Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Paper Chase in Singapore

Singaporeans I realised are obsessed with the paper chase. Qualifications seem to be the sole criterion by which we judge others and almost everyone else. Who went to which grad school and blah blah blah. It annoys me to the max sometimes how superficial we all get. And it is worsened by the fact that people actually think real education is only obtained in the better universities. In fact, I would like to think that most of us are not educated at all even after we leave university.

But the paper chase in Singapore is here to stay. And it seems like those who command respect are usually those who have made it into the top universities overseas. No matter how much I would like to deny this fact, it remains the fact and will most probably remain as such. And it is sad that we as a society place such high value on paper qualifications.

Sigh. This is a sad fact of life. And I better learn how to live with it or ship out.


  1. Hi this blog is really good. I share this blog to my friend. This is really great job man. Keep update to your blog and keep posting realistic and good. The travels is more competion to our world. All the best for your future process good keep it up bye...

  2. After leaving university and started working, it is time to enter into University of Stock Market for life long journey earning your first Degree and finally PhD. The market doesn't care who are you and where come from? Every undergraduate is given chance to excel.

  3. Hi FF,
    Don't worry, be happy.
    "There is none who cannot see but blind". "There is none who cannot hear but deaf". And most important of all, "There is none who cannot learn but has the heart.
    These are all about people who are only from the "University of Hard knocks? They don't even have "A" level. Do you think they have a chance to succeed in this world or in the stock markets?
    Have you heard of the song,
    "You have got your troubles, i got mine." May i add, "You have got your ways, i got mine".
    Ha! Ha!

  4. Thanks guys for the support and encouragement.

    School of hard knocks and pHD in stock market indeed!

  5. I sympathise with your criticism of too many Singaporeans over-emphasising the weight of paper qualifications.

    As someone who has spent 8 years in full-time education, I'm always a little surprised (and disappointed) by the social approval my educational background garners. It's as if the letters after my name mean that I'm a successful, virtuous person who probably recycles.

    Academic achievement provides no indication of a person's character! That isn't to say that qualifications are not valuable. Rather, they shouldn't constitute the majority of a person's worth in society, or represent their potential.

    But what to do? This is Asian culture.

  6. Well, it seems that it is really an asian thing to go for the paper chase. And it is really unavoidable in Singapore that we tend to respect people who have more credentials. It might be justified to a certain extent but perhaps it is overemphasised


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