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The Straits Times

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NTU Invite-Only Career Fair: Shortsighted To Limit Event Publicity Based On GPA

Given the recent policy moves by the Ministry of Education to reduce emphasis on school-based tests at the primary and secondary school levels, and to correspondingly focus on lifelong learning instead , the apparent decision by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to limit publicity of one of its career fair based on grade performance per se – targeting those “from scholar programmes or with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.75 out of five” (ST, Oct. 7) – appears ill-timed and poorly justified. And if it is true, as per the interview with a final-year undergraduate reported in the paper, that organisers also screened resumes or checked for GPAs at the door, the university is likely to be doing those who were excluded a disservice. Continue reading

Emigration Survey Does Not Capture More Complex Motivations Of Young Singaporeans

A 2016 research study by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) found that 18.3 per cent of the 2,000 young Singaporean respondents have thought about emigrating permanently, 2.9 percentage points lower than the 21.2 per cent of respondents who said the same in a similar study in 2010 (ST, Sep. 29). The emigration survey, however, does not capture the more complex motivations of moving away from Singapore: First, it only considered permanent emigration, even though young Singaporeans could be more likely to spend extended stints abroad without renouncing their citizenship, choosing to establish themselves first or to return to raise families or to retire; and second – tied to the fairly wide age-range of the sample, between 19 and 30 years old – the positive and negative indicators tied to the intention to emigrate were still tied to unhelpful or simplistic demographic or socio-economic indicators, instead of study or work experience as well as their time spent or their past experiences abroad. Continue reading

Ageing Out Of The Tray-Return Practice

Against a background of persistent exhortations by politicians as well as a plethora of policy initiatives to encourage Singaporeans to return their trays in hawker centres (ST, Sept. 4) – such as monetary incentives, smart robots, and automated tray-return counters – the observation that students have always been doing so in the schools and in the universities is often overlooked. In most primary and secondary school canteens schoolchildren return their crockery and cutlery into bins placed in front of the food stalls without being prompted to, and in most institutes of higher learning and universities students do the same when they return their trays at centralised stations. And while there are questions about how such behaviours or attitudes shift over time, working to maintain these practices appears most practical. Continue reading

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