Older worker data should be seen in context

Singapore Ministry of ManpowerSingapore Ministry of Manpower <-

Recently, there was an ST report that the number of older workers earning below $1,000 per month has doubled over the last decade. But did you know that:

1. we have an ageing population, so the overall number of older workers actually increased by more than three times over the same period?
2. the number of older workers earning $1,000 or more per month has quadrupled in the past decade?
3. the proportion of those earning below S$1,000 has fallen from 57% to 36% over the same period?

Read more in our clarification here:

Older worker data should be seen in context

Ms Radha Basu’s article and headline (“35,000 older workers earn less than $1,000”; last Sunday) cited the Ministry of Manpower’s figures erroneously.

The fact is that the total number of older workers has grown by more than three times in the past decade. This is due to many factors, among them, our ageing workforce, our tight labour market and the Government’s efforts to boost the employability of older workers.

It is also important to emphasise that while the absolute number of workers earning less than $1,000 has risen, their proportion set against the total pool of elderly workers has, in fact, fallen sharply – from 57 per cent in 2003 to 36 per cent last year.

In contrast, the number of elderly workers earning above $1,000 has more than quadrupled in the past decade.

We have an ageing population and workforce in Singapore.

Citing statistics without providing their proper context, coupled with your headline and opening paragraph, paint a false picture of the overall state of our elderly population.

Musa Fazal
Divisional Director
Income Security Policy Division
Ministry of Manpower


image – > Fabrications About The PAP




A degree is not the only path to success.

No degree, but she rose to become principal

source :  No degree, but she rose to become principal; Published on Aug 27, 2014

By Amelia Teng

MRS Elaine Quek, 41, almost became an engineer more than 20 years ago after obtaining an electronic and computer engineering diploma.

But she changed her mind after a two-week relief teaching stint at Outram Primary.

Today, she is the principal of Maha Bodhi School.

“When I joined teaching, I wanted to teach and I never thought about being promoted or whether I would be a principal,” said the Ngee Ann Polytechnic graduate.

Her career choice has paid off.

After completing a diploma in education at the National Institute of Education (NIE), she started working in Bukit View Primary in 1995. She was promoted to become the subject head for science at River Valley Primary in 1999, and became head of department for science in the following year.

In 2005, she became vice-principal of Woodlands Ring Primary and four years later, principal of Chongzheng Primary. She was appointed principal of Maha Bodhi School in December last year.

Mrs Quek makes up for her lack of a degree by learning more from teaching courses at the NIE and overseas attachments.

Asked if she had considered pursuing a degree, she replied: “A degree must serve a purpose. It must be relevant to my work.”

She added: “Having a degree is not the be-all and end-all, and it’s not the only way to learn.

“It’s important that we continue to learn in whatever way possible, especially on the job, and I’ve honed my skills through my experiences in different schools.”



Image -> Fabrications Led by Opposition Parties (FLOP)



Overheard :

  • I wonder why it is so difficult for people to understand what the government is saying. The government isn’t saying anything about the unimportance of a degree.

    What the government is saying is that a degree is not the only path to success. They are saying that there are many pathways to success.


  • A country cannot be made up of university graduates alone. Neither can it be made up of technical people alone. It needs both.

    There are many pathways to success. The shortest and quickest pathway to a degree may not be for everyone because not everyone is academically inclined.

    There are other pathways for people who are more of the hands-on type, who excel in this way and these people can also succeed if they are willing to work hard and learn through experience gained. They may eventually also get a degree but it is a different pathway to a degree. Some may not get a degree but they may acquire other qualifications and certifications that comes from training opportunities that make them experts in their fields.

    What is important is that there is a system that allows every person to realize his potential and opportunities for betterment to move upwards.

    Maybe some people expect universities to be shut down following the government’s shift to focus on ITE and poly.

Reference : 

  • Aspire Report  <-

    The Government accepts the recommendations of the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE) Committee to further strengthen Singapore’s applied education pathways, provide more opportunities for Singaporeans to realise their full potential and aspirations, and to support better alignment of the supply of and demand for skills, so that Singapore will continue to prosper and be a land of hope and opportunity for everyone in the years ahead.


What is ASPIRE ?


    Heng Swee Keat  <-

How do you learn best? Is it the exact same way that your friend, schoolmate, or colleague learns? We all learn in different ways, at different paces. If we work hard and keep learning, should any of us be made to feel differently about ourselves because we learn in a different way from others?

When we understand that we all learn in different ways, we can better help our young Singaporeans discover their interests and talents, help them build their skills, and prepare them to succeed.

We can do this with 3 shifts in our thinking about learning and jobs.

First, we must have a stronger emphasis on skills and applied learning, so that our students can use knowledge in the real world context to solve problems and to create innovations.

Second, learning must be continual and lifelong, instead of just being frontloaded in the first 20 odd years of our lives.

Third, as young Singaporeans differ in their interests, temperament, aptitudes and learning styles, we must encourage multiple pathways for development, in study and at work, and respect every person and every job.

That’s why I’m happy to say that the Government has accepted in full the recommendations of the SMS @Indranee Rajah’s ASPIRE Committee. Her committee of business, community, and education representatives consulted many stakeholders – employers, workers students, parents, lecturers in polytechnics and ITE – and produced a very timely, thoughtful and thorough report
( -> http://moe.gov.sg/aspire).

The Government will take up their recommendations to:
– Equip students to make better Choices;
– Enable students to develop deeper Skills; and
– Promote multiple Pathways in education and career.

This is a major transformation in our education and career landscape. It will take many years, and individuals, employers, government and society working hand in hand, to bring about.

If we all work hard together, if we always remember to respect and value every individual, I believe we can create many more exciting opportunities for young Singaporeans. I want to see young Singaporeans who are proud of their choices and their abilities, who never stop learning and being better, who stand tall because they do their best for themselves, their teams and their loved ones. All of us can do our part to create a society that values each individual based on his passions, his talents, his character, rather than judging him by qualifications or grades alone.

My sincere thanks to Indranee and her committee for their time and dedication to this review, and my thanks too to everyone who will join us in creating paths to a bright future for all.



    Lee Hsien Loong  <-

At my National Day Rally, I spoke about creating more opportunities for polytechnic and ITE graduates to upgrade, beyond their poly and ITE education.

SMS Indranee Rajah‘s ASPIRE committee has been studying how to give students better choices, deeper skills training, and more paths up. With support from parents and employers, ASPIRE’s proposals will help students to succeed in areas that match their interests and strengths.

This video, produced by Nanyang Polytechnic students, explains what ASPIRE seeks to do. – LHL

#ndrsg #WeAspire


The ASPIRE Animation video

Published on Aug 17, 2014

What is ASPIRE? Let students from Nanyang Polytechnic show you what it’s about through animation.

Tan Wan
Leong Qian Yi Emilee

Your view on Tuition with PM Lee Hsien Loong

At the youth dialogue last night, one student expressed concern about parents sending their kids to tuition and other extra classes from a young age. He said his niece in K2 is going to so many classes (including one on leadership skills!), that she’s losing her childhood.
Here’s my view on tuition. You can view other clips from the session at ->  http://bit.ly/1t2tQ7k


some of  Your view  :
  • To be honest, please dont blame the teachers in Singapore. I have no tuition in my entire life (Partly because I feel that it is unnecessary and that I cannot afford it) and im from NA, later got transfered to Express and now I am in PJC.

    The problem with today’s teenagers is not that teachers are unwilling or unable to help them. But that when they encounter difficulties in any academic field, they only bother to ask the teachers once and often falls back on the assumption that they have tuition and can ask their tuition teachers for help. And I am completely fine with that, however, when I consider the cost they incurred from such unnecessary approach, it is really a waste of money which can be channelled to more meaningful deeds. (Since its not my money, I dont have a say in how they want to use it.)

    But I dare to say that in Singapore, as long as we are determined and willing to work hard, we will receive the required help and succeed. As much as there will be distinction between different schools, that should not be an excuse for an individual not to do as well as there is no distinction in learning. When you hunger for it, you will achieve it. And in the process, I guarantee you that your teachers will sense your fighting spirit and fight alongside you even if it is after their curriculum. Therefore, dont blame the teachers or the education system. We dictate what we want to become, not your parents nor your tuition teachers.


  • Let children be children. It is crazy how competitive some parents are. I have known friends who came from poor families, never had tuition and did well in class. I have known friends who came from well-to-do families, had all the tuition the parents wanted, yet waste away their life. Tuition was never meant as an enabler. It was meant to be a leveller. However, most parents are seeing it as a way to level-up instead? Stop all this hierarchy nonsense. Too many, I know because I see all the young faces, too many of them have lost the notion of communication and empathy. They do not play well with others and just donating money does not mean they are empathetic to the needs of others. We are humans, not robots. Use tuition sparingly if your child is week academically, if they are not passing their subjects or are struggling to understand the topics. Tuition was never meant for those who were already scoring A1s and the parents kept pushing them for perfect score. Nothing in nature is perfect. Nothing. Let you children enjoy their childhood, please.

    Parents, this is what I have known from friends who have attended Medical School in Singapore, deemed as the most prestigious level academically. Grades were not the only thing of consideration by the Medical Schools. Many applicants, with straight As for A Levels or perfect score of 45 for IB or a perfect 5.0 GPA, were rejected because they did not have the human connection of human touch. Whereas, more and more applicants with a B grade here or a C grade there are getting in because these people have that humanity in them.

    Oh, by the way, there is no such thing as tuition or some personal growth courses for humanity. you only gain that through a lifetime of interactions and experiences. Think about it.


  • Mr. Lee. I totally agree with you and have not sending my P.5 daughter for any tuitions even her classmates keep asking her why she have no tuitions. Peer pressure, right. I don’t agree to spend that amount of money for just scoring a few marks more. My girl replied to her classmates, going tuition has more tuition homeworks to do, she has enough school homework and has no times for that. She prefers playing her piano, reading and drawing instead of extra tuition works.


  • Yes, PM Lee, please help, stop the tuition culture here, my wife is too obsessed with it but I can’t help. I prefer instilling good values and attitude to my children instead.


  • One word, kiasu. It is deeply seated in our society. I had had fierce argument with my wife who insisted we send our children for tuition which I strongly objected as I believed children need to grow in the natural way. She felt pressured to do likewise as all her auntie friends were doing that. Everybody in Singapore seems to have the mentality that their children can all be CEOs if they are groomed properly.

    Leaders are born, not made. Something they ought to realize. Many of the talents from Malaysia and other countries did not attend any tuition at all. Too much of tuition will kill the childhood joy. I am glad that my parents did not do that to me.


  • We can produce really intelligent children,but can we produce a compassionate, patient , resilient, and mindful society from these children? How many of our children these days truly understand qualities such as love, selflessness and kindness?


  • 哈哈。。我们的童年比较快乐。因为,老爸老妈没钱给我们补习。学习和成长需要更多的努力,不是更多的补习!:)


  • Raise an independent and thinking child, he/she will auto be responsible towards their studies even it’s at a young age. Some kids really do need help and that particular tuition gave them the confidence to keep on trying. It’s after all a parents’ decision, our system do cater to all levels and it was them who failed to accept that all children are born different


  • As parents, we take the ownership of how our child spends their childhood. I have friends who are SAHM, n homesch their kids, i have a friend who sent her 3yr old to 6 enrichment classes, namely berries,CMA,zoophonics, mindchamps,eyelevel,piano class... is it nec.. perhaps to her, it is..
    Take a step n think how would u like yr child to grow up..
    Tuition is a vicious cycle… the more the class know, the higher the expectations of the teachers, den a academic normal child wout no tuition, no extra knowledge will b label as weak…
    Parents shd all band tog n say no to tuition… den maybe less stressed to everybody ….


  • 忽 然间我领悟到我们已经太富裕了,所以可以送孩子们去private tuitions or enrichment programs! 孩子们都有不同的天赋与潜能,有人善长文学,有人精于运动,也有些喜欢医学,更有些特别爱好哲学等等,都不尽相同,但对于将来是否能有好的发展却是一个未 知数!但可以肯定的假设让孩子们向自己的兴趣与强项前进,他们—定会活得快乐,能笑对人生!金钱不是—切,孩子们的快乐才是我们的幸福!



 image->  Singapore50