Lack of drive in Singaporean students a worry

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Lack of drive in Singaporean students a worry

Postby Sun_2010 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:28 pm

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNew ... 61689.html

Lack of drive in Singaporean students a worry

The Education Minister is concerned about the number of employers who have said that Singaporean students lack drive and the confidence to venture out of their comfort zone.

These are the very qualities that chief executives and entrepreneurs singled out to him as being essential to succeed in the competitive global playing field.

Mr Heng Swee Keat was speaking to some 300 university students at a forum at the Singapore Management University (SMU) last night. He recounted his meeting earlier in the day with a group of CEOs who own their own companies.

When he asked what personal qualities are necessary to succeed, many of them said: Drive. 'They said, 'We think this is going to be critical (but) we are not seeing enough of this',' said Mr Heng, who was surprised at the number of CEOs who mentioned it. 'I said, how can that be? Our students work very hard,' he added. He had a long discussion with them, which did not throw up any solutions.
Last edited by Sun_2010 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sun_2010
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Re: Lack of drive in Singaporean students a worry

Postby Sun_2010 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:32 pm

how can that be?

This is how, Mr. HSK

Our students work very hard and want to successed always.
So how to take the risk of venturing out of the tried and tested method,
of letting imagination take over when not assured of success.

Oh what if they fail?
Oh what if everything they worked so hard for crumbles by that?

Like most things the answer is easy.
The simple thing is to have a mindset that truely looks at failures as learnings.
Do our children have the freedom to fail?
No - the system doesnt allow failure , and so most of us parents also dont.
(I must admit that many of us have been bought up with this mindset too so it is also an internal fear which we project on our kids anyway.
And the system doesnt help. )

When every thing is measured by grades - when every mistake is penalised , it is but natural for a child to fear failure.

There is a difference between trying and failing than not to trying.
There is a difference between trying to go up a different path and failing then going up the tried and tested path and succeeding.
Do note - I believe in the tried and tested way more than i do in the newer ways.
But if one has the urge to try a new way, he /she should. They should be encouraged to do so. Even if it leads to failure. They still learn a lot - especially how to pick up and move on.

Its not that our students dont fail, its that few accept failure and learn and move on.

The hard part is inculcating this mindset.
It is should be a part of every teacher's approach. Every currriculum's approach.
Some children are more worried about failures than others. Typically high achievers. They have to be shown its ok to fail.
Schools should reinforce that failures happen to make us better and tougher. It shows we dared.

Teachers and parents we need to stop stressing on success and encourage the spirit of perseverance and discipline.

Sadly, we dont. Atleast most of us.

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Re: Lack of drive in Singaporean students a worry

Postby kuzco » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:06 pm

:goodpost: Well said, Sun_2010. The education system does not take kindly to those who don't do well or fail. Miss the first strike, and you are out forever.

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Re: Lack of drive in Singaporean students a worry

Postby Freesia » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:17 pm

Yes, Sun I agree with you........ :))

P3 stream, P6 stream, Sec 2 stream. Can we not stream only after O'level?
Those high ability ones taking a higher maths or higher science or a deeper level of some subjects which they are good at?
How can you determine what you are good at as such young age. Some children just mature later.....

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Re: Lack of drive in Singaporean students a worry

Postby Mychildren » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:26 pm

Sun_2010, agree with what you said "failures happen to make us better and tougher."

Since school doesn't allow that, my DH and me let go our hands on certain things and allow them to do them by themselves. Told them nothing is difficult if you are willing to learn. That includes housework, making meals and running simple errands at this moment.

I will be more worry that they can't take hardship and do not have perseverance than in scoring good grades.
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Re: Lack of drive in Singaporean students a worry

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:27 pm

kuzco wrote::goodpost: Well said, Sun_2010. The education system does not take kindly to those who don't do well or fail. Miss the first strike, and you are out forever.


Actually I do not quite agree with this. Our education system is one where if one does badly but if willing to try harder, can return to its original path and given a chance to compete again because it is based on merit...so out forever is not true. Also, to return based on hard work is a possibility, not a system that really requires one to be super clever since mugging is one method to succeed in the exams. What is lacking is inspiring people to teach the young. Drive needs inspiration. I think I wrote somewhere, we are churning out 'spiritless' children, just pursuing academic excellence.
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Re: Lack of drive in Singaporean students a worry

Postby Daddy D » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:38 pm

"...He had a long discussion with them, which did not throw up any solutions."
Duh... NATO I also know...
I will applaud if he changes the system...
Unless he's also afraid of failure, or in the comfort zone.

Again I hear this argument that foreign talents are "better" than locals...
:stupid: :slapshead:

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Re: Lack of drive in Singaporean students a worry

Postby MMM » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:41 pm

Wow... the "fail" word is really scary. Imagine failure in the system would mean having to repeat for 1 more year ??? Or being write off to some schools that is considered to be "the end". The price of failure is too great that led everyone to be risk averse and drive parents to be kiasu/ push the kids hard as we are kiasi.

So in this pressure cooker society, it's just blindly achieving good grades. As it becomes apparent that if you do well academically, you will do better in life (good job and good future). Our kids' drives are probably killed in the process of pursuit for academic excellence. They probably felt that they have been working so hard that it's time to relax. I've seen of some younger colleagues (locals who went through local uni), they are just happy doing what they are doing. There is no drives even for promotion, etc... It sort of shocked me as they must be top 30% to make it to local uni. Compared to counterparts from China, they appear lacklustre.

We've seen alot of late bloomers and they pick up later on. But this is after having spent/ "wasted" additional time in school due to the system.

In terms of drive, with most (not all) kids from middle class. Most kids are fairly well sheltered nowadays. Unlike olden days, they do not have to give up education so that another sibling can go to school. Has this led them to think that everything is a given and what drives are we talking about???

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Re: Lack of drive in Singaporean students a worry

Postby Sun_2010 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:49 pm

Daddy D wrote: Unless he's also afraid of failure, or in the comfort zone.


Good point Daddy D.

If we wanto to keep on thinking, other countries like Finland check out our system , ergo we must be the best , so dun need to review our system.

Finland has a very good education system, yet they want to see where there is room for improvement, what to do , what not to do, are they on the track....

While we can spend our time thinking I am the best so lets just keep doing this.

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Re: Lack of drive in Singaporean students a worry

Postby 3Boys » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:52 pm

kuzco wrote:The education system does not take kindly to those who don't do well or fail. Miss the first strike, and you are out forever.


Like ksi, I do not agree with this.

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