As Singapore shifts its economic focus from industrialization to a knowledge based economy, attaining academic qualifications is becoming increasingly important. Knowledge is now recognized as the main driver for economic productivity and growth.
As a result, it is an increasingly common sight to see students in Singapore taking up private degree courses so as to increase their competitiveness in the playing field. Institute of Technical Education (ITE) have started offering bridging diploma courses and Polytechnics alike have started offering bridging degree courses just to ensure their students get the extra edge in the society as far as academic qualifications are concerned.
With the growth of China and India, coupled with the strong influx of foreign talent in Singapore, it is getting increasingly competitive to secure a good job in Singapore. Employers generally prefer to hire such foreign talents as they demand lower salaries, are equally qualified, and do not lose out to Singaporeans in terms of work productivity. Therefore if Singaporeans do not increase their advantage in terms of academic qualifications and work productivity, they will be at a losing end compared to those foreign talents. This highlights the importance of education in Singapore.
The best way to pave the path for a good education in Singapore is to start young. Secondary school students especially should not take education for granted. Secondary school education is important as it builds a strong foundation for further studies, be it in the polytechnic or in the university. Secondary school students who take their studies for gifted and drop out of school will find themselves gravely at a disadvantage. Armed with a highest qualification of PSLE, they practically would not be able to secure any job in Singapore. Laborious jobs like sweeping the estate will be awarded to foreign workers due to their low wage demands. Therefore if students at the secondary level do not appreciate the importance of education in Singapore, they will be at a grave disadvantage.
Schools all over Singapore are doing their best to revise their teaching methods and syllabus to make sure that their students get the most out of Singapore's education system. Schools have been encouraging their students to think out of the box, encouraging problem based solving and creative thinking. Inculcating these skills since young will give the students a comparative advantage over their peers when they grow up.
Therefore, one should never underestimate the importance of education in Singapore. As secondary school students, one should try one's best to excel in the O levels so that more options await for further studies.