Why going to school isn’t going to promise us a good job

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Do you think our schools have prepared us well for both life and work?

I don’t think so. Do you have a friend or colleague who seems to know everything about balance sheet, profit and loss statement and financial statements, but is always having lunch by himself? Or a friend who got all A’s in school, but once he started work, he has been stuck in a position for five years?

Firstly, let’s try asking any students who are still schooling now. What have you learned in the last six months? I’m sure most would say something related to maths, science or English. As a student as well, I learned a lot about nineteenth century literature. And that’s all.

While the education system does understand this problem and have implemented solutions to train students (e.g. project work), do you think that is sufficient? How about basics like setting goals? I’m twenty-eight, and have been in school since I was five. Not once do I remember any teacher mentioning about goal-setting—and I dare to say that the most important skill I’ve learned in my life is goal-setting. Never once do I do something without having a goal in mind.

As you ponder on that, do you think it’s the system’s doing, or could it be due to society? You see, ever since we were born, the world told us that A’s are everything. No A’s, you’ll get nothing. If A’s are the driving force behind a successful life and career, shouldn’t we focus on getting A’s instead of learning goal-setting?

“I don’t have time to learn time management because I need to learn how to get A’s.”

Could this have contributed to some Singaporeans who seem socially awkward when they step into the corporate world? That they’ve only remembered how to get A’s, but forget the fact that work and life are all about getting things done and not getting A’s?

With parents nowadays seemingly more obsessed with A’s, it’s highly unlikely that the trend would change for the better—and wrong values might have been taught since people were young.