remained as of 1999. Also in 1996, secondary schools had 207,719 students and 10,354 teachers. Fifteen vocational institutes offered training courses in the metal, woodworking, electrical, electronic, and building trades. As of 1995, public expenditure on education was estimated at 3.1% of GDP.

The National University of Singapore was established on August 8, 1980, through the merger of the University of Singapore and Nanyang University. In addition, there are the Singapore Technical Institute, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, and Nanyang Technological Institute. In 1996, all institutions of higher education had 6,689 teaching staff and enrolled a total of 92,140 students.

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