Take bold steps to impart skills, prepare youth for future

The Ministry of Education needs to be more dynamic and make bold plans today for the youth to be better prepared for the future.
The Ministry of Education needs to be more dynamic and make bold plans today for the youth to be better prepared for the future. PHOTO: ST FILE

A recent survey showed that seven in 10 young people are unsure or do not think the tertiary education they receive in Singapore prepares them sufficiently to join the workforce (Youth feel school doesn't equip them for work, April 5).

As we all know, the world is changing fast and technology and automation are disrupting businesses. Some jobs today will no longer exist while the jobs of tomorrow have yet to be created.

The question is whether our education system is changing fast enough to prepare our youth to adapt to the future workforce.

I agree that to create a vibrant economic engine for the future, we must re-imagine public policy and take bolder steps towards this goal, and education is key.

Would Singapore have achieved its modern day success if founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew did not have the foresight to insist on English as the first language for the young nation then?

For Singapore to stay ahead and continue to be relevant, we need to take bold steps. However, even if we want our children to be trained adequately for a digital future, are teachers equipped with the necessary skills to teach them?

How we shop, commute and search for information has been changed in the last decade.

Artificial intelligence, fintech, healthtech and even e-sports seem to offer more exciting opportunities than the traditional professions of today. The Ministry of Education needs to be more dynamic and make bold plans today for the youth to be better prepared for the future.

Jason Ng Bak Huat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2019, with the headline 'Take bold steps to impart skills, prepare youth for future'. Print Edition | Subscribe