Scholarship jungle

I don’t understand the rationale for this Singapore-Industry Scholarship at all! Who is it for? What is hoping to achieve? I know Education Minister Heng Swee Keat has said some things. Jargon about “complementing our core”, to build the best “multi-disciplinary team”, who can bridge “global cultural literacies” (Why can’t people speak English?). All scoped under a Singapore +++ strategy.  But boil all the jargon and catchphrases down and it’s this: The G is giving out 90 scholarships for study at local unis here, after which the scholars are bonded to serve four years in one of the 27 companies the G has picked.

Okay. You know these companies include the likes of Singapore Airlines and Resorts World Sentosa? And Boustead. BHP Billiton and Infineon? You telling me they can’t afford to put up scholarships, or already have their own? So we are grooming talent for companies which can afford talent? I mean, I can make allowances if they are home-grown start-ups or newish players like Charles & Keith or for a sector like retail, but the big boys too? National Healthcare Group doesn’t have its own scholarships?  Gosh! Shame on these big boys who have to depend on G largesse for something that is well within their means and for their own good.

Or is this scholarship about getting the best students to work at jobs that are important but not glamorous? Can’t be. The best and the brightest will go for the overseas scholarships not local ones which these industry scholarships are about. There is one qualifier: the students who are ALREADY studying overseas can qualify for this scholarship. Which is strange. So you are picking undergrads who have already decided on their choice of course and not looking at whether they are worth the scholarship?

How much is the Government pumping into this anyway? No figure’s been given. In fact, what is the worth of  Government scholarships, including those by stat boards, in all? Can’t the money be used to do other things? I know there are a couple of scholarships to do Social Work studies. Maybe the money could have gone into funding more of them? And get the bonded to serve NGOs and organisations which have difficulty recruiting talent?

I want to know why my tax money is being used this way!

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