Unchanging education system greatest threat to job prospects

Technological advancements are restructuring and redefining job scopes of traditional occupations ("7Cs to survive an anti-jobs future"; last Saturday).

As mentioned by Mr Jack Sim in his commentary, rote learning and memory tests are the domains of the robot. The threat that Mr Sim talks about appears to affect white-collar jobs more than it does blue-collar jobs.

Having paper qualifications no longer guarantees better job prospects and higher salaries.

Indeed, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung has reminded Singaporeans that a degree should not be the default pathway because other alternatives are available ("Private school grads find it harder to land jobs: Poll"; Sept 24).

However, it is not the rise of technology that threatens our young people's job prospects.

Rather, the education system has to remodel itself to prepare young people for an unpredictable future economy.

At the rate technology is advancing, it becomes impossible for education to impart factual knowledge that remains up-to-date when students graduate and enter the workforce.

Instead, schools should teach students how to learn new skills regardless of new technological changes they will face.

Tey Siew Min (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2016, with the headline 'Unchanging education system greatest threat to job prospects'. Print Edition | Subscribe