TWO years ago, the Government announced an expansion of university places to give 40 per cent of each school cohort a shot at university education right here at home by 2020.

It translates to 16,000 places yearly and the additional spots will be provided mainly by the Singapore Institute of Technology and SIM University which will have a more applied, practice-oriented focus and produce a different type of graduate.

Parents and students no doubt cheered the move, and the promise of a better future for young Singaporeans. But now with the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (Aspire) committee recommending pathways in which Institute of Technical Education and polytechnic students can work and further their qualifications, some parents and students are left confused. “Why this flip-flop?” asked businessman Terence Koh who has two sons studying engineering in the polytechnic.

"I was very happy that the Government was providing more places for polytechnic students and a more applied pathway that is suited for poly students like my sons. But now it looks like they are saying a degree path is not for them.

"They are better off going to work and furthering their qualifications through work," said the 46-year-old, after reading the recommendations.

But as Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday, his ministry is not changing its stance. Neither is the Aspire panel trying to dissuade ITE and polytechnic graduates from pursuing degrees.

Rather, it is pointing out that for some students at least, a diploma plus deep and relevant skills may pay off better in the long run. As Mr Heng stressed, it is about having the “right and relevant type of learning experiences that will enable an individual to build deep skills and expertise”.

Senior Minister of State for Education Indranee Rajah, who chaired the committee, stressed that the recommendations must be seen against a backdrop where there is growing demand worldwide for workers with deep skills. “The employers tell us this, OECD reports point this out and our study trips abroad confirm this,” she said, adding that students and parents must also be mindful of the changing nature of jobs and how technology is disrupting jobs.

She is right - the jobs that are in demand today may not exist tomorrow. These are important issues that students and parents must consider.


The article we’ve been waiting to read from Sandra Davie


Never know when this might come in handy - staycations or retreats or otherwise. =)

Just wanted to point out 2 PSes with English degrees

Mr Albert Chua, Second Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from the University of East Anglia in Britain, and a Master’s in Public Administration degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Mr Benny Lim, Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs). Mr Lim holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in English from the National University of Singapore and a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.


Tags: singapore

It is just as foolish and wrong to reduce aggregate opportunity in the name of making opportunity more equal as it is to reduce aggregate income in the name of making income more equal. We want a society in which there is an abundance of opportunity. But what must be understood is that the creation of opportunity typically makes opportunity less equal. If a wealthy person picks out a poor person for patronage, the beneficiary of that patronage has a huge boost in her opportunity relative to others. If I love my children and help them to flourish, part of their flourishing comes from my love, not from their merit, and that means my children’s opportunity is boosted relative to other children that might have greater biological gifts.

That opportunity is not equal is not a weakness of our world – it is not a problem to be solved, or even an area for us to “make progress in”. Meritocracy is not a sadly unattainable ideal. It is a monstrous idea that has attained the status of shibboleth.”

I find this incredibly insightful

Tags: singapore

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"You cannot take to Madras or Calcutta a cleaner life than you are proving and illustrating in Chicago…you cannot have a foreign missionary who does not have in the depths of him a deep, passionate desire, if he has any intelligence at all, for such a setting of the Christ-life in the hearts of his own people as will make it possible for him to go anywhere and say, “This is what Christ does among the peoples that receive him.”…Brothers, this will mean for each of us personal holiness. It will mean for each of us a family life, sweet and pure and good and true, such as can be exported to the ends of the earth. It will mean for us a church life so sincere, so all pervaded with the Christ that it will be a joy to transport the humblest church of America and put it down before the eyes of the heathen world and say: “There, there, that is what Jesus Christ does. It means the cleansing of the city, the pervading of all life with the cleansing streams that flow from Calvary…"

— Bishop William F Oldham, addressing the Methodist Episcopal Bishops in New York, May 1916

Now adorning my wall #Singapore

Now adorning my wall #Singapore

Tags: singapore

Testimonies from Darren Lim & Evelyn Tan. Who would have guessed- a bankrupt father on a golf course and door to door evangelism planting seeds in the heart of a little girl? God knows every single heart.