Musings Singapore

Singapore – the Education Hub?

I have a few friends who are teachers, and every time we chat about their work, I am worried about our future. I don’t think Singapore’s education system encouraged learning as much as exam prepping. I’m not sure our education system prepares the kids for the real world, and those that excel academically and have never left Singapore could have a harder time adapting to the ‘real-world’. Maybe it’s the reason they join civil service?

A simple example is the NUS theatre studies students of the same graduating batch as me. I am not a major, yet in the three years of university life, I’ve very likely done as many shows as have all of them added together. And the stories I hear from the industry practitioners about their final year project and how inexperienced they were makes me glad I dropped the major and embarrassed for them at the same time. Majoring in TS indicates a certain interest in the industry so I do not understand the rationale of not wanting to immerse themselves in the field. These are the people who come out with a Bachelor’s in Theatre Studies and start to think they are better than others. Now the industry folks look at NUS TS students with distaste and absolutely no respect.

Or there will be Senior Managers of MICE who didn’t know that DHL could pick up goods from Cambodia, and thinks that 1,000 handmade bags can by completed in 1 week by 10 people.

The ignorance of Singaporeans is so appalling that I get surprised everyday. Why complain about the insurgence of foreign labour when Singaporeans want the good life but not willing to put in effort? I have heard people complain about their job and when asked what type of job are they looking for? They want a high paying job with not much to do. This very attitude is what will be the downfall of Singapore!

In a way I think the values we as a whole country have been inculcated is the main culprit. Since the beginning there had been no focus on anything other than the university degree. Granted, that mentality and drive has brought us to where we are now in less than half a century, but it has also created generations of citizens who have all the wrong values.

Give a man a fish and he will be satisfied for a meal; Teach him how to fish and he will not be hungry forever.

All we have been doing is feeding our students fish after fish after fish. When will they ever learn to fish?



Travelling, Switching Off and other thoughts

I like travelling. Travelling for work and pleasure is of course two very different experience, but it’s still enjoyable. The short span of time on the plane is like the breather that you need to break away from work.

Being on the plane breaks you from all distractions of work, you can relax and catch up on sleep, watch a movie that you never had time to otherwise, read a book or just listening to music.

Even though you know very well that the minute you step off the plane and plugged in to the world, you’ll likely be flooded with emails that you missed, those plane rides gives you perfect excuses to switch off totally.

In this time and day, switching off is no longer an ability but a discipline. Smartphones constantly reminds us how many things we need to do, work hours are no longer clear cut 9-6, bosses and teams might not even be in the same country as you. As the world shrinks, it gets increasingly important to know when to let go and that switching off does not mean you are incapable.

Unfortunately, it’s all easier said than done. As Asians, we continuously try to show those ‘Westerners’ we are as, if not more, capable than them and the way we think we can do it is by taking on more responsibilities, working later hours and giving ourselves higher expectations.

I suppose at the end of the day it’s the Asian culture. The population is dense, competition high and culture cut-throat. Maybe it’s a good thing. Afterall, such work styles have propelled many Asian countries to great economic growth.

Or maybe, just maybe, after so many years, we still feel we have something to prove.


Around Town

Cosplay in Singapore

I think the quality of our cosplayers is getting better these days. They used to be worse than horrible, if there’s even such a category.

Check out this album to see more: