This tag is associated with 5 posts

The Supply Of Skilled Labour Matters Too

If the problem of mismatch between jobs and skills – in which “the number of layoffs has surged to more than 13,600 in the first nine months of the year, the highest since the global financial crisis some seven years ago” (TODAY, Nov. 19) – is conceptualised as a mismatch between the supply of skilled labour in the classroom with the demand for it at the workplace, then the responsibility to fix this manpower crunch does not fall solely on the industries, even with their growing demands for skilled labour. Instead more attention should also be paid to the schools, to the schools offering technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in particular, on whether graduates are equipped with the right skills and knowledge, and whether graduates are prepared for a more ambiguous future. Continue reading

Beware The Opportunity Gap

Commitments by the polytechnics and universities to “admit more students based on their talents and interests” (ST, Apr. 9) – “with abilities and interests in a specific course, as well as those with talents in other areas, such as sports and community service” – is encouraging. There have been longstanding calls for schools to move beyond academic yardsticks in their admission exercises, and therefore broadening the criteria for prospective students should – in theory – create greater diversity, allow more to develop deep specialisations, and in the words of Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung, “make [a subject] a lifetime pursuit [to] achieve mastery”. Continue reading

Trace and Address Reasons For Private Education

While the shake-up of private schools – marked by a decline in enrolments from 100,000 in 2012 to 77,000 in 2015 and the prediction that by 2020 there will be “no more than 50 private commercial schools … left standing” (ST, Nov. 12) – has ensured that only those of a higher quality remain, the commentary is right to note that the government should seek to profile the students who attend private universities, as well as their motivations. In fact, with concerns over underemployment of degree-holders, studying the mind-sets of students would be useful. Continue reading