MOE asks 64-year-old interviewee for O-Level Cert even though he has degree and vocational training


When 64-year-old Richard Lim approached the Ministry of Education (MOE) to conduct learning journey tours for them, he was surprised when they requested his ‘O’ Level certificate to ensure that he is qualified enough to be hired.

This is in spite of the fact that the Lim possesses a degree, has been vocationally trained to conduct learning journey tours and has 3 years experience conducting such tours.

Lim said: “So much for all that talk by MOE Ministers about how important skills and vocational training will be for future work and jobs. They should really talk to their bureaucrats first and convince them that there is more to learning than ‘O’ levels.”

In recent years, the Government has pushed more students to consider vocational training by allocating increased resources for Institute of Technical Education (ITE) schools and by rolling out alternative education schemes like the SkillsFuture initiative.

At the official opening of the ITE Headquarters in 2013, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said:

“We recognise that students have different talents and interests: some are academically inclined, while others excel in skills-based work. Therefore, our education system offers diverse pathways for students to learn at their own pace and to develop their unique skills. This is why the Government has consistently invested in vocational and technical training.”

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Lim’s friends who have responded to his Facebook post have testified that Lim was a straight A student who was the top ‘A’ Levels student in their year at school. Another friend tagged MOE in a comment after highlighting that Lim was even offered a President’s Scholarship for his outstanding grades.

However, the issue seems to be one of principle for Lim. He opined that seniors should not even be asked for their ‘O’ or ‘A’ level certificates if they apply for skill-oriented jobs:

“On a more serious note, I don’t think any Ministry should ask any senior citizen (over 60 yrs) for ‘O’ or ‘A’ level certificates for any skills or vocational jobs. It is a form of discrimination.”

Ha ha ha, guess what I just found out. MOE is asking me for my 'O' level results to ensure that I am qualified to do…

Posted by Richard Lim on Monday, 17 July 2017


  1. if you have a degree, but no A level cert, MOE will pay you O level wages. SOP for an idiotic ministry. They have been like that for the last 30 years.

    • Ya my cohorts were the 1st batch of GCE O LEVEL students. Before that all were Senior Cambridge. MOM officer too young to know. Besides this gentleman has a degree! How to go uni if nvr pass sec 4???

  2. Every Singaporean should know by now. The opposite is done no matter what the ministers say. They don’t mean what they say and they don’t say what they mean.
    Can you trust them? In every sphere of activity this happens. They say work till 67 but their own GLCs ask people to go at 64 at the latest.
    The AG was asked to go at 60.
    They say must pay CPF but some govenment institutions by pass the system so they don’t pay. Treat part timers as contractors instead of part time staff.
    Too many instances to list out.
    Bottom line: they are all liars.

  3. Hey people u all still believe what ministers say now a days? Get real ! Still living in a wonderland. Lol. Once they open mouth, shit will come out. Lol

  4. Same ole wayang…..the hiring process currently practiced in Singapore by companies whether they do it in-house or through a headhunter service, is they already discriminate against anyone over 40 years old. What are the first few lines on a job application form? Name, sex, Age!!!! Sigh…..☹️☹️☹️☹️

  5. ♻When our government really want to help our citizens, then don’t make it so troublesome
    Last time, complete secondary two can work as telephone operator in Telecoms
    My friend says that those who are taking a licence as local tour guide must have ‘O’ level certificate!
    Most tourists guides can speak but unable to write well
    30 years ago in Australia, anybody can take a professional course without ‘O’ level as they can teach from basic as every profession has their own language
    Singapore is 3rd world country

  6. Stupidity of the highest degree. MOE is questioning the integrity of the University that confer the degree on him. Heard from friends HR in other ministries also same. Never use brains.

  7. I applied for counsellors job with MOE. They ask me for O and A level certs. Best part some of their school counsellors were trained by the college where i graduated and trained some. Dont understand MOE’s logic. I guess it is another NATO.

  8. It’s all wrong! They should have ask for your PSLE first then O level, follow by A level or dip then your deg ma. MOE can’t even get this basic right…

    • If i am not wrong our results showed the subject grade as well. Below 23 points for best 6 subjects is gŕade 1 cert, grade 2 is 24 to 30..poorer grade gets a general cert in education. Later all get GCE ..good and poor scorers alike.

  9. The government is wholly inconsistent and lacks professionalism in how they handle customers. The entire civil service is not customer-centric and probably sees citizens as people as nothing more than citizens seeking services. If the PM and his bunch of muppets want to earn their million dollar salaries, they need to fix their own people. They are after all “masters” at fixing others.

  10. I got one friend fail O-levels but got degree for Northwestern and Masters from Harvard. Knowing that, the Civil Service still actually asked to see his O-level cert.

    You say these fucking clowns kam gong or not.

  11. many companies are the same. Those HR folks really have no brains, already have diploma, degree and masters..yet still ask for “O” level cert.. some even PSLE results!!!!!- OMG!!!!! I am not sure if most of those behind the scene of HR are locals or foreigners.. but please use your brains to think lah!!!!!!!

  12. Wow Richard, looks like you’ve opened pandoras box with your story and what secrets did it reveal. Once again it ahows how govt depts work.

    They are indeed following the book to the alphabet let alone the word.

    These are the people who should present their O level certs. Wait! Do they have them?

    Govt depts, one thing you are consistant in is procedural practices which are sadly not effective as you apply it blindly and brainlessly, please do have faith in Singaporeans and do give us the due respects or the benifit of the doubt at least.

    Also kindly do you background checks before blurting out and firing blanks. Yes! blank, useless and and totally insulting questions.

    Richard my symphaties and wish tou the very best in all your dreams.

    Ok I had better go dig up O level cert or I may get thrown out on my next application. Bye

  13. I am even more surprised the public didnt know. It is no secret that govt jobs will always ask for O’levels first. It’s SOP even though those working in those places know this is a ridiculous request. My only guess is that O’levels is a standardised test that the country can trace records back. Like a big database that one can easily trace back O’levels results for authenticity, unlike other certs from universities where they would have to approach the specific university to check on authenticity.

  14. Sometimes I don’t really understand what are their directions for the public. Things they do does not tally what they said and promised.

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