Credit should be given to PM-potential Minister Ong Ye Kung for having the guts to speak the truth about our education system at the 47th St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland. link
Ong has in his own subtle way admitted that the PAP had blundered.
The over-emphasis on academic qualifications had started decades ago when Lee Kuan Yew was Prime Minister. LKY’s obsession with paper qualifications was evident in his attempt to introduce the Graduate Mothers’ Scheme,in 1984 which favoured the children of mothers with a university degree. (spouse likely to have a degree.)
Till today, top management of stat boards, ministries and all government-linked companies are mostly scholars. In order to rise to the top in every government organization, an exceptionally good degree is required. Isn’t it sheer hypocrisy for the government not to walk Ong’s talk?
The cost of a child’s education in Singapore is many times the cost in neighbouring countries. However, Ong and his PAP sees fit to limit the proportion of graduates in a cohort to between 30 to 40 per cent. But why should Singaporeans be forced to study at more-costly foreign universities while places are reserved for third-world foreigners at public universities in Singapore?
Many foreigners are also from unheard-of universities in third world provinces/villages. In 2014, it was discovered that the government had also employed an Indian graduate from a known degree mill. There are probably lots more.
To add insult to injury, the government had also been spending hundreds of millions in tax dollars on scholarships for foreigners. link
Has the government reduced or increased the amount spent on foreigners’ scholarships since 2014?
Ong: “This approach, he added, has ensured there was no glut of graduates in Singapore, and kept graduate unemployment low, unlike in some Asian countries.”
By continuing to fund the education of foreigners to the tune of hundreds of millions in tax dollars, wasn’t the PAP government instead helping some Asian countries to keep their graduate unemployment low?
Adding more to his nonsense, Ong said: “ You can Google everything in the world, but skills you get from experience, you can’t Google for skills.”
It appears Ong’s PAP has one standard for peasants and another for elites. When it comes to leadership positions in the government, any Tom, Dick and asshole surgeon without leadership skills could become a minister.
For example, on what basis was asshole surgeon Koh Poh Koon – without any prior relevant experience – promoted to SMOS for MND and MTI within a short span of 2 years? Since Koh clearly did not get his leadership skills from experience, did the asshole surgeon simply Google “leadership skills” and got promoted?
Do former paper generals/civil servants in the cabinet and their relatives in ministries, stat boards and GLCs – without any relevant experience – possess the required leadership skills?
A government which lacks leadership skills to run a country should not assume the people are daft, as if the laughable ‘initiative’ called SkillsFuture will make any difference to a tanking economy.
While Ong has to be given some credit for being upfront about PAP’s blunder, he would have done well if not for spewing so much nonsense. 🙂