Dear All Singapore Stuff,

I saw this article in the mainstream media, “Top Poly Graduates Choose Work Over University” (TNP, 8 May). Whenever our ministers say something especially things that are close to being BS, our 151st (formally 154th) media never fails to follow up with lots
of anecdotal stories (propaganda).

Our local media still think this is the 1980s where people just lap up their BS propaganda. Education is not ‘studies’ as you know it in the polytechnic. Education in a good University is a training of the mind. Contrary to what our education minister, Ong Ye Kung, says, education’s end goal is NOT the acquiring of skills. Skills can become obsolete. Education is about the training of minds. Ability to analyse. Excellent 3R skills – Reading, wRiting aND aRithmetic skills. Ability to ask the right questions. Ability to frame complex situations. I dare say the polytechnic education action does NOT prepare the graduates for this as they focus on CURRENT skills.

The University forces one to go back to the basics of 3Rs – that is why so many poly kias stumble when they go to University. It is not that they lack skills. They lack the strong foundation (3Rs) to acquire new skills in future. To add in a key point; normally JC students come from more well-to-do family with university educated parents. So they know what is the gist of how society is structured and its workings and how these are tied to educational attainment.

But if you come from non-university educated family, then these parents will likely impart their own values (adaptability, physical ability) onto their children. So the children also subconsciously hold onto the same values. At 20s, your cognitive capacity is not yet fully developed, so maximize brain growth by studying is better. You will not be able to study that easily when you are older. Work can always wait, but youth cannot, and is limited.


A.S.S. Contributor

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