Sunday, October 16, 2016

Lim Swee Say – Job mismatch a serious problem

In an article in the Today paper on 11 Oct titled ‘Govt paints dire picture of mismatch between jobs and skills’, ‘…Lim Swee Say cautioned that the low jobs growth could persist and Singapore faces the prospect of rising unemployment if it does not minimize the job skills mismatch and strive for quality economic growth. With the number of locals seeking work far outstripping the number of jobs added by “many things” last year, Mr Lim stressed the need to “maximise the connectivity between job opportunities and job seekers.”’

What is the problem? Mismatch of job and job seekers? Why mismatch? Aren’t the job seekers the products of world best universities, top, top universities? Why got mismatch? Whose fault is it if top, top universities produced graduates that could not match the job opportunities in the market?

Why are the products from Indian universities got no problem with job mismatch? Should not the MPs raise this question in Parliament? Should not the MP recommend the closing down of our world best universities that are producing graduates that could not fit into the market, mismatch? Should not the MPs recommend that we send our young to be educated in Indian universities so that they would not be mismatched and be employable in our job market?

Who is at fault? Who is in charge and responsible for producing graduates that are needed in the market? No is one responsible? No one responsible for our world best university education with world best fees and ended up mismatched?

What is happening? Just shout job mismatch and no not my problem any more. Surely someone must answer to this fiasco. So much money wasted and so much time wasted and our young graduates at a lost, mismatch after spending all those years in the world’s best universities run by the best foreigners money can buy? Should someone be held responsible for ruining the lives of our young graduates, for ruining the hopes of their parents?

Monday, October 10, 2016

A post on Singapore Education in TRE

Read this article then you will understand the ridiculous stress & large financial expenses that young S’porean students & their parents are subjected to. I can understand if parents think that it’s an investment for their children, but in today’s technologically-driven environment, would such investments pay back in the future given the foreigner influx & the poor job creation situation in Singapore.

The education process in Singapore is so stressful, expensive & time-consuming but is it worth in terms of payback? Frankly, NO! S’pore’s educational system is not state-of-the-Art!

Back between 1980s to 1990s, a degree would have meant lots of jobs, high pay & no waiting period between leaving a job & finding another. Educational investment then would have been worthwhile but it was only at best an exceptional decade of payback.

Post-2000s, many became unemployed; underemployed or forced into early retirement! Today, many could only think about the good old days which are never coming back! – Many PMEs made redundant Post-2000 spent monies retraining & taking courses only to find themselves competing against hordes of foreigners willing to undercut in terms of salary.

They thought it was cyclical but it was actually a Fundamental Structural Shift! Frankly, migrating would have been a better option! – A degree would be relatively worthless these days because you would be competing against fake, forged or bought degree holders brought in through the open-door policy.

I see a lot of bright, young degree/diploma holders being reduced to touting; employed by banks to sell financial products at MRT stations to any walking person passing by! It’s a waste of talent when they should be formulating on-line websites to sell instead. But this is the nature of Singapore economy – Misusing human resources to grind out small gains by working them hard & for what?

Olympic Gold winner Joseph Schooling had to go to the US to further his swimming career at the age of 14 years old. He won Olympic Gold because he went to a State-of-the-Art system which provides leading edge training systems as well as dietitian programs designed for sports nutrition & recovery!

If you want your children to have a good education, either migrate as a family or send them abroad to the best Western schools. Otherwise, you’re just throwing money into the drain. THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM HAS FAILED!

*Comment first appeared on TRE.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Education – I had a dream

I dreamt that in the future all our students would turn out to be scientists and engineers equipped to live in a futuristic world with all the skill sets they need embedded in them by a microchip. No need to go to school to learn anything anymore except morality and moral values. And they will live through their lives like perfect human beans, with no sickness as this will be taken care of by the microchip that regularly dispensed medicine and supplements needed for their good health. And their intelligence will be several notches higher than the average beans around the world.

Then I woke up to a rude shock. The plight of the PMETs are still around where many are still unemployable as they no longer have the skill sets to fit into the workforce. What is happening? We are trying and planning for the future but forgot about the Now, the people that are living now and turning obsolete, falling down the economic and social ladder of the society.

Then I read the papers and was again filled with hopes and promises of a greater future as the govt are tweaking the education system again to be the best education system in the world, to teach and educate our people to be the brightest and best all rounder, and most important, to be employable again. But the result is in the future and we will have to wait for that to happen, maybe in SG100 when Singaporeans will be the happy people, fully employed and leading a good life.

Then I started thinking, what is the point of the future when the present is a failure, when our people from our education system are no longer competitive and no skill sets to even get a job. So, before we embark on another wild goose chase, another untested experiment, we need to know what is the basis of our futuristic education system, proven or modelled after some successful model or just another trial balloon? Because someone took some drugs and hallucinated that this is the best way to go?

Why don’t we do the real thing, the logical thing, look at the successfulo working models and copy what people have done successfully, no need to reinvent the wheel when the wheel is another trail and error, unproven game of hope? Look at all the talented people that are coming to Singapore to replace our no skill set PMETs and young graduates! Does that ring a bell, that these are the products of a good education system, to be able to produce the graduates and professionals needed by our industries? If our education system can do the same, there is no need to keep tweaking and toying around our education system and telling the people it is really good.

Be real. Look at the countries that are producing the talents that we need. The most talents we are getting are from India. This is the hard truth. You can see them all over Raffle Place, MBFC and Changi Business Park, or is it now called Chennai Business Park?  What does it mean? It’s so simple. The Indians are doing all the right things in their education system.  No need silly and expensive foolish ideas. Just get the basics of education right. That is why we are hiring all the Indian professionals with the right skill sets to replace our no skill sets PMETS and young graduates. It must be. We can’t be hiring them if they are no good unless we are so hopelessly stupid. We can’t be employing fakes and cheats to replace our PMETs right?

So, with this understanding clear and bright, the solution is very simple. Stop mucking around with our education system and pretend that we are doing the right thing. And those people who have no idea of what education of the young is all about better shut up and don’t pretend they know. Go to the experts, go to the countries that have done it, and done it well. And no country has done it better than India. The results showed. Walk around Raffles Place and MBFC and you will know where the foreign talents came from.

I would advise the MOE to stop mucking around, send our MOE staff to India to learn from them. They know best and are producing the best talents that are in our industries and govt services too. And in the interim, before waiting for the result to be seen in 20 years or 30 years down the road, quick, send our A level students to the universities in India for their undergraduate and post graduate studies. Forget about NUS, NTU, SMU. Forget about the Ivy League universities in UK or USA. Send them to India, University of Mumbai is one of the best in India. That would be a good start.

The success of India’s education is no fluke shot. Look at the number of Indian nationals helming big corporations in the USA, the UK and also Europe would be enough testimonies to logically conclude that India is doing the right thing. They are producing the world’s current and future honchos in the corporate world and do not need all the silly university rankings to feel good. Their universities are unranked, many several hundred notches down the ladder of infamy according to those ranking agencies. But the Indians are soaring to the sky. And this is real, not magic!

Stop all the funny tweakings and experiments using our young as guinea pigs. Haven’t we wasted a whole generation of our graduates with no skill sets from our world best universities?

Stop smoking. I too have woken up and seen the reality. We have an education system that looks good on paper but cannot be eaten, not worth a cent but the students have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete the highly flawed system that at best is dysfunctional, the graduates good to be taxi and crane drivers or hawkers.  We need another 30 years to produce top finance and banking professionals!!!! What kind of shit is that? What are we going to do in the meantime? What have we been doing in the last two or three decades?

Would anyone dare to say that the Indian graduates we hired are rubbish and we are hiring all the rubbish and to say what I wrote is rubbish?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tuition - Top tutors earning HK$2m a month!

Just heard this over the news that a top tutor in Hongkong could earn up to HK$2m a month. Now that is a cool S$400k! These tutors must be really good and doing a very good service to the students needing their services.  It must be money worth spent or the tutors would fold up in days or weeks, if they could not deliver.

I am sure tutors in Singapore are also doing pretty well tutoring our students, for all levels. Tuition is also not only an industry but a must as part of our education system. Many weak students could do with the help of a good tutor to get that elusive A that is a must to move on.

Though the tutors here are not earning the kind of money like their Hongkong counterparts, many are doing it full time and the rewards are quite good or exceedingly good to some good tutors. For those students that could afford the fees, well and good, nothing to complain about. There must be many that would like the assistance of a tutor to give them that little lift they needed so badly if only they could afford it.

I am thinking of launching a mail service to review and comment essays for O and A level students, for a little fee of course, for Singaporeans and foreign students. I could even do it for free for Singaporeans if needed. Students interested can email me their essays and I will do the necessary. I am putting this up on a trial basis.

I have edited a few essays before and found that generally the students here are able to write a decent piece, but with a little help and pointers here and there, it would make the difference between an A or a B grade.

Those interested can start sending their essays to me with immediate effect. I am not doing this to make millions. Just to give a little assistance where needed, to those that can do with a little help. My email,


Monday, March 28, 2016

Singapore fooled again by 2016 world university rankings

By MIKOspace

Singapore Retains Brand of Questionable Authenticity

Need to Restore Authenticity and Integrity in Our Universities

Once again, 2 of Singapore’s top 4 Universities are ranked among the global top 10 for 15 subjects, according to the 2016 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subjects.  The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are at top 10 in the QS 2016 World University Rankings just-released by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).  And since only UK and US Universities were ranked better, it means that Singapore NUS and NTU are the best Universities in Asia.

The other 2 Universities, the Singapore Management University (SMU) and SIM University, did not participate in “The Big Lie” propagated by such annual beauty contests of Universities.

And yes, this is the same QS Ranker whose annual QS World University Ranking was condemned by eminent Chicago University Professor Brian Leiter, Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values, as a fraud on the public.   Another scholar, Professor Simon Marginson, an eminent scholar in international higher education, had also criticized “QS simply doesn’t do as good a job as the other rankers that are using multiple indicators”.  

It is common knowledge that QS methodology contains serious fundamental conceptual and methodological flaws to render QS Rankings practically useless, irrelevant and immaterial for any serious educational policy purpose.  Under scrutiny, the QS Ranking Methodology should have failed to withstand the penetrative professional scrutiny of truly Top Academics and Research Institutions like NTU and NUS, who instead now endorse the spurious Rankings results so as to position themselves dishonestly in full knowledge of the lack of validity and reliability of their proxy measures and methodology.

In return for dancing and cavorting with bogus University Rankers like QS and THE, we received for our legacy excellent Universities a Brand of Questionable Authenticity. This is a disservice to Singapore and Singaporeans.

By embracing misleading University Rankers like QS and THE, NTU and NUS administrators, senior manager and Professors have been disingenuous and unprincipled in conferring legitimacy on the meaningless results of what essentially are bogus ranking standards of dubious University excellence.  

The successful Annual seduction of NTU and NUS by “beauty contest” University rankings can only be attributed to either sheer mindless stupidity, or the abject ignorance of rigorous, sophisticated and transparent scientific research methods.

In fact, one of QS’ competitors, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranker, had in fact pointed out that QS employed a “very, very weak and simplistic methodology” to assess universities worldwide.  According to THE, the QS’ “weak” methodology has actually ranked undeserving Malaysian Universities to be of world-class status when they were “way off” from being so, and thereby gave Malaysian education authority an “over-optimistic, distorted” idea of how local varsities actually fare.

All the World University Rankers use different factors and criteria to “measure” University excellence. None has any scientific basis for their choice of proxies for University quality. None have in fact published their methodology nor subject it to the vigorous due diligence expected of a simple research paradigm. 

Actually, QS themselves have "been surprised by the extent to which governments and university leaders use the rankings to set strategic targets. We at QS think this is wrong.  …" And added: "Ranks should not be a primary driver of university mission statements and visions.  …. "

NTU became a full-fledged University in 1991. It is noteworthy that by April 2001, NTU's research had resulted in 20 spin-off companies with many funded by venture firms, with 150 disclosures, 76 patents filed and 30 patents granted.  The research papers of its staff and students in refereed international journals also won numerous awards in international competitions and conferences. 

In the recent 8 years, NTU has re-directed its energy and resource to satisfy the bogus criteria/standard of dubious University excellence purveyed by Rankers such as QS and THE.  And as it improved on its meaningless Rankings on the QS and THE, its earlier highly visible impact of entrepreneurship, patents and innovations disappeared strangely from its list of true achievements.  These never returned.  

The impact of NTU and NUS on Singapore students and society cannot be measured by the degrees of newly ascribed dubious proxies of excellence defined by bogus “World University Ranking” Standards.  It can only be measured in terms of their contribution to the happiness and well-being of stakeholders and of the Singapore and global communities to which we belong and serve.

It is more important what we think of our own Universities and what they have achieved for our young people, our communities and our nation.  What foreigners think of us using irrelevant and bogus criteria should not make us unhappy.

A University’s contribution to society is its sufficient measure. The important thing is to let other people think whatever they want, and not to lose one’s self-esteem by letting others diminish the accolades of our genuine acclaims and true achievements, so that we can lend them our excellent reputation of authenticity and honesty to cover up their lack of credibility, validity and reliability. 

We should stop participating in any and all the fraudulent World Universities Rankings, so as to stop endorsing such bogus standards of dubious quality excellence.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

NUS cooking up more First Class law graduates

The law students must be in déjà vu with the recent announcement by the Dean of NUS Law Faculty that there will be more First Class honours graduates from the faculty.  Now, how can they be so sure that there will be more First Class honours graduates? Are they going to teach them better or are they going to admit more better grade students and coach them better to get the First Class honours? It is quite easy really, no need to work so hard or teach so hard.

You see, statistically, other world class universities are producing many more First Class honours than NUS. Some are producing as many as 30% of a cohort. NUS is producing a miserable 10% or at times 5%. How can be like that? So to get even with the best universities of the world, NUS would be raising the percentage to maybe 20% or 30%. See, it is so simple.

One big question, have we been shortchanging our graduates and depriving them from getting First Class honours for the last few decades? What a crime against our local talents. And is this applicable to other faculties as well? Is this also one of the reasons why ‘foreign talents’ are all flashing First Class honours degrees and deemed better than our graduates caused we were so stingy in giving First Class honours to deserving or undeserving graduates?

Who is doing the right thing and who is doing the wrong thing? How about flashing First Class honours from degree mills or Timbuktu? Who are the fools that have been fooled all these 50 years?

No wonder we have so few talents in all fields while other countries are producing First Class honours in everything, making every fool looking like super talents flashing their First Class honours degree here.

This foreign talent law dean is doing something right for Singapore. We need more clever foreign talents. He deserves every dollar we are paying him. Singaporeans would not be able to think of such an innovative and clever idea to produce more First Class honours graduates. The other faculties must also learn from this.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Singapore Education 2016 v1.0

With two young ministers fresh from the election oven put in charge of education, things are going to be hot and exciting. A one minister ministry may find the excuse of being overloaded and no time to do much, two ministers mean a lot of spare capacity to do more, to do new things. In the media on 20 Dec, it was reported that changes will take place in the next 5 years to revamp primary school education to scale down emphasis on academic results and to provide more time for students to pursue their interests in and out of schools.

Why the change? The media reported that the policy came amid expectations from educators, parents and the pupils to revamp the current system based strongly on academic results. I read this simply that the new education policy is determined by the educators, parents and the pupils, what they want the education to be. Fair enough, and the ministers are just appeasing them, and must agree with them. It must be, for if the ministers have different ideas of what education of children is like, they would want their views to be part of the input. Then the education policy will be the result of the expectations of the ministers, educators, parents and the pupils.

As the changes are for primary education, I think it is fair and harmless. The educators, parents and pupils and the ministers can decide what they like for the children. What about secondary and higher education? Who should determine what higher education should be like, to meet whose expectations? Should the policies of higher education be determined by the expectations of the professors in the academia, the parents, the students and the ministers? Or should they also include the expectations of the employers, what the employers want and expect from the education system? Would the expectations of the employers be the most important element in determining what higher education and its products to be like as they are the ultimate users of the products of the education system? If not, they may say, no relevant skill sets, unusable, need to find those with relevant skill sets in less pretentious schools from the 3rd world villages. Then our graduates would end up as temp job seekers or selling hamburgers at fast food joints. Then how?

A mismatch will be obvious if the policy of higher education is to meet the expectations of parents and students, or even the academics when their interests and expectations could be totally misaligned with the expectations of the employers.

While the policy of primary education is changing, I hope they will invite the employers to have a say as to what they want from the education system and we don’t end up with misfits from the higher education system that are not what the employers want. We are having this problem now, and some are very serious ones like the dearth of IT and banking and finance talents that no one seems to be responsible or accountable for it.  At primary level the blame can be put to the parents and students for wanting to have a fairy tale education disconnected with the realities of adult education and employment. At higher education, there is no luxury to mess around with the pragmatic and functional objectives of education.

The victims of past flirtations with dysfunctional education models and policies that are detached from the realities of adult life and leading to the lost generations of talents for IT and banking and finance industries must not be allowed to be repeated.  No more fooling around please. Education of the young is a very serious matter and there is a big divide between education for education’s sake, education that parents and students would love to have, and education to earn a living, education to meet the needs of the industries.

PS. I will love to decide my own education, read whatever I like, no exam, have a lot of fun and experimenting, if I don’t have to work for a living.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

MOE, MOM and WDA restructured

The double reporting of WDA to MOE and MOM has been straightened out with WDA now reporting to MOE under Ong Ye Kung. Ong Ye Kung will not be the Coordinating Minister for MOE/MOM/WDA and SkillsFuture training to make sure MOE is training graduates with the right skills for the industries and not ending up skillless, got talent and a lot of knowledge but no employers want to employ them.

The above was yesterday’s news. Today, MOE is overseeing Pre-employment training(PET) and continuous education and training(CET) under a new stats board called Skills Future Singapore(SSG).  The Workforce Development Agency will now become Workforce Singapore, a new stats board under the MOM. It would retain the former role of WDA, ie employment facilitation, career services and industry engagement.  These two stats board would solve the problems of employment faced by Singaporeans trained with skills not wanted by employers.

I really hope it is so simple, train the people with the right skills and the employers would happily employ them instead of foreigners. I am sure anyone with a little commonsense would know the real reasons why our talented young graduates are not employed but foreigners are in demand. And it is not just cheap labour. Cheap labour could be one of the reasons, but there are other more sinister reasons that dumbasses would not want to see.

I bet, even if all our graduates are trained with all the skills employers need and willing to accept competitive pay, they will still be passed over just like what is happening today. I was going to suggest that Ong Ye Kung send an army of teachers and civil servants to the 3rd World countries to find out why they are producing the right graduates with the right skills and talents that our industries and govt agencies are so happy to employ. Of course this is just a red herring when stupidity is the reason.

I am asking the same question aloud once more. Why are 3rd world half baked education system able to produce the workers that a first world city needs? And why are our students paying for a very expensive education, educated in world best universities and did not have the skills ‘OUR’ employers want? If the 3rd world countries are doing the right thing, then I would suggest that everyone in MOE and the world class universities be sacked. They are not doing the right thing, producing unfits, dysfunctional graduates that cannot be used by the industries. And we should send a team of educators to the 3rd world countries to learn from them, from their cheap education system, teaching little but producing the right graduates for our system.

Of course the half baked 3rd world education systems are no match to our world class super expensive system. Then what is wrong? I bet on one knows. That is why they are still scratching the wrong balls without addressing the real problem. If they know what is wrong, dare to face the truth, and stop being stupid, there is no need to waste time setting up two new stats boards to engage in shadow play.

Yes, they said stupidity has no cure. Anyway, let’s hope Ong Ye Kung knows what is happening and could save the day like Boon Wan saving the housing problems by simply building more flats. The reason or solution to Singaporean graduates and PMEs being sidelined and unemployed is so basic and easy, as easy as building more flats. No need to muck around and fighting with shadows. Tiok boh?

Super expensive world  class education producing dysfunctional graduates not fit and not wanted by the industries? And everyone is running around like bull arses flies, looking so busy, and scratching the wrong balls.

And they forgot to set up a COI to study what is wrong!

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Why school is written as skool?

Has anyone wonder why skool is the new word for school? I think it is cute, just like writing govt as garment and yew think everyone will appreciate the creativity of the word. My First Skool must be the first step to creativity. To promote creativity, to be different like yew know ya, everything goes. If our skools will progress along this line we will have many Steve Jobs and Bill Gates or Zuckerbergs in the future, provided no one will snuff out this creativity streak in the young. I am not going to challenge the professional educators on why this is a good thing or a bad thing.

The young minds are innocent and impressionable and skool would be in their vocabularly for life. What about the adults who would view things differently, maybe cynically. Some are already commenting that this is a Freudian slip, that our schools are really nothing but skools. They are not schools any more but this new thing called skool and not sure what it means or what it is doing.

What is a skool and what is it supposed to produce, Stool or R2D2? R2D2 is famous for being a mobile storehouse for information and data. Not sure if it is programmed to think, but it sure is a remarkable robot that is a super encyclopedia. Whatever that is fed into R2D2 will come out like stool, freely and smoothly, not a word or a comma missing.

Would our schools be transformed over time, into skools as a natural process? What do yew think?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Schools raise cut off points for admission

The PSLE result was so good that top secondary schools have to raise their cut off points for admission. Many PSLE graduates were disappointed after doing so well and thinking that they could get admitted only to be thwarted by the new cut off points. And at the other extreme, 7 schools need not raise their points and did not receive enough students to run their classes. Even if they were to lower their cut off points, it would not make any difference. The MOE is now having a different kind of headache on what to do with these schools. Should they be merged or close down?

The exceptionally good results of our students, and kudos to the schools and the teachers, are not a once off phenomenon. The trend has been consistent for the last 4 decades. The funny thing is that we have lost one whole generation of industry leaders. According to the foreign recruiting agents, not Singaporean recruiting agents, we don’t have talents and the only talents they could find are in the 3rd World villages. And if you want them to do any placement, they will go scouring the little villages where talents are plentiful, especially in banking and finance and also IT, to give you the best. They just can’t find the talents they need from the local cohorts that were famed for their straight As. I dunno what happened to these bright students when they grow up? Becoming part time employees or doing temp jobs?

And the loss of talents is not confined to just IT, banking and finance. It is across the board. Even top postman job must go to foreigners, top gardeners job, top animal keepers jobs, curators of junks, oops I mean antiques,  etc etc must also go to foreigners. And foreign talents are starting to fill the politicial positions as well. That is how good our education system has become. And not a single Singaporean dares to dispute this fact, that we don’t have local talents for top jobs. Maybe in 30 years time. They have just planted the shoots and waiting for the harvest in 30 years time. Yes, in 30 years time we will have local talents for top jobs. Don’t worry.

For those who just completed their PSLE, in 30 years time they will be about 40 years old, just about right. They will be just in time to be the top talents Singapore is waiting for.

Oh, what about the schools that cannot attract students and facing a bleak future of no students? Not to worry. I have several solutions. One simple one is to go to 3rd World countries and offer them scholarships to pick up the village best to be our future talents. There is only one problem, or maybe not a problem, only a paradox. These village talents will shine if they continue to stay in their village school system and when they graduated, they will be headhunted to be our foreign talents. But if they are to study here, in our world best education system, would they score straight As like our local students but ended up with no talent and unemployable like our local students?

The village talents must think very hard on which is the better system that will bring out their best. From experience and empirical data, it is better that they stayed in the village school system that will turn them into top grade foreign talents for this city state.  And they can say, cheap and good, a cheap education but with excellent results.

What do you think?