SINGAPORE: Rapid technological advancements will see Singapore’s economy constantly navigating uncharted waters and Singaporeans will need to prepare themselves for changes that will likely come in one wave after another, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Sunday (Sep 25).
Speaking at a post-National Day Rally dialogue at Bukit Batok Community Club, Mr Tharman said: “You can't forecast well in advance before the waves come. You can't forecast exactly which wave it is - is it going to be life sciences? Is it going to be the last in information technology?
“But you got to stop the emerging wave early, and be ready to ride on them and know that every wave will disrupt some things, displace some jobs, but we want to make up for it by creating new jobs and being part of the new opportunities that are created," he added.
And one way to achieve that is to allow the young to have the opportunity to accumulate diverse experiences, and that will involve significant changes in education and culture, said Mr Tharman who is also coordinating minister for economic and social policies.
"It can't be all about study or academic study. This is a complex change, easily said but actually very complex in how to implement it in our education system. But we have to move in that direction.
“And it means, as individuals, each young Singaporean must have a chance to have very different experiences when they grow up,” Mr Tharman added.
Speaking to about 200 young people at the dialogue session, he noted that the society would have to adopt a cultural shift that is about growing through life together. More free play for the young, especially in schools, would also be necessary to foster entrepreneurship, Mr Tharman added.