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Jun06

Smartick Lands in Singapore, a Country with One of the Most Challenging Education Systems in the World

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Singapore

At Smartick, we have always been conscious that we must learn from the best and measure up to environments that have education at their forefront. The huge advantage of Smartick being online is that children can do sessions from anywhere in the world. We have had special releases in some countries, and we have just launched in Singapore: a country that places major emphasis on its education system as a way to improve the country’s progress.

Singapore’s Pillars of Educational Success:
  1. Education is an essential basis for the country’s development. We could not agree more.
  2. The education system is rooted in meritocracy and competitiveness. To us this is also an advantage, with some nuances. We think that places such as South Korea (with curfews to prevent private language academies from being opened after 11 PM) place extra pressure on children that cannot possibly be healthy. However, it is clear that in Singapore children generally have an educational profile of excellence, as the nation looks closely after its students. In education systems in the United States and the United Kingdom, this is not as evident, according to PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results. On Smartick, children only compete against themselves, but this is also a way of competing, as they are conscious of their correct answers and errors and use this information to improve their skills.
  3. The objective is that students learn, not memorize. We don’t believe that reviling memorization is helpful, but there is no doubt that learning to reason, analyze, organize one’s thoughts, and filter out irrelevant data is something indispensable. This idea is so prevalent at Smartick that every one of our sessions ends with word problems.
  4. The system depends on flexible and varied learning. This is what Smartick does daily. Our system of artificial intelligence adapts in real time to the needs of every child. Therefore, we can            motivate a gifted child just the same as we can motivate a child with learning difficulties.
  5. Formal evaluations define the educational journey of each student. At Smartick we believe that it is essential to evaluate how our system, along with nations’ educational systems works in order to learn from failures and errors. It is imperative to be aware of areas where we are performing well or poorly, why, and how to improve. As an online method, we evaluate ourselves constantly. We compile thousands of pieces of information everyday, and we know how 13,000 children do our exercises.
  6. Teachers are highly valued and well-prepared. This is fundamental. In fact, we have always said that we see Smartick as a perfect complement for schools. Unfortunately, given the current job   opportunities for people with math degrees, it is becoming more and more difficult to retain math-related talent in education. Apart from being a complement for a great teacher, Smartick can also serve as a solution for a weak teacher by helping to mitigate the effects that they could have on our children.
  7. Educators are evaluated and incentivized. This is something very complex to achieve, as evidenced by the Gates Foundation’s research on helpful methods for evaluating teachers.
  8. Bilingualism is mandatory. In Singapore, all children have to learn English. In the UK and the US this is not necessary because English is, by default, the lingua franca of the world. However, in some areas of the US, schools teach numerous hours of Spanish per week. Smartick is available in English and Spanish.

It is clear that Singapore is one of the countries where Smartick has to be. We would like for Singaporean families—some of the most rigorous in the world when it comes to children’s’ education—to try us out. Assessing ourselves alongside the best is what motivates us day to day, and of course, so does the satisfaction of knowing that 13,000 children from around the world are strengthening their math skills with us.

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Berta de Vega

Berta de Vega

Journalist. Smartick blogger. In the last four years, avid reader of everything related to education. Mother of three Smartick children.
Berta de Vega

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