During the debate on strategies to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic, NCMP Hazel Poa said that while Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Heng Swee Keat spoke extensively about the economic plans to address the post Covid-19 situation in Singapore, he did not discuss enough on how to prepare our people for the future.

In her speech in Parliament on Wednesday (Oct 14), Ms Poa said that while upskilling and reskilling our workforce is a necessary part of the solution, “it is a reactive approach”.

She added: “If upskilling and reskilling were our only recourse, Singaporeans will always find ourselves one step behind”.

Instead of focusing only on giving working adults new skills to survive the new economy, she noted that we should also look into preparing our youths to thrive in the future.

Ms Poa also cited Singapore’s grade-centric education system as a contributory factor as to why Singaporeans are losing out in the job market.

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In looking at Singapore’s education system as an owner of her own education compay, she suggested: “We need to offer a wider range of subjects to students and greater flexibility in choices and combinations”.

Ms Poa also called for greater diversity in student mix. “While the Ministry of Education is moving away from streaming towards subject-based banding, which removes the labelling, it does not change the fact that students are still grouped based on similar results in each subject”, she said.

She pushed for the Minister for Education to consider a pilot project of through-train schools from primary to secondary levels without going through the PSLE to give parents the option to choose an education path that may be better suited for their children’s future.

“I wish to reiterate that we are not embracing customised learning, to the detriment of our children. When we personalise education, we will be able to look at everything we do in life as an education in itself”, the PSP NCMP said.

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