Last month, our Education Minister commented that employers believe Singapore students lack drive and the willingness to try new things to succeed. After reading the article, I have mixed feelings because I think he missed the point on the truth about money.
Look, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that our education system has been result-driven and highly competitive for the past three decades. Everyone in Singapore knows for a long time that the education system is all about ranking, examination results and streaming. Obviously, to excel academically in such merciless system, one has to put in tremendous amount of effort and study real hard (unless of course if you are a genius). Henceforth, there is a lack of drive among our students to explore new ideas and new things. Much less to think about how to create money.
So what is the point of telling Singaporean an obvious fact that has been happening for the past decades? What is the Ministry of Education going to do? Just like many Singaporean in their thirties, I went through the education system and was taught to get a job, buy a house and save money for my retirement fund. At the end of the day, I have been asking myself, has the Singapore education provided me adequate knowledge to succeed in life?
My answer to that is a definite no. The Singapore education is good at forcing students to memorize information and poor at imparting critical knowledge and skills that are of relevant to our present society. I studied at a SAP secondary school and graduated from a top 5 junior college. I remember having to memorize countless Chinese, Geography, Chemistry and History textbooks in order to achieve respectable results.
After working for so many years, I didn’t even put any of what I learnt in school into practice and I realized they were not useful to me at all. Important life skills like how to budget, how to do financial planning, how to invest and how to do business plan were not taught at school. I was brought up to be a good employee destined to be trapped in a rat race. In a nutshell, schools train me to be an employee, not rich.
If I have my way, I would design the education system to impart Financial Knowledge, Professional Knowledge and General Knowledge to our students. Students are the future of our nation and they are never too young to learn the hard truth of money. The concept of saving and making money should be inculcated in them during secondary school.
In this new economy, we have to train our youth to think innovative, encourage them to start up their business and impart basic financial knowledge.
SG Wealth Builder