Confucianism In Singapore

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Confucianism has many influences on education of Vietnam and Singapore
Originated from China, Confucianism, an ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of Chinese philosopher Confucius, is considered as one of the largest religions in Asia, concerned with the principles of good conduct, practical wisdom, and proper social relationship. Among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, Vietnam and Singapore are profoundly affected by Confucian ideas in many aspects of life such as economy, policy, society and especially in education. Although both Vietnam and Singapore’s education have been influenced by Confucianism, there are similarities and differences between two countries in terms of origin, moral education
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In Vietnam, the obligatory moral curriculums for students are Moral Education in primary levels, Civics education in secondary levels, and Marxist sciences and Ho Chi Minh thoughts at university. The aim of these curriculums are character and personality building, citizenship education, and spreading the ideas of inculcating socialist thoughts and socialist principles respectively (Truong, 2013). Different from Vietnam, all Singapore students have to take the compulsory subject ‘Civics and Moral Education’ (CME) at the primary and secondary levels, and ‘Civics’ at the pre-university level. Six core values identified as the foundation for good character are respect, responsibility, integrity, care, resilience, and harmony. According to Tan (2013), these six values are intended to “complement and reinforce” various state- sanctioned visions, namely “Our Shared Values, the Singapore Family Values, the Singapore 21 Vision and the National Education messages”.
Regarding Confucian ideology in Vietnam and Singapore’s education, two outstanding believes are the importance of family and society, and the value of knowledge and self-cultivation. However, the expression of these two Confucian basic concepts in each country is not completely
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Confucians value self-cultivation considered as long-life learning that one person must pursue for his whole life, accordingly, people have to learn constantly, and the only way for them to achieve their understanding is learning (Thang, 2013). Absorbing this idea, Vietnam and Singapore’s education encourage pupils to be an eager and diligent learner, balance the ‘self’ with ‘others’ through active learning, self-reflection and self-evaluation. The distinction is that subjects in Vietnam’s school bias towards knowledge in the curriculum, and Vietnam’s education have a tendency to feature scores and achievements of individuals that make students under pressure of exam and studying (Education in Vietnam: Development history, challenges and solutions, 2005). Besides, academic achievements are highly appreciated than non-academic achievements, thus arts subjects are secondary subjects. Singapore’s education is more creative because subjects combined knowledge and skills through questions and interaction in class. Their pupils will be able to know their strengths and weaknesses and know how to improve themselves right from the primary level (Civics and Moral Education Syllabus, 2007 (Character and Citizenship Education Primary Syllabus, 2014)). Especially, schools recognize the talents of students in both academic and
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