11 September 2001
Press Release from the Ministry of Education
ENHANCING ARTS EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS
1. The Ministry of Education has drawn up a set of initiatives to develop and enhance arts education in our schools. These initiatives aim to create and sustain a vibrant arts culture in our schools through curricular and co-curricular programmes and activities. Resources are also being put in place to assist schools in planning and implementing arts programmes and recognition will be given to schools with best practices in arts education.
Objectives of Arts Education
2. The enhanced arts education programme aims to further develop and harness the full range of our students' talents and contribute to their overall development. It will help to develop students to reach their full artistic potential. They will not only become individuals imbued with a sense of aesthetics, but will also be civic-minded, cultivated, gracious and able to express themselves through various art forms. They will also have a keen sense of the Singaporean identity and a spirit of experimentation and innovation.
Arts education in our schools will focus on three strategic areas:
|i)||Developing arts appreciation and
building up the future audience base among the general student population;
|ii)||Providing opportunities for
recognition and grooming of artistic talents to be future artists and
patrons of the arts; and
|iii)||Cultivating in our students the sense of national and cultural identity.|
Enhancing Art and Music Elective Programmes
4. In keeping with the vision to develop and recognise our students' talents in all areas, the Art Elective Programme (AEP) and Music Elective Programme (MEP) will each offer up to five scholarships at each junior college (JC) level. The scholarships, each worth $1,000 will be awarded from 2003.
5. The AEP and MEP grade at 'O' level can also be used in place of a Humanities subject for admission to the AEP and MEP at JC level from 2003.
The Music Programmes
6. To achieve the objectives of arts education, the arts syllabuses have been reviewed in alignment with the changing needs. Music in the secondary schools will be extended to the Lower Secondary Normal (Technical) curriculum from 2002. Schools will also have greater flexibility in the implementation of the revised Upper Secondary General Music Syllabus from 2003. Schools will have the autonomy to work out an effective arts programme customised to the needs and interests of their students. Such a programme could comprise a combination of formal lessons, and enrichment courses and activities.
7. To further enhance the arts culture in schools, schools are encouraged to increase participation in co-curricular arts activities, in particular to form instrumental groups and choirs as these activities offer good platforms for mass participation and enjoyment.
8. Schools can look forward to enriching and extending their curricular and co-curricular arts programme through a Partnership Scheme. Under the Scheme, artists and arts organisations can be engaged in the following three capacities:
Artists can be engaged to co-teach with teachers in specialised areas.
Artists can be mentors to teachers and students who are attached to them o internship programmes.
Adopted Artists and Arts
Schools or school clusters can 'adopt' artists and arts organisations and contract them to participate in specific creative projects with teachers and students.
More details and guidelines on the implementation of the Scheme will be made available to schools later in the year.
Extending Arts education beyond the classroom
9. Schools can further extend arts learning beyond the classrooms through various means. As exposure to professional art works and performances is an important facet to arts learning, secondary school students will be encouraged to attend public concerts and performances at least once in their secondary school career. Schools will have the autonomy to decide when they are ready to offer this learning experience as part of their educational programmes.
Resources to schools to help plan and enhance their arts education programmes
10. A set of guidelines to assist schools in the planning, implementation and evaluation of their arts programmes will also be made available to schools later in the year. An arts website will similarly be set up to provide schools with consolidated and updated information on arts events and programmes available to schools. Arts Activity Coordinators (AACs) have been appointed in schools to look into the planning, implementation and evaluation of the arts programme. In addition, school clusters interested in developing art/music as niche areas can request assistance from the Ministry in the setting up of centres in art/music to provide a wider variety of arts activities for their students.
11. Another important area of support for schools is in the area of continual professional development for our teachers. The first National Arts Education Conference (NAEC), co-organised with National Arts Council, will be held in March 2002 for school leaders, teachers and invited practising artists. In addition, more in-service courses, such as those on teaching and learning through the arts, overseas exposure, and scholarship opportunities will be made available to arts teachers. As MOE steps up recruitment of teachers for secondary schools and JCs, we will recruit more Art and Music teachers.
NAC Arts Award
12. To recognise schools which provide a meaningful, enriching and enjoyable arts learning experience to their students through a holistic arts programme, congruent with their school objectives, the National Arts Council (NAC) Arts Award will be open to secondary schools, junior colleges and centralised institutes. The Award worth $10,000 will be given out from 2003, based on the schools' excellent efforts in arts education in 2002. More details of the Award will be made available later in the year.
13. With these initiatives, the schools' efforts to enhance arts education will be given further recognition and individual students' achievements in the arts will be recognised as part of the broader definition of their success in school. This vision for arts education will support and help bring to reality the national vision of Singapore as a Renaissance City.