LEARNINGS FROM THE REOPENING OF PARLIAMENT

1. President Tony Tan just delivered a speech for the reopening of the 2nd session of the 12th Parliament. One of the things he mentioned was the idea of “lifelong learning” which I think is something important to everyone.

2. However, President Tan seems to be saying that lifelong learning is needed and is important for all adults because jobs are changing faster. The idea of lifelong learning is now connected to upgrading of skills and know-how to allow individuals to be able to stay resilient and also be able to progress and to advance in our careers.

3. While what President Tan had said about lifelong learning is not wrong, I would like to think that lifelong learning is more than just something to advance our careers or for the purpose of career planning.

4. Lifelong learning should be inculcated to all Singaporeans from the young age, so that they will be able to be curious learners, and want to learn as much as possible from various fields according to their interests. There should be no restriction as to what they ought to learn or should learn. Most importantly, the idea of learning should be rooted in learning with joy and the desire to pick up new knowledge. Learning should not be restricted or to serve some purposes.

5. One should not convey the idea or perception that learning is for achieving the ultimate goal of career planning or career progression. Learning and lifelong learning is certainly more than that, and the earlier we acknowledge that publicly and more frequently, then Singapore is certainly on a better footing where the indeed the best years lie ahead of us and that Singapore remains a home that brings out the best in all of us, where each individuals learn widely and therefore are able to contribute widely.

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