Q13: The biggest worry for the future of education in Singapore (SUSS Ministerial Forum 2019)

I think the biggest challenge we have – I don’t say worry, but the biggest challenge we have – is to make our education fit for purpose for continuing education. Because for pre-employment education – in schools, in polys, in universities, in ITEs – before you go to work, I think we know what to do, and you will have to bring it up date and change our courses and improve the teaching and so on – we can do that. But to make a system which will be effective for continuing education – adults, Generation X and even older than Generation X. If Generation X say they cannot remember so many things and better to do open book exams, imagine people in their 50s, 60s, or maybe people sometimes 70 years old who want to come back for a refresher, who want to learn something – how do we run an education system which can meet their needs and suit their style of learning. It is not easy at all. It is not just a matter of money or running the courses or having the courses. I must have the people with the experience and I must have the whole support system for them, so that when they come in, their employers understand, and they can focus on their job, as well as on their studies and keep a balance, and employers will make adjustments because all employees will have to go through this at some stage in their life. That is a very big challenge. We will do it – we have got Skills SG, but we are still early on the journey yet.

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