Posts about the education system in Singapore, and how parents can best prepare their children.

An open letter addressing the flawed education system in Singapore

Initially starting out as side pocket money, teaching tuition has grown from a part-time job for Nicholas into one of his greatest achievements in life, Paramount Education.

To everyone out there who sincerely believes in the life long journey in education:

My name is Nicholas, and I understand the education environment extremely well. After all, I was in one of the world’s best education system for a huge part of my life. As Singaporeans, we have indeed done extremely well, where we are reported to be a ‘world-beater’ as we outshone countries academically, based on findings from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

I have had my fair share of tuition, straight down from primary school to tertiary levels. For certain subjects, it was to pull that failing grade up. But for others, it was to constantly build upon my knowledge so that I can secure an A+ in my exam paper. During my JC days, the only thing that is etched in my memory was school, tuition, homework, self-study – a repetitive cycle which I detested. To me and my parents, nothing else mattered other than the elusive A+ on my exam script.

Tuition didn’t come cheap. Teachers charge a premium because they know parents will never scrimp on an education. And they were right! Tuition had become the ‘norm’ and not having tuition conceived the mentality of their child ‘losing out’! Parents sourced for the best tuition in Singapore, the cheapest ones, and the most reliable. Tuition that guarantees A+ and highly rated based on its past performance.

However, in the relentless pursuit of grades, education seemed to have lost its meaning. Grades became the priority, no matter the cost. Students study for the sake of studying, and many forgot what they have learnt after completion of their exams. I find it extremely disheartening that our generation of students have forgotten that education is a life-long journey, and that learning is meant to by joyful, rather than torturous. Sadly, this is the truth of our flawed education system in Singapore. Our stellar achievements globally originates from our constant studying and cramming, rather than stemming from our innate curiosity to learn.

In order to break this cycle, Paramount Education was founded. Our purpose is to instil in every child a curiosity to learn, and to never stop learning. An A+ in your exams guarantees you a chance at an interview. From then on, emphasis on grades are less apparent, and prospective hires are judged based on their ability to think critically, be well-informed and opinionated in their thoughts. Being the brightest kid on the block no longer guarantees you a job, unlike in the past.

If the job market and hiring environment has evolved, it is inevitable that we too, must change. Our current education system lags behind in its teachings, and parents are too focused on results. Being result oriented is certainly not a flaw, but we must remember that there are more important matters than mindlessly producing results.

With this letter, I aim not to solve, but to question the status quo. I question our Singapore’s education system even though we are the ‘best’. I question the purpose of real education and what should be your end goal in this pursuit that takes up 20 years of our life.

I truly hope that one day, we will not study blindly. I hope that one day, we will learn for the sake of learning, and understand its application in our lives. An A+ in our exams is just part of the equation to a successful life.

Yours Sincerely
Nicholas Yon


When the A+ you are getting now still isn’t enough

Why the A+ you have in your back pocket is insufficient

At Paramount Education, we believe that every student has the potential to score As in their exams. All one has to do is to read and understand the text, and reapply during exams. However, we believe that scoring As is not equivalent to crossing the finishing line in a world that evolves continually. Especially in Singapore, where we are a knowledge-based economy, corporates believe in higher order thinking and well informed opinionated speeches. Careless mistakes are frowned upon and staying silent in a meeting doesn’t contribute much to meaningful discussions.

While scoring an A guarantees your place in good schools, ultimately leading to a decent degree from a reputable school, it does not guarantee you a place in the workforce.

Any parent can testify to that. While a degree would seem to be a prestigious piece of paper which gets you up the corporate ladder, it no longer matters that much in today’s workforce, where a degree is more of an entry requirement than anything.

The solution

The education system in Singapore is thus flawed, as both parents and teachers focus on the final output of acing the exams. Schools drill concepts and try to enforce rules in securing high marks in exams. While not wrong, we feel that there is more to learning than just achieving a good grade.

At Paramount Education, we aim to equip students with both soft and hard skill sets that can not only bring them through school, but also through life as they enter the workforce. A good grade forms the base of our mission and more importantly, we strive to teach students how to make their learning style more relevant and applicable upon graduation.

With each and every of our students, we grow our student’s mental capacity to think and solve problems which are transferable to their life after school. We teach them to question status quo, and to be opinionated in their thinking, be it in speech or in writing.


How to increase your chance in entering a local university

Landing a spot in Singapore’s local university is tough! In 2015, about 15.4 thousand students enrolled into the first 3 local universities! Compared to 239 thousand students who enrolled into primary schools that year, this implies an approximate enrolment of a mere 6.5%. Undeniable, entries are often based on pure merit, and we seek to define underlying traits of students who have managed to land themselves a spot in our local universities. By being able to integrate and emulate these characteristics, your chances of landing in university will increase!

While some of these traits might seem cliché, it aims to build on the soft skill sets that undergrads are supposed to have and are transferable in almost all aspects of life. Paramount Education also goes one step further to explain why these traits are important!

Trait 1: Being thorough

Local university students are extremely thorough in whatever they do, be it planning for an event, doing assignments or studying! This habit once cultivated can be an extremely powerful force not just in school, but in life as well! Many a times, students always view concepts on the surface and do not stop to think about the underlying meaning behind concepts and how it applies to life. Students should question, understand and analyse why things are being done in a certain way, the outcome, the benefits and costs of applying the said solution.

Trait 2: Plan your schedule

Set a goal and plan your schedule in advance and make sure that you complete your daily tasks. This enables you to take small baby steps into achieving your target. Get a monthly scheduler and write down your to-dos and make those tasks specific.

Writing things down holds you accountable for your daily actions and keeps you on track for the end goal. If things get too monotonous and you feel stifled, you can always set mini-rewards for yourself every few days!

Trait 3: Lead a healthy lifestyle

This is perhaps the most important trait to have for everyone! It is scientifically proven that leading a healthy lifestyle prevents fatigue and allows one to have more energy compared to a person leading an unhealthy lifestyle. This is important for students because the exams are not just a race but rather, a marathon that requires consistency, endurance and determination.

Leading a healthy lifestyle also implies that one gets sufficient sleep. As sleeping consists of 3 cycles mainly, Light Sleep, Deep Sleep, REM sleep, with the entire cycle lasting 1.5 hours. It is important that one understands how sleep works to realize that sometimes, sleeping just slightly longer might cause you to feel lethargic and in an irritable mood the entire day. This is where most people write it off as getting up on the wrong side of the bed.

Well-informed students lead a healthy lifestyle and get appropriate sleep. This helps them learn faster, remember longer and feel less tired!


Now that you know the secrets to the nation’s smartest minds, you can start to apply them to your life too! While we acknowledge that there might be some other inherent characteristics that we failed to mention, all road leads inevitably to Rome through forked paths. We invite you to drop us a message to let us know what other characteristics that one can take so that chances of entering into Singapore’s local university are higher!