Sunday, October 20, 2013

Reduce the competition in schools

Hong Kong implemented reforms to its education system 10 years ago - less examinations, wider choice of subjects, more creativity. The competition and stress levels remained high.

The reason? They still focus on grades to win entry to university places that cater for 18% of each cohort.  Parents continue to give private tuition to their children to score marks in the new examination format.

I have pointed out consistently in the past - if you do not address the root of the problem, you will continue to suffer the same problems.

If you continue to pay graduates much higher than non-graduates, you will encourage students and parents to compete for the rewards.

My solution is to reduce the salary gap between graduates and on-graduates. We have to pay adequate wages to manual and service workers, so that it is worth and dignified for people to work in these occupations.

This requires a minimum wage for each occupation. It can be market based, but should be adequate for the worker to raise a family.

The current system exploits workers who are weak or not well educated. If we remove the exploitation, the market can work better. If the wages are adequate for manual and service jobs, there is no need to rely on foreign workers. Locals will be happy to take up these jobs.

We have created a problem for ourselves by refusing to recognize the realities, and by relying on market forces (which could be exploitation).


LeeSeng said...

Market force or capitalism had beeb a good system to supply-chained the market when no IT system to show the fullview.
Now we have IT system, why not upgrade the process?

Fook Cheon Khaw said...

Mr. Tan, I agreed with your statement about more equality in graduates' and non graduates' salaries. In Japan, there is no clear pay distinction between graduates and non graduates. Every salaried worker in Japan is paid adequately and the workers there are really professional. From taxi drivers, hotel cleaners, supermarket cashers, etc., they are really proud of their job and treat their customers like a king. More importantly, there are very few low pay foreign workers in Japan.

Xianlong said...

Hi Fook Cheon Khaw,
That's why Japan is a stable society despite a stagnant economy & lost decades since their real estate bubble blew up.

In SG with such high inequality, we are in a dangerous position. And yet the old man still say Japan ought to open its floodgates wide open to deal with their low birth rate & aging population.

The japanese would just look at SG's problems resulting from the 'open legs policy' & just laugh.

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