Education Minister Heng Swee Keat's recent call for a transformation in Singaporeans' attitude towards learning has resonated with many.
Mr Heng, who was speaking at the Ministry of Education's (MOE) Budget debate in Parliament earlier this month, urged students, parents and employers to move their focus away from exams and grades towards acquiring deep skills.
He said this was necessary as jobs will keep changing in the future, and people will need to keep learning, mastering skills and learning for life.
He warned that not doing so could lead to a dystopian future where stress levels climb, and "the system churns out students who excel in exams, but are ill-equipped to take on jobs of the future, nor find fulfilment in what they do".
Several parents who responded to his speech agreed with his predictions, and said there was an urgent need to transform the system.
However, more than a dozen parents who e-mailed and wrote in to The Straits Times Forum Page also pointed the finger at MOE, commenting that several of its policies - such as the continuation of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) - are partly the cause of students' and parents' "obsession with grades", as Mr Heng termed it.
A typical comment came from Madam Carrie Tan, who said: "It is one thing asking parents, students and employers to change their mindsets. But what is the ministry doing to encourage this change? It should lead the way in relooking some of its policies."
To give the ministry some credit, over the past decade it has changed - and even done away with - some policies that skewed priorities in education.
Two notable changes were dropping the ranking of secondary schools and streaming of children in primary school. From 2008, pupils were instead banded according to their strengths in different subjects.
In recent years, it has also done away with exams for lower-primary children. It is in the process of making further adjustments to some policies, including how the PSLE is being used for progression into secondary school.
But perhaps the ministry could go further and be bolder in bringing about the shift that Mr Heng called for.
I am reminded of a comment made more than a decade ago by then Education Minister Teo Chee Hean when he changed the way schools were appraised by MOE: "Unless we change what counts, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to change the orientation and focus of our education system."