Students must be enterprising to be 'future-ready', says Ng Chee Meng

Ng Chee Meng, Acting Education Minister (Schools) said that students must be prepared for future challenges, and take risks.
Ng Chee Meng, Acting Education Minister (Schools) said that students must be prepared for future challenges, and take risks.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

SINGAPORE - Students must develop an entrepreneurial spirit as innovators, inventors and path-blazers to bring Singapore's economy forward, said Acting Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng on Monday (March 21).

Speaking at Hwa Chong Institution (HCI)'s 97th Founders' Day dinner, Mr Ng, who is the guest-of-honour, said that in a rapidly changing world where it is unknown what kinds of jobs will exist in the future, or what types of industries will flourish, students must be prepared to push boundaries, take calculated risks and lead in new inventions and innovations.

"Now, even a machine AlphaGo has beaten a top-ranked Weiqi player. We are at the threshold of inventions and discoveries that will change the shape of our lives... Our students must be future-ready for the challenges that lie ahead," said Mr Ng, who is also an old boy of HCI.

He cited examples of successful enterprising alumni from HCI, such as Ms Olivia Lum, executive chairman and group chief executive of water treatment firm Hyflux, and Mr Ye Gang, co-founder of online gaming and social platform Garena, which has grown into a billion-dollar Internet company over a span of seven years.

The minister also emphasised the importance of character and values education.

"For Singapore's society to grow stronger, let us look not only at our individual needs and aspirations, but also the needs of others," he added.

About 1,000 HCI alumni, staff and student attended the dinner to mark the school's 97th anniversary.

xueqiang@sph.com.sg