Australian article on Singapore's education system 'fake news': MOE
Screengrab of a video of Mr Wong Siew Hoong, Director-General of Education, delivering his speech at the NIE conference on May 31.
SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Education (MOE) has debunked an Australian article that quoted statements critical of the Singapore education system purportedly made by its director-general of education, calling it "fake news".
The article, titled The PISA fallacy in Singapore: Insights from the NIE and written by a Walter Barbieri, appeared in the August edition of Australian Teacher magazine. It made the rounds online after it was posted on the website of EducationHQ, which publishes the magazine.In a Facebook note on Tuesday (Aug 29), MOE said the article had attributed certain comments first to Education Minister for Schools Ng Chee Meng, then to director-general of education Wong Siew Hoong, purportedly made at a National Institute of Education (NIE) conference on May 31. "These statements are completely false. In other words, it's fake news," MOE wrote. "We have clarified this with the website and asked that they remove the article." It added that Mr Ng was on an overseas work trip and was not at the conference, while Mr Wong, who did speak at the conference, did not make the statements quoted by the article. The article said that Mr Wong, in front of 1,500 delegates, projected graphs depicting Singapore's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results. It said he then juxtaposed the graphs with data released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on student well-being and of innovation in the economy, which placed Singapore in the lowest quartile.
It quoted Mr Wong as saying: "We've been winning the wrong race."The article also claimed Mr Wong attributed Singapore’s PISA success to standardised test drilling and a culture of compliance, and that he said: “We’re building compliant students just as the jobs that value compliance are beginning to disappear."However, MOE published the transcript and the video of Mr Wong's speech at the conference, which did not have the statements quoted by the article.
Channel NewsAsia has reached out to EducationHQ for comment.