Education should prepare young to meet life's challenges

The Ministry of Education has been shifting its focus away from academics and towards letting students discover their interests and talents, and develop life skills. This is important so they can be ready for the future.
The Ministry of Education has been shifting its focus away from academics and towards letting students discover their interests and talents, and develop life skills. This is important so they can be ready for the future.ST FILE PHOTO

While the Education Ministry has been untiring in its efforts to reduce unnecessary stress, we still must take into consideration the value of education and its implications for the future ("Bold policy changes but mindsets must change too"; Dec 28, 2016).

Academic standards is not everything. Intangibles such as character and values matter a lot.

In fact, there has been a bigger shift in focus away from academics and towards broadening opportunities for students to discover their interests and talents, as well as to develop their life skills.

We need to bring across the point that the purpose of education is to provide a sound academic foundation for the development of a well-rounded and confident individual.

We need to groom capable and motivated students who are not limited by scores and grades.

While meritocracy is essential in education, success in life demands other attributes as well.

As parents, we should not pressure our children with unnecessary tuition or the endless practice of past years' test papers.

We need to inspire our children with a holistic attitude to learning and life. We must all accept that education does not guarantee a good future but should be a good preparation for it.

Examination grades matter only up to a point. Innovation, creativity, social skills and the ability to learn on the job are more important in the years to come.

Education should be to equip Singaporeans to meet the evolving challenges of life.

Let us help our young make good choices about their educational and career pathways, based on their aptitudes and aspirations, so they can be ready for the future.

V. Balu

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2017, with the headline 'Education should prepare young to meet life's challenges'. Print Edition | Subscribe