Singapore and Israel – Revisited

I have maintained for a long time that Israel can benefit by adopting some of Singapore’s policies. The two countries have a lot in common, most significantly the fact they are small nations of smart, hardworking people, surrounded by countries that they do not get along with. Israel helped Singapore build its military. Perhaps Singapore can return the favor by teaching Israel a few things.

Yes, I know Singapore is not a truly democratic state, but I actually think that in some areas Israel can benefit from a little less democracy and a little more discipline. You can read here about some of these areas.

Last week, Singapore gave the world another good example. The Ministry of Education announced a policy that is meant to “inculcate in students good habits such as a sense of responsibility and care”. What is this policy? Students between primary school and junior college will be required to clean their classrooms. The Minister of Education joined a primary school on the day of the announcement, and the press filmed the students:

Granted, it looks like the Singaporean students have a long way to go to reach the standards of Japanese students, who have been in charge of cleaning their classrooms for decades. But you got to start somewhere!:

I know the chances of Israel’s Ministry of Education adopting such a policy is wishful thinking (especially at this time, when the Minister is super-busy with other “urgent” tasks). But one can always hope…


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