Learning to be leaders

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 June, 2009, 12:00am

A historic, high-performing independent secondary school in Singapore has torn down its subject department walls and dropped O-levels to concentrate on holistic, interdisciplinary learning. Pupils are expected to pick up new skills and knowledge and apply them to particular projects, just like in cutting-edge industries. And they conduct research projects with peers half way across the planet. Like some of the world's most innovative schools, Hwa Chong Institution combines academic strength with a focus on problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking and entrepreneurship. Its pupils are groomed to take risks and cope with failure. They learn to be leaders by examining good and bad role models from Bill Gates to Adolf Hitler. And via satellite campuses initially in China but also in India and the US, they expect to engage firsthand with the world's great cultures.