The Straits Times and TODAY reported on the U@live: Lifting Thought Leadership forum that was held at the National University of Singapore on 27 March 2019. Minister for Education Mr Ong Ye Kung, Yale-NUS College President Professor Tan Tai Yong, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Director for education and skills Mr Andreas Schleicher, and Yale-NUS College student Ng Qi Siang (Class of 2019) were the panellists at the forum. Various issues such as whether education is still a social leveller today, the divide between schools perceived as elite and neighbourhood, the role of pre-school education in uplifting children and the need for a more compassionate meritocracy were some of the issues discussed at the forum. President Tan was quoted saying that the education system in Singapore has become too differentiated, which has led students to be sorted by abilities, aptitudes and performances.
TODAY also noted that Qi Siang asked Minister Ong whether the Government will consider “nationalising” pre-school education to close the gap from the youngest possible age, to which the minister replied that would be “too drastic” a measure. TODAY also carried the essay written by Qi Siang, Ng Yi Ming (Class of 2021) and Heather Cheng (Class of 2022), which won the essay competition for NUS students and alumni that was held in conjunction with the forum.