Page 5 - Education Change and Economic Development: The Case of Singapore Dr. Goh Chor Boon National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
P. 5

Education Change and Economic Development: The Case of Singaporec65

                   “situational factors”, which he described as U.S. aid, the destruction of the

                   old order, a sense of political and economic urgency, an eager and plentiful
                   labour force, and familiarity with the Japan model, and the Neo Confucianism-
                   based social institutions that accompany their industrialization, including
                   the reverence for education.  For Singapore, despite the war-time atrocities
                   committed by the Japanese Imperial Army, the late Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s
                   first Prime Minister, had deep admiration at the way the Japanese created their

                   industrialised society through adoption and creative adaptation of Western
                   technology. From 1970s to the 1980s, much of the Japanese investments went
                   into the electronics and petrochemical industry cluster. Several industrial
                   training centres were built and supported by Japan (and Germany) during the

                       The crucial question facing Singapore’s survival in August 1965 was -

                   How to produce a viable and expanding industrialisation programme in the
                   shortest possible time? Singapore had inherited a colonial economy geared
                   to an imperial system and dependent on entrepot trade, with little industry,
                   some banking and commerce. Its political leaders of the People’s Action Party

                   (PAP) and led by Lee Kuan Yew as the Prime Minister, reckoned that only
                   government-led industrialisation based on export-orientation could ensure future

                   economic development. Such a development strategy was made all the more
                   necessary with the announcement by the British Government in 1967 of the
                   intended military pull-out of British forces stationed in Singapore. Essentially,
                   Singapore’s export-orientation industrialization (EOI) programme in the late

                   1960s and the 1970s had the primary objective of providing jobs for the people

                   2    Ezra Vogel, The Four Little Dragons: The Spread of Industrialisation in East Asia
                      (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1992), Chapter 5.
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10