A new arrangement with Singapore’s education ministry could inform changes to New Zealand’s early childhood education, which is facing staffing problems, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.
Mr Hipkins said ties with Singapore’s education ministry had been strengthened by the Education Cooperation Arrangement, which he signed with Singapore’s Education Minister Ng Chee Meng.
Mr Hipkins said it would allow the ministries to share policy priorities and interests.
“I’ve been talking to them about our experience in early childhood education which is an area Singapore is looking very closely at at the moment,” he said.
“And I’ve been able to talk to them about their strengths in areas around maths for example.”
The countries already had “very close” economic relations and this was the start of a broader conversation and an opportunity to “shape up some more specific proposals” in education, he said.
He said each country had different strengths and there was a lot to be learnt from one another.
“We look forward to working with Singaporean counterparts to promote greater exchanges of students and teachers, relationships between our schools and institutions, and to exchange ideas for best practice in areas such as digital learning.”
Increasing connections was a key objective of the Enhanced Partnership which is under neogtiation between the two countries and will build on the existing free trade deal, Mr Hipkins said.