A casual but serious exchange
“Did they make you sit in the front row?” she asked those who sat right in front.
That question came from Senior Minister of State for Education, Indranee Rajah, who set the tone and made it a point to move from the front to the back of The Hall, to hear the responses from the close to 200 students present at the dialogue.
A quick selfie with SMS Indranee
Overview and vision
The questions and suggestions went on for two hours and at the end of the candid session, there were still many students who wanted to make a point. Some caught up with Ms Indranee during the tea session that followed and one group even managed to get a selfie with her. Ms Indranee had another appointment right after the dialogue but she squeezed some time to speak to the student reporters separately.
SMS Indranee at the media interview after the dialogue
The Senior Minister of State said she had a good and fruitful dialogue.
She noted that “You could see that there is a whole range. But you are very motivated, quite clear now, I think, about what you want.”
She added “It was in many ways an affirmation that we are on the right track with ASPIRE, in seeking to make sure that we put in place the kind of framework to help people make the right choices, and to set them on the right path early.”
Ms Indranee also acknowledged that a major challenge would be changing mind-sets so that Singaporeans can accept alternative paths. The reality, she said, is that there are many jobs out there and many different ways to become successful.
When asked about her vision for polytechnic education, she said she hopes polytechnic graduates will always have deep skills and adopt a mind-set of continual learning so that they can go for deeper mastery.
“Your education doesn’t stop when you come out of poly, but you’ve got that mind-set that “I’m always learning, I’m always acquiring practical skills, and in fact, I progress in many ways. I can get professional certifications, I might get job experience, but I’m always evolving.”
Written by Sherlyn Goh and Shivaanan Selvasevaran Year 2, Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media.