Voices Of Youth

Lifelong learning key to survival

It is heartening to see that learning is recognised as not just for the young, but also for people of all ages ("Goodbye graduation... and hello to lifelong learning"; July 30).

Lifelong learning is all too often overlooked. However, in a fast-paced and ever-changing world, it is imperative to constantly upgrade one's skills to stay relevant and ready for the challenges that come.

As disconcerting as it may sound, without the constant drive to improve, it would be tremendously easy for an older person to be "overtaken", such as being passed over for a promotion by someone younger.

It is, thus, crucial that more emphasis be placed on lifelong learning, as acquiring skills and knowledge cannot cease upon graduation.

However, with many people focusing on grades, learning seems to serve only as a tool for academic excellence. Yet, the fundamental objective of learning should be personal development.

Only with a change in mindsets will the notion of lifelong learning take root and yield real benefits.

I applaud the emphasis placed on lifelong learning by the authorities. Only with continual learning can workers' standards keep up with the times, allowing our workforce to maintain its edge over other societies.

This is especially important for Singapore, which has workers as its only natural resource.

Chong Shu Ning, 16, Secondary 4 student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2016, with the headline 'Lifelong learning key to survival'. Print Edition | Subscribe