Skip to main content
Best News Website or Mobile Service
WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Best News Website or Mobile Service
Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Hamburger Menu




Singapore needs 'stronger commitment' to reward competence, not just paper qualifications: President Halimah

Singapore needs 'stronger commitment' to reward competence, not just paper qualifications: President Halimah

President Halimah Yacob in her year-end video message. (Screengrab: Facebook/Halimah Yacob)

SINGAPORE: Singapore needs a "stronger commitment" to recognise and reward work competence and not just paper qualifications, said President Halimah Yacob on Thursday (Dec 29).

In a Facebook video delivering her year-end message, Madam Halimah said: "We still attach low value to work that may be highly skilled and important to the economy, but does not require a degree."

"We need to change this," she said, noting that employers "can do much more" in changing their hiring practices and providing better training and career progression pathways for those doing such work.

In 2019, the topic on Singapore's focus on paper qualifications was discussed by the then-Education Minister Ong Ye Kung in CNA's current affairs programme Talking Point.

Mr Ong said that while it is reasonable to ask for qualifications, companies should not be listing down minimum grades for individual subjects unless the job requires particular subject knowledge. 

A mental health survey conducted with undergraduates from five autonomous universities in Singapore also found that its respondents feel that there is a “deep-seated and unhealthy obsession” with grades as employers maintain that academic grades are still the primary indicator used to screen candidates for hire. 

During the launch of the Forward Singapore exercise in June, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong also said that Singaporeans should “broaden our conception of merit beyond academic credentials”.

“Our students feel pigeonholed in a system where the stakes are high from very early in their lives. Our graduates and workers are anxious about their careers,” he said.

In her message, Madam Halimah also revealed her other wishes in the year ahead.

She hopes Singaporeans will remain united in the face of extreme polarisation occurring in many parts of the world, which are tearing societies apart, and in some cases, resulting in violence.

She also urged Singaporeans to continue to support people with mental health issues and those with disabilities.

Source: CNA/rc


Also worth reading