From the Editorial Team
18th Jan 2023
In the Singaporean education system, there is a high emphasis on academic excellence. However, in the real world, there are more factors than mere academic prowess which a student requires to succeed.
The ability to write concisely is important to communicate messages to others. Often, learning how to write proper emails and reports is something that students are not taught in schools. The techniques used to write essays will not always be relevant in preparing documents in the working world. Students should learn the appropriate language, cadence, and tone to use when preparing documents and presentations during their employment.
The Singaporean education system often does not train students to question things, emphasising rote memorisation and a systematic application of taught concepts to answer difficult problems. Often, the student who will do best is one with a large memory and the ability to perform complex tasks according to specific directions.
However, students should learn how to question information and reason whether they are true or not. There is a lot of false information swirling around in the media and the truth is not often straightforward. It would be unwise to blindly accept everything a figure of authority says and critical thinking would serve a student well in navigating complex areas of life.
There is a marked difference between school and real life in group projects. In school, there is sometimes the option of selecting who to work with. However, we are unable to choose the people we work with and the people we answer to when we are employed. An important skill is therefore constructive collaboration.
Students should seek to develop a tolerance for others and a task-focused approach. An awareness of team dynamics and strengths and weaknesses of others is important in working in any organisation or team. Students should be aware that everyone can contribute something in a team, albeit in different ways. Not everyone has the same views and skills, but they are still able to contribute something to achieving a common goal.