Voices Of Youth

Do more to make the arts attractive

The fact that there are fewer School of the Arts (Sota) students pursuing arts-related university courses is worrying (The full measure of an arts education; June 1).

It is worth noting that for students to have chosen such a specialised secondary school in the first place, they likely intended to pursue the arts as their main area of interest.

Certainly, it is possible for one's interests to change.

But for so many Sota students to choose to pursue the arts on the side rather than major in it seems to suggest that the issue may be more than one of personal choice.

One's choice of university course may be heavily influenced by external factors, such as societal perceptions or career prospects.

Perhaps, more needs to be done to make majoring in the arts more attractive and to develop a local pool of artistic talents.

Parents, teachers and society in general should continue to encourage passionate students to take up a career in the arts.

Ideally, students should not have to choose between their passions and their livelihoods.

Arts-related careers are diverse and important to society, and an education in the arts is in no way futile, even if students choose to pursue entirely different careers.

Qian Zichen, 16, Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2017, with the headline 'Do more to make the arts attractive'. Print Edition | Subscribe