I made a statement that it is wasteful for a person to be trained as an engineer and end up working in a bank to sell financial products. A few people used strong words to criticize me for this statement. They argued that the engineering training make them suitable for other types of jobs.
There is no need for these people to interpret my statement in an extreme manner and then to attack it. This behavior reflects an immature and bigoted mind. They should seek to clarify and understand the other point of view first, before criticizing or making their judgement. In any case, one should avoid being judgmental.
Education is costly and can be wasteful. We spend a large part of our budget in education. We should ask if the money is well spent and if we are getting the right product from our education system.
I believe that a good education system should produce people with good character, be broad minded and confident. It should also give them the skills that are useful for their future careers.
I find these qualities in my nephew who was educated in the Australian system. He had to struggle under the Singapore system before his family migrated to Australia. My nephew told me that he like the Australian education system, which is more balanced and enjoyable.
He studied as an engineer and is now looking forward to work as an engineer, the type of work that he has studied for and liked. He is also aware that there is plenty of new areas that he has to learn, in the years ahead, to be a good engineer.
In contrast, I find many people in Singapore work in a field that is outside of their study. They also jumped from one job to another, for various reasons - better pay and working conditions. The job-hopping and the work mismatch will not develop the right skills and will harm our competitiveness in the long term.
To offset the wastefulness, many Singaporeans have to work long hours and suffer job stress. They now have to face the competition from foreign workers.
I am not saying that the Singapore education system is entirely bad. It has its good points and does produce good academic results that put us high in the world rankings. But, we should also be aware of its negative aspects, and the wasted dollars that could be better spent in other ways,.