Minister for Education, Mr Chan Chun Sing, informed an audience of 550 pre-university students that it is essential for every generation to be a pioneering generation. Education is a lifelong pursuit and should be an exciting journey for students. He encouraged them to consider their options after they complete their studies.
According to Mr Chan, the youth should not rest on their laurels. The youth must continually overcome all challenges to chart a new path together and create more and better opportunities for the next generation.
The meeting held on 31st May 2022 at two lecture theatres at National Junior College attracted students from 30 pre-university institutions, polytechnics, junior colleges, and various institutions of higher learning.
Students participated in a yearly seminar where they collaborated with students from other schools to work on a project relating to 2022’s theme, Service: Forging the Singapore Story.
During the seminar, participants were encouraged to consider ways Singaporeans can play a big or small part in contributing to their nation.
Seizing Available Opportunities
In a world where information is within reach more than ever, Singapore’s students must cultivate curiosity and remain open to learning new things.
The Education Minister also said, “It is through the crucible of crisis and obstacles that the fortitude of Singaporeans is borne. Beyond 2020, your generation will assume the task of leading us to SG100. This is a youth program aimed at investing in young people from across the world so that they can become a connected generation of leaders.”
Defining the challenges that Singapore’s youths will have to deal with, Mr. Chan said the upcoming generation must traverse a highly congested political economy, change the country, and put Singapore on the map as a worldwide digital fork.
Challenges that Lie Ahead for Singapore Youth
The youth must also rise above its carbon and energy challenges and create better solutions to enhance the country’s land use.
For Singapore to achieve its vision for SG100, Mr. Chan said it was essential to equip the upcoming generation with the necessary skills. He emphasised three attributes that he believed would lead the country beyond the SG100, namely:
1. Be Curious
2. Be Connected
3. Be Confident
Curiosity is the seed for creativity, and anyone who is eternally curious will constantly look for tomorrow’s solution.
Youths should be confident, seek to surpass themselves, and grow throughout life. The minister further added that everyone is gifted on their own, but as a society, they must learn to define success beyond themselves.
The youth must have the courage to seek their solutions in context rather than copying others. He states that students should learn from others but must apply the lessons to their context.
He further stated that consistent lifelong learning is a significant factor in ensuring that Singaporeans can maintain their skills and competencies for a changing economy.
What Singapore Youth must do to Deal with these Challenges
Students must be ready for the unknown and adaptable to change in a rapidly changing global environment. A healthy sense of self is essential because students must be confident enough in their ability and themselves to adapt quickly and move forward with focus.
He added that no one fully graduates from a learning institution. The universities offer their students unlimited credits allowing them to take as many modules as they want.
As the young people prepare to undertake the mantle as the new pioneer, it is crucial to crystallise the Singapore DNA. The Education Minister advised the youths to continue to safeguard their culture of harmony and respect.
There was a need to constantly innovate and make the most of individual ability to take Singapore into the future.
Mr Chan urged students to step out of their comfort zones and get to know other countries through international exchange programs.
Everyone is encouraged to participate in structured activities and real-world problem-solving instead of listening passively or observing others. It is vital for Singaporean students to realise that all are capable of this, including themselves.
The students received guidance on how to cultivate curiosity for lifelong learning. Mr Chan reminded them that everyone has something valuable to contribute, and it is essential to learn and share knowledge with others so that everyone can grow together.
In the end, it would help them embrace and actively learn new things throughout their lives.