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).
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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 to parliament.
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.
Singapore flag source: Countryaah.com
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 available.
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 Niño” 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 canceled.