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Ministry of Education headquarters at Buona Vista

File:SkillsFuture Chart.png

Stakeholders and initiatives chart for SkillsFuture.

The Ministry of Education (Abbreviation: MOE; Kementerian Pendidikan; Chinese: 教育部; கல்வி அமைச்சு) is a ministry of the Government of Singapore that directs the formulation and implementation of policies related to Education in Singapore. It is currently headed by Minister Lawrence Wong who oversees education from Primary 1 to tertiary institutions.

Organisational structure[]

The ministry currently oversees 10 statutory boards: SkillsFuture Singapore, Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board, ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, Institute of Technical Education, Singapore Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic and Science Centre, Singapore.

In 2016, a new statutory board under the Ministry of Education (MOE), SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), was formed to drive and coordinate the implementation of SkillsFuture. It took over some of the functions currently performed by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and absorbed the Committee for Private Education (CPE).


Civil servants employed by the Ministry of Education are organised into several Unions, including the Singapore Teachers' Union, Singapore Chinese Teachers' Union, Singapore Malay Teachers' Union and Singapore Tamil Teachers' Union for Education Officers; and the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees for the non-Education Officers. All these unions are affiliates of the National Trades Union Congress.


The Government of Singapore invests heavily in education to equip citizens with the necessary knowledge and skills to compete in the global marketplace.[1] Singapore currently spends around 1/5 of its national budget on education.[2] To boost its economic standing, the Government of Singapore created a mandate that most Singaporeans learn English. As a result, the country rose from one of the most impoverished Asian countries to one with the strongest economies and highest standards of living.[3]


The SkillsFuture initiative was introduced in 2015 to support Singapore's next stage of economic advancement by providing lifelong learning and skills development opportunities for Singaporeans.[4] SkillsFuture aims at unlocking the full potential of all Singaporeans, regardless of background and industry.[5] The program contains several key initiatives, such as SkillsFuture Credit and SkillsFuture Earn and Learn. SkillsFuture caters to many stakeholders, with initiatives centred on students, adult learners, employers, and training providers.[5] In general, SkillsFuture involves a broad array of policy instruments targeting a wider range of beneficiaries over a longer-term horizon – schooling years, early career, mid-career or silver years – with a variety of resources available to help them attain mastery of skills.[6]

Every Singapore citizen from the age of 25 is given S$500 (approximately $370) by the Singapore government for the SkillsFuture Credit to invest in their personal learning.[7] This sum can be used for continuing education courses in local tertiary institutions, as well as short courses provided by MOOC providers such as Udemy, Coursera, and edX.

By the end of 2017, the SkillsFuture Credit has been utilised by over 285,000 Singaporeans.[8] There were more than 18,000 SkillsFuture credit-approved courses available at that time.[9] As of 2016, there were also a total of 40 Earn and Learn Programmes.[9]

SkillsFuture has established a multi-level training system with dozens of initiatives and programs targeting the different skill-training needs of different social groups, such as students and employees in different career stages. Moreover, SkillsFuture also invests in forms of industry collaboration to uplift the broad base of private companies, and strengthen collaboration between training institutions, unions, trade associations, and employers to develop the skills of the Singaporean workforce.[10] In terms of funding, according to the Singaporean government budget report, a provision of $220 million has been made for SSG in the fiscal year 2018 to implement plans, policies and strategies to support skills development programs under SkillsFuture.[11]


The Ministry is headed by the Minister for Education, who is appointed as part of the Cabinet of Singapore. The position is currently held by Lawrence Wong from the People's Action Party.

With the expanding scope of education in Singapore and the implementation of SkillsFuture in 2016,[12] the Ministry of Education was helmed by two ministers – one minister (Schools) overseeing pre-school, primary, secondary, and junior college education; and another minister (Higher Education and Skills) overseeing the ITE, polytechnics, universities and SkillsFuture.[13]

In 2018, the Ministry returned to being headed by a single minister.[14]

Minister Start of Term End of Term Political Party Ref.
Minister for Education
Chew Swee Kee 6 April 1955 4 March 1959 Template:SG/LF
Lim Yew Hock March 1959 3 June 1959 Template:SG/SPA
Yong Nyuk Lin 5 June 1959 18 October 1963 Template:SG/PAP
Ong Pang Boon 19 October 1963 5 September 1970 [15][16]
Lim Kim San 6 September 1970 15 September 1972 [17][16]
Lee Chiaw Meng 16 September 1972 1 June 1975
Chua Sian Chin 2 June 1975 11 February 1979
Goh Keng Swee 12 February 1979 31 May 1980
Tony Tan Keng Yam 1 June 1980 31 May 1981 [18][19]
Goh Keng Swee 1 June 1981 31 December 1984 [19]
Tony Tan Keng Yam 2 January 1985 29 December 1991 [20]
Lee Yock Suan 1 January 1992 24 January 1997
Teo Chee Hean 25 January 1997 31 July 2003
Tharman Shanmugaratnam 1 August 2003 31 March 2008
Ng Eng Hen 1 April 2008 20 May 2011
Heng Swee Keat 21 May 2011 30 September 2015
Minister for Education (Schools)
Ng Chee Meng 1 October 2015 (Acting) 31 October 2016 Template:SG/PAP
1 November 2016 30 April 2018
Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills)
Ong Ye Kung 1 October 2015 (Acting) 31 October 2016 Template:SG/PAP
1 November 2016 30 April 2018
Minister for Education
Ong Ye Kung 1 May 2018 26 July 2020 Template:SG/PAP [14][21]
Lawrence Wong 27 July 2020 Incumbent [22]


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External links[]

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