Singapore’s development assistance helps young people get a quality education and acquire the skills that underpin lifelong learning. Singapore supports efforts to ensure that every child receives a quality primary and secondary education. They work to reduce barriers and close educational gaps for women and girls.
Why Focus On Education in Developing Countries?
Education is a human right and is essential to achieving many other sustainable development outcomes.
A quality basic education enables children and young people to acquire the knowledge and skills. They need to face daily challenges and to take advantage of economic and lifelong learning opportunities. Education is also a key element in reducing poverty, fostering economic growth and achieving gender equality and promoting social development.
These benefits are even more substantial when the support measures target girls. Girls who complete primary education are more likely to find better jobs and tend to marry later. In addition, They:
- They are half as likely as others to have children who will be malnourished
- Less likely to have children who will die before the age of five
- They are less likely to engage in prostitution
- Less likely to be victims of sexual violence or to be infected with HIV.
Education is particularly important in communities that are fragile or in reconstruction. Education provides a sense of stability, structure and hope for the future. Which helps alleviate the trauma of war, disaster or conflict.
By studying in a safe place, students are protected and are less likely to be kidnapped, or by organized crime.
The quality of education is also a major source of concern: 250 million children cannot read, write or count, even after four years of schooling.
Many young people in developing countries who have not received a quality education do not have the basic skills and in-depth skills necessary for work and life.
What Prevents Children and Young People from Receiving a Quality Education?
Children and young people in developing countries face many barriers preventing them from receiving a quality education. This includes:
- Remoteness, overcrowding or unsafe schools
- Poor quality of teaching, inadequate curriculum and learning materials
- Pressure on children to work in order to support the family
- School fees, uniforms and school supplies, which millions of families cannot afford.
For girls, children from ethnic minority groups, children with disabilities and children living in conflict regions, the obstacles are even greater.
How Does Singapore Contribute to Education in Developing Countries?
Singapore’s development assistance is focused on building effective education systems that enable children and youth, especially girls, to receive a quality throughout the 10-year learning cycle. Our aid supports activities consisting of:
- Develop the capacities of government representatives
- Support new and existing teacher training institutions to create a professional and accredited body of teachers
- Improve the design and dissemination of learning materials and training programs so that they are gender sensitive and responsive
- Support initiatives that enable schools to better meet the needs of girls in terms of water supply, sanitation and hygiene
- Work to end gender-based violence and harmful practices that prevent girls from going to school, such as forced and early child marriage
- Provide support to meet the educational needs of children affected by crises.
We do this work through partnerships with governments of developing countries and with non-governmental organizations working in the education sector.
We also support important multilateral organizations, such as the Global Partnership and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.
To learn more about Singapore’s basic education programs, consult the project database.
Beyond basic education, Singapore’s development assistance includes investments that help ensure that youth and adults, especially young women. They have the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to obtain employment and contribute to economic growth.
Our support in this sector is focused on vocational training geared to the labor market, such as literacy, numeracy, especially for those who have not received a basic education.
Singapore also offers international scholarships aimed at reducing poverty in developing countries.
The scholarships fund targeted training and skills development of students and professionals in the labor market of developing countries where higher education capacity is low.
The scholarships also help prepare the next generation of innovative leaders to contribute to their communities.