Start with a dialogue: “Girl ah! You must work

Start with a dialogue: “Girlah! You must work hard and go to a university. Get a degree and you will have agood life in the future.” These words are very commonly heard among Singaporeankids. Every day, every week – we are constantly reminded to put studies as ourupmost priority.

Well, have you ever thought as to why they might say that? Tome, it is no surprise when we are living in Singapore, to have a better future,a degree would only be relevant. Even though there were nofigures reported recently, a study done by Ministry of Manpower (MOM), reportedthat every extra year of school, increases a worker’s earnings by 13.7%. Adiploma holder’s salary averaged to about $2000 for starters.

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While a degreeholder is $3000. The thousand-dollar gap only widens further as their workinglife progresses. Therefore, in general, this means that degree holders have ahigher income. That brings me to my secondpoint. With the economy growing each year, living expenses in Singapore wouldonly rise as well. For example, every year, trainand bus fares increases like there is no tomorrow.

As you can see, Singstat hasreported an increase in receipts collected for transport services. From awhopping 89,200 million dollars in 2010 to a rise of 112,251 million dollarsover five years (2015). That’s almost 21% of an increase! While compared to thepopulation of Singapore, there was only an increase of 8%. This shows that thefares over the year have not only doubled, but tripled in price! If anything,the prices of public transport should be rising steadily with Singapore’spopulation.

 As the prices of train andbus fare rises significantly over the years, COE prices had also went up by 9%!Small percentage you might think, but multiply that with the price of a car(point to the screen behind with price) – it’s a lot.  In addition, not only is transportexpenses in Singapore expensive, but other cost of living such as food, housing,clothes, utility bills, medical bills – you name it, they are all pricey aswell.  According to the survey doneby the Economic Intelligence Unit (EUI) just last November, Singapore has withheldit’s titled for being the ‘most expensive country’ to live in, for the fourthconsecutive year – while Hong Kong came in second, and Zurich third. Thus, with all these sky-scrapingexpenses, a higher income would be beneficial when we’re paying for it. Lastly, some might say thata degree would not be as relevant to a diploma because of its’ lack of skillslearning. However, that is untrue! While polytechnics like RP have problem-basedlearning (PBL), universities like SMU also have a similar teaching approach called’project-based learning’.

With project-based learning, students gain knowledgeand skills while investigating about a real-world problem.  Therefore, with skills anddegree, universities graduates are able to put on a real fight against diplomagraduates.   In conclusion, sure, havinga degree isn’t the only solution to having a good future but optimally – adegree still does provide a higher baseline as compared to non-degree holders.

Withthat, I end my speech reiterating that a degree would still be relevant in futureeconomy. Thank you.