MOE: From problem solving to creating value

The minister asserted that our students are good at solving problems, i.e,. leading to adding value but not so good at creating value. He suggested e.g., Olivia Lum of Hyflux as an example to emulate. I think most parents would simply let this message enter one ear and escape from the other. Words not backed by concrete action is emptiness.

Do we feel safe to fail? Yes, when I take a digital photo it often completely safe to fail because the cost incurred is zero almost all the time. The helpful approach is not to ask if it is safe to fail or if the cost of failure is affordable. Rather, it is to ask in the event we do not succeed, is it worth trying again and again until we do. To me most readers understand things completely differently.

It would have been much more helpful for Ng Chee Meng to say we want to create a system whereby it is not too costly to fail because there are avenues to make a come back. In fact our system today already allows that. This new minister has to learn to communicate better and he is learning it by trying and failing. LOL!

When we commit ourselves to creating value the path to success is not yet built. Nobody yet knows how to do that and we have to figure it out. Exploring and building those paths entail risk taking and learning from failure. I think most people have yet to grasp this point. We will have to teach pupils a new set of values and attitudes to help them create value. Presently most people don't even think about creating value at all. So I am asking where are the programs to equip pupils with the relevant skills to create value?

This post was first published over at Blogging For Myself on 30 December 2015. It is reproduced with permission.


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