Public feedback to the fore: Views on climate and education wanted as S’pore forges forward 


Public feedback matters when political parties get down to the nuts and bolts of governing. It’s an immediate and direct way for finding out what’s working — and what more needs doing together towards a better future.

The process’s especially important for the Party.  It’s in the name after all — People’s Action Party. One of the Party’s core values is compassionate — the ability to instinctively empathise with people and feel their worries, concerns, as well as share their hopes and dreams.

Hence Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing, as well as the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS), encouraging more Singaporeans to speak up about personal ambitions and visions for Singapore’s progress earlier this week.

Seeking views on turning Singapore into a low-carbon country

The NCCS is welcoming, from now to Sep 26, the public’s views on turning Singapore into a low-carbon country as we consider raising our long-term ambition to achieve net zero by 2050, giving clarity to a timeline announced in this year’s Budget.

“Feedback received will be taken into consideration when Singapore makes a formal revision to our Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) and 2030 NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) before the end of 2022,” the NCCS announced Sep 5 on its website.

“This complements other ongoing engagements under the Singapore Green Plan 2030, involving in particular businesses, environmental groups, students and youths,” it added.

Public feedback is valuable here since these ambitions require that Singapore’s different publics cooperate.

“Companies will have to be less carbon intensive in their operations, workers have to acquire new skills and individuals will have to adjust to lifestyle changes such as consuming and wasting less and reducing energy usage,” the NCCS noted.

A pillar for common ground regarding education    

On the same day, Minister Chan urged the public to pledge and share their aspirations for education on the newly-launched microsite for the Forward Singapore exercise’s Equip pillar.

“Ministry of Education, Singapore will continue to engage various stakeholders, including leaders in schools and institutes of higher learning, educators, parents, and students on how we can all play a part in realising our collective vision for education,” he posted on Facebook, after listening to 74 Republic Polytechnic students on resiliency, inclusivity and different definitions of success.

“The engagements will focus on building consensus and taking collective responsibility to equip every Singaporean with the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their starting points in life,” added Minister Chan.

Singapore’s students now take subjects at different levels according to their competencies through the full subject-based banding system, Minister Chan explained in a News Tonight interview also taking place on Sep 5. This represents the Ministry of Education using more resources so as to better cater to the diverse needs of students.

“But beyond the resources, I think we also need a change in the mindset, and we also need the support of the parents and the community,” he elaborated. “Because when we say that we recognise people’s strengths and weaknesses beyond just the academic grades, then I think the industries need to play a role, the parents need to play a role.”

The Equip pillar’s online pledge opportunity is a step in this direction. Its five areas of focus include creating a strong foundation for every child and diverse learning models for diverse abilities.

Minister Chan, Senior Minister of State for Defence and Manpower Zaqy Mohamad and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and National Development Tan Kiat How will lead this pillar.

The pillar also includes caring for students with special needs, multiple pathways of success and lifelong growth for everyone. These are all whole-of-society concentrations for ensuring that the PAP Government’s education system leaves no student behind.

Forward Singapore helps people write the next chapter

Inclusiveness being the brickwork of the Equip pillar reflects the aims of Forward Singapore. As an exercise for refreshing Singapore’s social compact, Forward Singapore lets differing segments of people across Singapore come together and build consensus. It allows the nation to envision a shared future as well as what needs prioritising and exactly what personal contributions are needed to make this shared vision real.    

In other words, the calls for public feedback from Forward Singapore — and the NCCS — are timely ones. They give everyone a say in writing the next 57 progressive and prosperous years of the Singapore Story.

Cover photo credit: Climate Change SG and Chan Chun Sing Facebook