It is 11 years of compulsory schooling. The primary
school is 6 years old. The high school is 7 years (4 + 3
years), and the students are divided into groups according
to their abilities and interests. There are two universities
and several colleges in the country. Since 1979, bilingual
teaching has been conducted with teaching in both English
and the local languages Malay, Chinese and Tamil.
According to UNESCO, approx. 7% of the adult population
illiterate (2003). See TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA for TOEFL, ACT, SAT testing locations and high school codes in Singapore.
To contain the fierce criticism of the opposition, the
government implemented a reform that allowed representatives
of Singapore's Democratic Party and the Labor Party access
Despite steady economic growth since 1987, the government
expelled thousands of Thai and Filipino workers accused of
taking work from Singapore's own workers. At the same time,
the government tightened its policy in a number of other
areas: foreign publications deemed harmful by the government
were banned, several opposition people were sent to jail,
and a National Security Act was passed that allowed people
to be detained for up to 2 years without sentence and,
moreover, these retention periods continue indefinitely. The
tightening quickly led to a flow of charges of the violation
of human rights.
At the 1988 elections, the opposition's share of votes
increased, but due to changes in the electoral system,
parliamentary representation declined. In the 1991
elections, PAP again won an overwhelming majority of seats
in parliament. In November, Lee Kuan Yew was replaced by Goh
Chok Tong at the Prime Minister's post, but Yew retained a
decisive political influence. On his initiative, Singapore
offered the United States the superpower to build bases in
the estates after the Philippine Congress decided to close
the North American bases in the Philippines.
As an exporter of high-tech products, the industry was
only marginally affected by the recession affecting its main
trading countries the United States, Japan and Europe. With
a view to expanding production, the government launched a
"regionalization program" aimed at increasing investment in
Indonesia and Malaysia. Investments in China already
exceeded $ 1 billion annually, and Singapore became
Vietnam's main trading partner. From 1993, economic growth
reached over 8% annually.
In 1994-95, the Singapore government came into conflict
with the United States, the Philippines and the Netherlands
because of its case law: a Dutch engineer was hanged for
heroin smuggling, a young North American was convicted of
vandalism, and a young Philippine domestic worker was
executed for having murdered a colleague. The Philippines'
guilt could later be proved and diplomatic relations could
be re-established. At the request of US Bill Clinton, the
number of strokes and months spent in prison was reduced for
the young North American.
An official, two economists and two journalists were
arrested for violating the law governing state secrets.
Their violation consisted in publishing figures for
estimated economic growth before they were officially
In June 1996, the ethnic minorities seriously questioned
the "Mandarin campaign campaign". Minorities were concerned
that the Chinese language was eventually a requirement for
public employment. The government responded that the
minorities should be tolerant of the majority, and at the
same time called on the Chinese to have more children.
The drought and the changes in the winds triggered by the
climatic phenomenon "El Niņo" at the end of 1997 led to
significant losses in agriculture and tourism. The wind
brought heavy smoke from forest fires in neighboring
Indonesia across the estates. It affected the health of the
population and meant that education and trade in some parts
of the city had to be canceled and a number of flights