15 Apr 2012, 10.39AM
Citing findings from a poll in the United States which found that only 47% of the 2,000 Americans surveyed felt that their children would have a higher standard of living than them, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said Singapore must not allow such a similar situation and urged Singaporeans to work together to keep social mobility going.
Speaking at a forum to mark Malay self-help group Mendaki’s 30th anniversary celebration, DPM Tharman shared that there is a ‘good chance’ of achieving ‘a significant lift in living standards for Singaporeans’ in the next decade, and spelt out three strategies to maintain social mobility:
- Giving children a good early start to build their confidence. This includes giving help to those with learning difficulties, and not putting every child through the regular classroom style or ‘traditional methods of learning’.
- Defining meritocracy more broadly through a ‘flexible and fluid’ education system that allows talents, not just exam results, to be recognise as ‘merits’.
- Working together as a community to build an inclusive society, with volunteers taking responsibility for their community’s well-being.
What are your thoughts on the strategies to keep social mobility going?