Just Whom is the PAP’s Education Policy Serving?

When he was Minister of State for Education, Dr Ng Eng Hen said that “Our universities must become engines of growth for our economy.”

In 2012, Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang reinforced this point saying that our education system is “to build industry-relevant manpower capabilities for the economy.”

We had even wanted to become the ‘Boston of the East’, with our universities modeled on Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

But Education Minister Ong Ye Kung now says that the number of graduates will be capped at 30 to 40 percent of the student population because the government had, in the past. placed an over-emphasis on academic qualifications in education.

This chop-and-change approach to education has damaged the country’s ability to plan for the longer term. For example, the PAP had at one time focused on Information Technology and later switched to preparing students for life sciences. Its current emphasis is on “technology adoption” – whatever that means.

Such short-sightedness contradicts PM Lee Hsien Loong’s boast of the PAP’s “far-sighted leadership who can anticipate problems”. If the leadership is. indeed, far-sighted, how did we place emphasis on our universities being growth engines for our economy and become the Boston of the East only to realise now that we have over-emphasised academic qualifications?

Serving local or foreign students?

And while the PAP caps the number of Singaporean graduates, it subsidises foreign students under the Global Schoolhouse project.

A majority of international students studying here are given Tuition Grants (totaling more than $200 million per year) as well as scholarships (some of which are not open to Singaporean students). It is reported that foreign students make up between 18 and 20 percent of the total undergraduate intake in Singapore.

In addition, foreign students receiving the grants have to serve a bond upon graduation (which many, by the way, don’t fulfill). They further compete with local graduates for jobs, many of whom are as it is having a hard time finding employment.

The discrimination is made even more unpalatable when one considers Singaporean parents spending an average of $21,000 a year on their child’s university education. This is more than twice the global average, with over half of the households going into debt because of it. These parents even prioritise funding their children’s education over paying their bills or saving for retirement.

And the PAP is limiting the number of local graduates while funding foreign ones? Mr Ong Ye Kung must explain whom exactly his latest policy is serving.

Read SDP’s alternative education policy: Educating For Creativity And Equality: An Agenda For Transformation.

Singapore Democrats

 

 

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15 Responses to “Just Whom is the PAP’s Education Policy Serving?”

  • Lye Khuen Way:

    May I attempt to answer the Question posed at the Heading of this Article in TRE.
    Our Education Policies serve Others more than our own students. It’s part of the ” Singapore belongs to Everybody ” proclamation by our Pink Man.

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  • siNKapOREA:

    It’s the law of cause and effect. One eventually has to face up to consequences of one’s actions.

    Many parents who have voted for the PAP would now have to fork out tens of thousands of dollars to send their children to overseas Unis. Trust the PAP some more? Your children will be the ones who have more years to suffer.

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  • No Pain No Gain:

    More pain coming and stepping up.
    70% Dafts voted for it.
    Besides the ultra rich, everyone is screwed.

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  • Grads threat to PAP:

    What is “overemphasis in education”? How was it measured? In a knowledge-based economy isn’t it better to have more graduates than less? The real reason there is a cap on graduates is because PAP consider graduates a threat to its political dominance. Graduates are more knowledgeable, confident, likely more idealistic and vocal. If they join the Opposition the opposition parties will be more credible and electable.

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  • Listen_to_PAP_die_cock_stand:

    Everyone old enough remembers the time back in the 60s/70s, when they encouraged students to study civil engineering, simply because there was a need to build buildings, roads, drains etc. all around S’pore.

    Then after the building boom became saturated & went bust during ’84/85 recessions, many Civil engineering graduates became jobless.

    Next came mechanical graduate demand, when S’pore wanted to quickly buildup her manufacturing base & her labor cost was still low enough back then to be attractive for foreign companies. Mechanical Engineering in the universities became “hot property”, until it was overtaken by the next phase of the electronics revolution.

    Then suddenly, all the University students wanted to get into Electrical/ Electronic engineering simply because the gov kept driving the message that it is the hot sector for new jobs. In fact, during those years in 80s/90s, Civil & mechanical engineering was considered by many to be a “dumping ground” for those with not so good grades. Needless to say, mechanical engineering graduates had to settle for lower overall career prospects as the economy shifted gears & the jobs moved away from hardcore mechanical industries into electronic manufacturing & consumer electronics.

    Then the IT/computer revolution took off in late 90s/2000s & Computer degrees became the next IN thing, with many news articles & the gov talking up the “digital age” & encouraging “upgrading” of students towards IT courses etc.
    It was during this time, that S’pore had another cycle of condo/office building boom in new buildings & construction, & Civil Engineering went back into demand with very high entry grade requirements, & of course, all the bright-eyed & hopeful students rushed into the hot faculties once again.

    Now, many IT/computer graduates are also jobless due to the intense competition as more and more Indian graduates flood the market. When you join the “hot sector” because the newspaper says its popular now with lots of jobs demand, you can be sure the mass of sheep will all crowd into it, leaving you with little salary bargaining power. Then when the bubble burst, like the “Dot-Com bust”, you will end up jobless with an obsolete degree, while the gov simply moves onto the next IN thing.

    At various stages & at various times, the “hot” BAs were in Bio-tech courses or Aerospace or in Business & Management as S’pore moved into services. At the end of the day, if you follow gov advice, you will “die-cock-stand”, because they will only drive you around & around, according to economic cycles. Instead, you should always follow your own heart in what you really want to pursue as a career. Most just follow gov nonsense, which…

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  • opposition dude:

    Speaking of which, does anyone have the latest figures on how much is spent on the foreign scholars?

    The #36 million figure was a few years ago and knowing PAP will still spend on this it would be interesting to know how much of our money has been wasted since.

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  • Listen_to_PAP_die_cock_stand:

    continued….
    Most just follow gov nonsense, which they may mean well for the overall economy because they need so many digits of workers to fill the current “hot sector” demand, but really at the individual level, you are only fooling yourself if you force yourself into a career in which you have little interest or aptitude for.

    That is also the reason why so many Sporeans cannot excel or be at the top of their chosen game at the global stage. This is because most of the sheep here do not really love what they do for a living, but are just following the gov script.

    If God gave you an aptitude for Maths, then go be the best Mathematician you can and you might even win a Nobel prize in Mathematics.
    However, if you are not born with Math brain, no point for you to do Math degree, but God gave you a strong pair of legs, then go be a Sports athlete and win an Olympic Gold medal instead of forcing a square block into a round hole. It is pointless and self-defeating to listen to gov advice, that’s why I say you will not only “die-cock-stand” by following gov advice, but you will also find yourself unhappy and jobless eventually.

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  • That's sinkie life!:

    Last time, chicken spoke. Now, duck speaks.

    Nobody is wiser. It’s just the flavour of the day!

    No miw will be held accountable. Ok, let’s move on!

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  • PAP has the mandate:

    Gong Gong, daft and goodu Stinkies still do not realise that PAP is making them into modern day slaves, because you it is illegal to have slaves but Stinkapore needs lots of cheap labor (Foreign Workers) and free labor (NS local males) and the best way is to take away their education…hahahaahha..unfortunately, daft Stinkies there is no cure for stupidity.

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  • PAP's Fake News:

    As usual, PAP ministers loves to talk big using sexy words and phrases like ‘Boston of the East’, ‘Swiss standard of living’, ‘growth engines’, ‘technology adoption’, etc,.

    In reality, these are hollow words to deceive the mainstream population into trusting and voting for the PAP in every election.

    Time passes quickly, and our ministers including current 2 Education Ministers continue to pile million of dollars in salary into their bank accounts.

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  • RDB:

    Pap education policies serve {A{ elites and their inner circles other support elitist concentric outer political cum economic wealth returns circles bettererest -> fastererest self enrichments and cheapererest for them too! Period! HOW?

    1. The Colonial British Government’s Scholarships for the average working Singaporeans’ children who qualified for it was conveniently siphon for their Elites children’s benefit by the millions of S$s!

    2. And thus past tense now only a fistful of dust made not PAP enriched circles with own homes air-cond rooms to study in extreme comfort. To compete with low income smarter children who used to study at hot humid void decks. PAP fair and not cocky too well paid elitist?

    3, The those poor peoples’ went to airport Terminal 1 waving gallery to sit on dirty floors to study and got chased away? PAP didn’t make themselves an extreme privileged class? Think again Ah Bengs/ ah Peks & Ah Lians/Ah Sohs!

    PAP not elitist no greed and all for you per national pledge, song and all their rhetoric? Think deeper! YOU HAVE BEEN FLEECE TILL YOU ARE IN THE COLD AND YET SAY THEY ARE CARING FOR YOU? YOU MUST BE MAD!

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  • Bapak:

    “But Education Minister Ong Ye Kung now says that the number of graduates will be capped at 30 to 40 percent of the student population because the government had, in the past. placed an over-emphasis on academic qualifications in education.”

    ===================================================================
    To those who voted for PAP better pay attention to the above statement. The whole gist of our problem lie here. PAP is controlling preventing locals to go for higher studies.

    They want majority of us to be odd job or blue collar workers. On the other hands they cannot afford to let the local Unis went empty without students. Therefore, mass import to let them study at our cost because they cannot afford the high school fee.

    This PAP Government is not for the people, you are nothing but a digit for them to manipulate.

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  • Bapak is right:

    Bapak:
    “But Education Minister Ong Ye Kung now says that the number of graduates will be capped at 30 to 40 percent of the student population because the government had, in the past. placed an over-emphasis on academic qualifications in education.”

    ===================================================================
    To those who voted for PAP better pay attention to the above statement. The whole gist of our problem lie here. PAP is controlling preventing locals to go for higher studies.

    They want majority of us to be odd job or blue collar workers. On the other hands they cannot afford to let the local Unis went empty without students. Therefore, mass import to let them study at our cost because they cannot afford the high school fee.

    This PAP Government is not for the people, you are nothing but a digit for them to manipulate.

    Bapak is right. The 30% to 40% university student cap is meant to be reserved for the wealthy PAP elites and their children. The rest of Sinkies who are not admitted to local university can ‘go to hell’.

    If they still want a formal university education, then their parents will have to fork hundreds of thousands of dollars to send their children overseas.

    PAP probably does not want to see a situation where every Singaporean student is an university graduate. Just like in the army, not everyone can be a general or a lieutenant. The senior positions will be reserve for the 30% or so elites graduates, the remainder will have to fill junior positions to serve their commanders.

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  • Famous Amoss:

    Of course, serve the foreigners. Foreigners may become citizens and create jobs for them. They would have been kicked long ago without the foreigners. They still keep their obscenely paid iron rice bowls. Heng Ah… can play the new citizen card.

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  • Fark The System:

    Now anyone with Any IQ can graduate from Uni.
    Thy make Uni education a SURE PASS system.
    Awarding those IDIOTS with DeGREES but cannot SELF learn.
    We will see more DISASTER in future.!

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