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Education

This tag is associated with 394 posts

The Equity Of Opportunities, Not The Equality Of Outcomes

Notwithstanding the propositions that improving the absolute well-being of Singaporeans and achieving relative equity or equality within the country are not mutually exclusive policy objectives – and is ostensibly a balance the Singapore government seeks to establish – and that growth with equity is therefore a worthy objective, distinguishing the equity of opportunities and the equality of outcomes and stressing the former brings attention to the important principle of justice, which is also enshrined in the Singapore pledge. And while it might be true that from intelligence to work ethic “human beings are unequal in almost every respect” (ST, Jun. 1), it does not follow that Singaporeans should then accept the consequent inequalities or ignore governmental or community potential to increase equity. Continue reading

To Raise Volunteerism Rates, Better Understand Volunteer Motivations And Patterns

If doubling the national volunteerism rate – from 35 per cent in 2016 to 70 per cent in 2023, articulated by Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Grace Fu in June last year – remains a goal of the Singapore government, then the finding of the Individual Giving Study (IGS) by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) that only 29 per cent of Singaporeans volunteer (compared to 35 per cent in 2016, marking a drop of six percentage points) feels like an unfortunate step backwards, especially when our understandings of volunteer motivations, of variations in volunteer patterns and especially explanations for the recent dips in 2014 and 2018, as well as of the interventions needed to shift individuals with intents to volunteer to actual volunteerism seem to remain limited. The low national volunteerism rate is even more curious, furthermore, in a country where school-based community service is mandated. Continue reading

Set National And Personal Goals For Lifelong Learning

Implicit in the focus on adult and lifelong learning is the desire to raise labour productivity levels in Singapore, though in this pursuit of greater economic competitiveness and a stronger meritocracy of skills – “where people gain satisfaction from learning at every stage of life … as well as from mastering the skill and being part of a community of learners” (ST, Apr. 26) – shifting socio-cultural mindsets to be more proactive and to participate is as important as increasing the number of educational opportunities. In setting broader goals, in this vein, it would be productive for the government to consider the eagerness of Singaporeans, their willingness and ability to balance work, family, and personal commitments with training and development, and their future trajectories. Continue reading

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