SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday (Dec 7) hailed the work of the Ministry of Education (MOE), saying that the ministry is "moving in the right direction" after Singapore students topped two global benchmarking tests.
In a Facebook post, Mr Lee said: "Very happy that Singapore students came up top of the class in two recent global education surveys!
"These latest results show improvements over the previous round of the surveys. The Ministry of Education, Singapore is moving in the right direction."
On Tuesday, it was announced that Singapore took first place in all three categories - reading, mathematics and science - in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, its best performance yet in the global benchmarking test.
Conducted once every three years, PISA measures how well 15-year-olds around the world make use of their knowledge to solve problems. A total of 72 economies took part in its 2015 assessment.
Just a week earlier, Singapore's Primary 4 and Secondary 2 students topped another international ranking in mathematics and science, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science study (TIMSS).
The study, which assessed pupils from 63 other education systems around the world, also found that Singapore students have more positive attitudes towards learning and are immersed in conducive learning environments. Singapore students also showed improvement over the years, especially in higher-order thinking skills.
Singapore's performance in both tests has caught the attention of international media outlets such as the BBC, which on Monday ran a story spotlighting the city-state's education system.
Said PM Lee of the article: "This BBC News article describes how we are improving our approach to education - developing students’ curiosity and thinking skills, with which they can solve real world problems."
He congratulated students and thanked parents, teachers, principals and MOE staff members for their efforts.
"To our students, well done and keep it up! My thanks as well to parents, teachers, principals, and MOE staff, who work hard to nurture in our children a positive attitude towards learning, and prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow," Mr Lee said.