Consider individuals' aspirations, not just academic qualifications: Ong Ye Kung

Acting Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung speaking at the Singapore International TVET Conference on Nov 3, 2015.
Acting Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung speaking at the Singapore International TVET Conference on Nov 3, 2015.PHOTO: INSTITUTE OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION

SINGAPORE- Educators and employers should not dismiss individuals' interests and abilities, if they can show their strengths in ways other than their academic qualifications, Acting Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung said on Tuesday (Nov 3).

The challenge, he said, is to develop a system that best matches vocation and aspirations.

Mr Ong, who oversees higher education and skills, was speaking to some 370 educators from around the world at a conference on technical vocational education and training (TVET).

The Singapore International TVET Conference is held here every three years and is organised by by the Institute of Technical Education and the five polytechnics, and sponsored by Temasek Foundation.

In his speech, Mr Ong also encouraged students to choose their courses and careers wisely, "based on more of the heart".

"Choices should be based on a good understanding of self - one's passion and aptitudes, and also a good understanding of the course and career - not just based on salaries or perceived status of a profession," he said.

He added that Singapore's education system could afford for some bias towards personal aspirations and noted that this should not mean that standards are compromised.

Individuals would still need to demonstrate that they have a good chance of completing their courses.

The conference, which is held at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Singapore, will see several speakers share their experiences in TVET over the next few days.

They will cover topics such as the importance of vocational skills, the use of technology and the role of partnerships with industry.