Let lessons pique your interest, students urged

Students should enjoy the subject they are studying- even if it is not where their interests lie.

This was the message from Acting Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung yesterday when he spoke to around 80 Institute of Technical Education and polytechnic students at an SGfuture session on lifelong learning.

"It's good to marry someone you love, but it's far more important to love the person you marry," he told them. "As you learn more about (a subject), that's when you develop the interest in it."

During the session, held at the Future Of Us Exhibition near Gardens by the Bay, the students spoke about their passions, the challenges they face in pursuing them and what motivates them to carry on.

The education system, said Mr Ong, must strive to help people discover their interests and achieve them, regardless of their starting points. "There must be a pathway throughout your whole life (for you to) get better and better, more and more interested, and you get more and more fulfilled," he said.

Nanyang Polytechnic final-year student Cheryl Lee studies business management but said her passion is in upcycling - turning unwanted items into useable objects of higher value - and environmental protection.

"I initially saw them as conflicting interests," said the 20-year-old. "But now I see they can go together, and that my passion can bring me to new places."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2016, with the headline 'Let lessons pique your interest, students urged'. Print Edition | Subscribe