Workers’ Party Secretary General Pritam Singh met with a number of Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students yesterday, at the opening of the second session of the 13th Parliament. Reflecting on the time he spent with the students on his Facebook page, Singh revealed the advice he gave the young generation. He shared:
“I had a good time speaking to a number of students at the opening of Parliament yesterday, including Nicole and Samantha from ITE College West. I found them no less engaged and determined than their peers from the polytechnics and junior colleges. And that to me is key in the long-run.
“The person with the better qualifications usually finds it easier to open the door to a good future. But once you are through the door, attitude and drive and determination count for a lot more than one thinks. Any employer or SME boss will tell you that.
“So it is important to work hard to get into a course you like and pursue excellence. Those who are determined and do not settle for mediocrity will inevitably do well. Luck, opportunity, a good mentor etc. all play their part as do strong moral values.
“But don’t let anyone tell you in your youth that you are a failure and cannot make it – regardless whether you are in a polytechnic, junior college or ITE. Attitude and resilience counts. And I saw it in abundance yesterday. Good luck and best wishes!”
Netizens responding to Singh’s post quickly showered him with praise and appreciated the valuable advice he imparted to the young students. Several netizens also drew comparisons between Singh’s advice to what Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing told students in 2016.
Speaking to about 300 Polytechnic students, the PM frontrunner had urged youths to go beyond relying on good grades for jobs and told students that the times are changing fast and that employers of the future would be less interested in paper qualifications and grades.
In another forum that year, Chan emphasised that grades are not everything. He said, “Don’t become a yardstick society in which we aimlessly, blindly chase goals regardless of what we’re good at. That’s the saddest thing we can do for ourselves,” before adding that while achieving a high GPA is important, it does not ensure employment:
“…there are more things in life. When you look for employment, and you don’t know what’s going on, you can’t anticipate or analyse, no employer will take you even if you have a GPA of 4.0.
“This is something I fear for our society – where everyone goes after the same thing, the same yardstick, and we end up in what sociologists call a ‘prisoner’s dilemma’. That’s what scares me.”