MOE's The Joy OF Learning & How It Changes The Education System

MOE's The Joy OF Learning & How It Changes The Education System

The Ministry of Education (MOE)'s pivot from academic grades to scrapping mid-year examinations at some levels in both primary and secondary schools in 2018, showed a shift in the way learning will be carried out in schools. The intention was to shift away from examinations to one where children build their self-confidence in learning through the support of their families, schools, and peers. This meaningful step in the education system signifies the change in teaching to bring out the joy of learning, by cultivating and nurturing a child's curiosity.


Mirroring MOE's shift, here at Terry Chew Academy (TCA), our Math Olympiad programmes equip students with the tools to help them unlock their joy of learning mathematics.

TCA anticipates the changes in the education system and has long since moved away from 'Ten-Year Series' and repetitive drills to a teaching and learning framework that emphasises on learning and growth rather than only on results. Our Math Olympiad Training focuses on "Math enrichment", where our students are taught to think outside the box. They learn how to analyse tasks and questions, think about complex problems in a deep and systematic way, and learn how to link mathematics to everyday situations.

While it may be true that students are able to learn without tuition, having additional support gives students the guidance they need to learn math concepts quickly and accurately. If left to explore by themselves through trial and error, it might take them a whole day to solve a challenging question. However, through tuition, students would be able to resolve it in two hours and spend precious time practicing more concepts to add to their skillset. At TCA, we make the learning process efficient and simple for the student, making the best of their time and ability.


The "Learn for Life'" movement emphasises on striking a balance between studies and home life. Specifically, this includes expanding the number of Direct School Admission (DSA) places in schools, reducing school-based assessments, changing to the PSLE scoring system, and rolling out full subject-based banding in all secondary schools by 2024.

TCA supports this progressive ethos and policy changes of MOE. The removal of exams gives students the time and space to indulge their curiosity in school, while changes to the PSLE scoring system gives parents the transparency that they need. Meanwhile, the full subject-based banding recognises that each student has his or her strengths and weaknesses, and it allows students to take subjects that cater to their level of ability. This system enables students to better consider their options for secondary schools to further hone their strengths.

Expanding the number of DSA places, provides students with an alternative pathway to the school they wish to enter. High achievers in the sports or academics domain may be considered for admission to the school of their choice even before they have taken their PSLE. Of course, academic achievements include Math Olympiad Competitions, and it is here that TCA can help students to achieve their goals to qualify for the schools in their top choice.


Our Math Olympiad programme prepares children from as young as Primary One for GEP and DSA by enhancing their mathematical ability. The Math Olympiad programme teaches standard and non-standard math topics by preparing students for national or international Math Olympiad Competitions as well as their school math examinations. Students are exposed to higher order thinking questions and go in-depth into various topics through our programme - thus developing them into high-achieving go-getters!


MOE has reported that there are encouraging signs of the policy working, such as younger cohorts of students adapting well to the removal of school-based assessments and pursuing learning through their areas of interest. With the combined efforts of parents and the wider society, MOE is confident that Singapore's children can continue to have greater confidence and joy in learning, and best prepare them not only for examinations, but for life ahead.

For parents, the task of balancing the joy of learning is not an easy one. Many parents feel the pressure of having to balance their belief against their resolve; the belief in giving their children a childhood of self-discovery, and their resolve in ensuring that their child keeps up with the cohort. Parents tend to adopt a wait-and-see approach, however, their child only gets additional help and tuition after their grades start to drop.

TCA Maths Programme incorporates Math word problems in a way that ignites your child's curiosity and thirst for learning, rather than a source of stress. Now, isn't that the true spirit of learning? Our lessons will continue to help our students find joy, wonder and passion in learning even while they go through the necessary academic rigour.

Mathematics need not be a dreaded subject - instill your child's joy of learning math today. Register for a trial Math Olympiad lesson to help assess your child's math interest and be part of the TCA Math Olympiad programme. Structured with Singapore MOE's 21st Century Core Competencies, the programme places a strong emphasis on Critical Thinking Skills and making connections between different topics to solve complicated problems.

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