ERIC Number: EJ1164129
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Lifelong Learning in Singapore: Where Are We?
Sung, Johnny; Freebody, Simon
Asia Pacific Journal of Education, v37 n4 p615-628 2017
Lifelong learning policy came and went in many countries in the last few decades. Much of the lifelong learning policy experience has been either ineffective or drifting in and out of policy discussions unnoticed. Yet, in 2015, Singapore launched a new policy initiative known as SkillsFuture, which brought lifelong learning back into mainstream policy. In this paper, we re-examine the origins of lifelong learning as a concept with a view of providing useful points of reference for policy discussion in Singapore. We employ the Delors Four Pillars of lifelong learning and data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) to make a comparison between Singapore and its international peers. We use this comparison to identify potential policy challenges that lie ahead for Singapore. We argue that the historical focus in Singapore on formal education, both pre-employment and continuing, provides a solid foundation for lifelong learning. Nevertheless, recent policy shifts have begun to bring the humanistic elements of learning--for example, living together and self-actualization--back to the front stage of policy for learning. This is where potential policy gaps may exist in Singapore, as the utilitarian emphasis has dominated for a long time. An understanding of these different elements of lifelong learning and how they are linked in Singapore's context will be valuable for policymakers and practitioners to prepare for the challenges ahead.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Lifelong Learning, Educational Policy, Educational History, Comparative Analysis, Adult Learning, Labor Force Development, Skill Development, Measurement Techniques
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A