Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Trade and Industry & Mayor, South West CDC made a speech at the Launch of In.Learn 2020 and Opening of In.LAB at Lifelong Learning Institutes to unveil a new chapter in the transformation of the Continuing Education and Training (CET) sector.
She said “In the past, when we talked about leveraging technology for CET, the common thinking has typically been about online learning, or looking at video recordings of actual classroom teachings. Through concerted efforts by everyone all round, we have achieved much through this mode, and online learning has become much more prevalent than before. Today, we take the next step forward, to fundamentally look at how learning innovation, enhanced with the latest technology, can significantly improve the effectiveness of CET.”
This comes in conjunction with SkillsFuture -Singaporeans have the opportunities to develop and maximise their potential through lifelong learning, even after the formal learning years. The aim is for citizens to take greater ownership of their own learning path to stay relevant and skilled today as well as for the future.
Singapore Workforce Development Agency has developed a national learning innovation strategy – iNnovative Learning 2020 or iN.LEARN 2020, to catalyse learning innovation in CET as well as adoption of technology-enabled learning by training providers, organisations and individuals.
With an overall budget of about $27 million for the next three years, iN.LEARN 2020 will boost capacity for learning innovation, as well as encourage the purposeful use of innovation by adult educators and training providers to transform the design, development and delivery of CET. This will lead to a shift from the current training in a traditional classroom setting, towards blended learning where greater self-directed online learning can take place outside the classroom and at workplaces.
The government aims to build a CET ecosystem that completely incorporates learning innovation – where learning in classrooms is complemented by both online learning as well as workplace learning. Since April 2014, the Institute for Adult Learning has revamped the Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment. This programme known as ACTA ensures all new adult educators are able to effectively deliver technology-enabled CET.
One example of of iN.LAB’s work is to partner is Playware Studio, who has been working with Jurong Health Services to develop the ‘Jurong Health Virtual Nurse’ gamelet. Jurong Health Services is the first healthcare institution in Singapore to use 3-D virtual reality gaming to simulate caring for patients. In fast-paced clinical encounters – it will allow the nursing and healthcare crew to be able to practice without posing any risk to real-life patients.
Besides showcasing successful examples, iN.LAB will seed collaborations to sustain the spirit of innovation within the CET community by bringing various stakeholders, including government, technologies, practitioners and industries to work together to generate ideas and innovate. To support innovation, WDA will be offering two grants: the “CET Innovation Fund” to support learning innovation efforts that have strategic impact in focal CET areas; and the “InnovPlus” Grant or IP Grant, administered by iN.LAB to encourage learning innovation efforts as well as prototyping of solutions.
iN.LAB will also be organising “InnovJam” activities to help build a culture of innovation in a fun way. It encourages individuals from different backgrounds to contribute and collaborate, as well as produce “bite-sized” innovation with simultaneous interaction with peers and associates.
As ideas germinate and are fleshed out, grants from WDA, IDA and SPRING will be made available to support the development of these good ideas into innovative projects. Transforming the CET industry through learning innovation and technology will take time. The investment of $27 million in iN.LEARN 2020 is an important step to drive the CET transformation. WDA envisages that by 2020, all WSQ training providers will be delivering at least 75% of their full WSQ qualifications via blended learning.
The CET community in Singapore is very well-placed to help equip the workforce with the skills to stay competitive and also help drive the nation towards an advanced economy complemented by a culture of life long learning.