Summary: According to the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) computer-based assessment of Problem Solving, organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Singapore’s 15-year-olds excel in thinking flexibly and creatively to solve complex and unfamiliar problems. Our students are innovative, are able to handle uncertainty, and dare to experiment with alternative solutions. These highly valued competencies stand them in good stead in a globalised, information-rich economy increasingly dominated by highly skilled, non-routine jobs, and give them the wherewithal to come together to create a brighter future for our society. The strong performance of our students reflects our curricular emphasis and our schools’ efforts in developing problem solving skills in our students.
Opinion: I feel that this result has reflected the effectiveness of Singapore's education system. Our education system is able to groom our students have the ability to take in knowledge and process them systematically and to be able to react adroitly when the situation arises. Even our students who were graded "lower performers" are much lesser as compared to the other countries. Therefore I feel that Singapore's education system is very successful.
Of course there are also others who argue that Singapore's education system is too stressful and too rigid. Students have to go through countless tests and examinations, and are expected to memorise large amount of information. However, I feel that while it is partially true, it is the amount of hardwork that students usually put in that allow them to be able to learn so quickly when presented with new information during the PISA study. The students have also proved that they do not only study blindly, but are also able to think flexibly when they have to.
Therefore, I strongly believe that Singapore's education system has been by far successful in grooming our students and training them to be skilled learners with the ability to react flexibly.