From uni degrees to the arts scene - students have their say

In the run-up to The Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz, students discuss whether having a university degree is a passport to a good life, and changes they would make to the arts and media scene in Singapore.

Many degrees, few jobs

If a good life is interpreted as having a job and being wealthy, then no, a university degree is not a passport to a good life.

Even if one has a degree, there may not be many jobs available in the current ailing state of the global economy.

One good example is Algeria, where youth unemployment is roughly around 50 per cent there, even though most youth have university qualifications.

- Lee Hui Ying, 16, is a first-year science student at Meridian Junior College.

A degree is mandatory

A university degree may not be the only passport to a good life. Some have tasted success without one ? for example, entrepreneurs as young as secondary school students running their own blog shops.

That said, after attaining success due to hard work, some may continue their studies to get a degree. This shows education's continued relevance. With the inflow of qualified foreign expatriates competing with Singaporeans for jobs, a degree is mandatory to be the crème de la crème. Even for those with successful businesses, a degree is still needed as a back-up.

- Angel Joseph Sena, 18, is a first-year science student at Yishun Junior College.

Free entry to museums, please

Many Singaporeans are unwilling to pay to enter museums here, even if the fees are nominal. If I could make changes to the arts and media scene here, I would propose the elimination of entry fees into our local museums so more people would be enticed to visit our museums and soak up culture and the arts. In order to recoup the lost revenue, museums could organise special exhibitions that charge entrance fees, while keeping their permanent exhibits free-of-charge.

Furthermore, I would promote arts festivals in the media, to ensure local Singaporeans know and go for these events. The number of arts programmes on local TV progamming could also be increased.

- Jyan Ong, 17, is a first-year science student at Anderson Junior College.