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Going beyond a culture of mastery

7 Jan 2016

The potential of education to be a powerful instrument of social transformation is undeniable.

The launch of SkillsFuture, a national initiative to provide Singaporeans with opportunities to master different skills at various stages of life, should therefore be lauded. The sheer range of courses — some 10,000 courses are listed in the SkillsFuture Credit Course directory — is staggering. More importantly, placing a “culture of mastery” at the heart of lifelong learning is a positive and enlightened step.

But this is not enough. The proliferation of courses cannot possibly keep pace with an increasingly complex world. Furthermore, in the face of growing uncertainty, a culture of mastery hits an inevitable limit: Some things simply cannot be mastered.


Dr Adrian W J Kuah is Senior Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of SingaporeThis article was first published in TODAY on January 8, 2016.

Dr Adrian W J Kuah

Dr Adrian W J Kuah

Senior Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore