Changing realities for today's youth

My siblings and I were born in the 1960s and 1970s, and so were many of my friends.

While many of us were from low- or middle-income families, most of us have fond memories of our growing-up years.

For many, these years were filled with playfulness, sometimes mischievousness, and games such as zero-point, tikam-tikam, ice-cream sticks and hopscotch.

There were also friendships forged, puppy love found and, of course, our studies.

While we were growing up during our secondary school days, many of us found part-time jobs together with our friends.

Those working experiences were nothing to shout about but were fun. They taught some of us the value of hard-earned money.

But times have changed, and so has the experience of being a teenager.

The commentary "Let's tear down the ivory tower called school" (Aug 22) brought up the concept of "externship". One of the key ideas is to bring real-world training to students between the ages of 13 and 16.

The theoretical value of an "externship" is that it starts our young off early in solving tomorrow's challenges. It is also tied in with our SkillsFuture initiative.

Let us hope that years from now, our SG50 babies can also enjoy their growing-up years, along with learning useful skills that can see them through to SG100.

Tan Kar Quan