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ERIC Number: EJ1040474
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0159-6306
Vocational Education in Singapore: Meritocracy and Hidden Narratives
Chong, Terence
Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, v35 n5 p637-648 2014
This paper offers a broad overview of vocational education in Singapore. Looking at vocational education from Independence, it argues that the development of a skilled labour force was not only crucial in the age of globalisation and the dominance of multinational companies, but also an empirical litmus test of the newly elected post-colonial government to self-govern. By the mid-to-late 1970s, Singapore's "Second Industrial Revolution" to attract more skill-intensive industries demanded that vocational education kept pace with a more integrated and dynamic global economy. However, vocational education suffered from a less than prestigious image. It is argued that the government's rhetoric on meritocracy and elitist policies did little to address this image at a time when the middle class was developing its own characteristics, tastes and values. This paper concludes that while vocational education in Singapore has been constructed as a success story, there are several hidden narratives. From the overrepresentation of Malay students to increased stratification, to the gendering of schools, these hidden narratives reflect dominant interests and values.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore