Want a Diploma/Degree? Dream On ITE Graduates

Everyone wants to do well in life and a measure of how well you do life has for centuries been dictated by a few benchmarks. These benchmarks, purported by word of mouth and then, the media, sets out the kind of society that we all live in. And what are these benchmarks?

  1. Good Results in School
  2. Furthering Education
  3. Getting a Good High Paying Job
  4. Marrying into a Rich Family
  5. Becoming Rich

These are only but 5 of such benchmarks that have regularly been discussed and whilst we all buy and believe that these are indeed benchmarks of success (perhaps because we have been brought up to believe it as well), then everyone should strive to achieve and meet or supercede those benchmarks.

Unfortunately, the market economy dictates who should be allowed to be given the opportunity to achieve such ‘success’.

In a recent dialogue session at ITE College East with Education Minister of State Lawrence Wong, 100 ITE students had the opportunity to be given a reality check on how much ‘success’ will they be accorded with (read more here).

In gist, Mr Wong says that not every ITE graduate who aspires to further their education at Local Polytechnics will be able to because of the quota they have which will only work out to 1 in 4 ITE graduates being given the opportunity. He also stressed that there shouldn’t be too many Degree/Diploma holders in the market or there wouldn’t be enough people willing to take on low-paying menial jobs in the market and cited an example of an experience in Paris, France whereby a receptionist position received applications from Degree holders (this would ultimate render the receptionist position being something low-paying and menial).

Whilst it may be true and reflective of the market economy, it’s still disappointing to hear such words “If everyone can move up, we will not have enough ITE graduates out there in the workforce,”

And if that wasn’t disappointing enough, I think this was heartbreaking to hear “That’s what happens when you have a sort of heedless desire to get a degree or diploma without understanding the broader issues,” 

I don’t think anyone would really be bothered to further education if living standards here were much lower. The motivation for people to further their education is one more of monetary concern these days simply because an ITE cert won’t pay you much compared to a Degree certificate.

It is also rather contradicting that the Education Minister of State is telling people indirectly that it’d be better for them to remain as ITE graduates when the government also encourages its citizens to improve themselves and to further their education by undertaking courses and programmes which are, SUBSIDISED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

So, here’s the situation, on one hand the government is telling its citizens to improve their skills and education by going back to school whilst on the other hand, the government is telling its citizens that its better if not all its citizens take up higher education because the market economy will not be able to cope with it.

My suggestion?

Well, who else is to be blamed than the government for its eagerness to be a FIRST WORLD COUNTRY. We can’t reverse the gears of history to lower our standard of living, we can and we should limit the number of foreigners coming in to our country to take up jobs at all levels and sectors.

It’s a setback for businesses for not being able to hire cheap foreign labour but the government will need to do its part in alleviating the fears of businesses by providing more incentives and assistance to ensure that Singaporeans are given first opportunity to jobs and if they do not meet the minimum requirements, these Singaporeans should be given training. Of course, there also issues that not all Singaporeans are equipped with the relevant skills and experience required in that job which is why companies and organisations should have a mentoring programme which will ensure that the more skilled and experienced individual, regardless foreign or local, will be able to develop new talents who will eventually be able to take up that job.

So, for ITE Graduates who aspire to get a Diploma/Degree what should you do?

Unless you have the money to pursue a private Diploma/Degree, I think it will be difficult for you to enter the local institutions and mind you, I face the same wrath as well having applied for local undergraduate studies for the past 4 years. Doesn’t help that my results weren’t sterling and all these institutions are interested in is good grades first. If you don’t have enough As, lets hope you have some skill useful for the institution. If you don’t, then don’t bother at all.

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