‘Unprepared for the modern world.’ Is this an accurate assessment of the youth in your society?

Essay outline post

Question Analysis and Context

‘unprepared for the modern world’ requires a consideration of the traits of the current world that are relevant for the question such as the competitive global environment which involves the threat of foreign talent, more companies going global and requiring workers to leave their comfort zone to work overseas; globalized world where countries (and Singapore) are more vulnerable to international events and trends; requirements of knowledge-based economies etc.

Unprepared – in what aspects would it be worth discussing? In terms of surviving in the working world? In terms of looking out and after oneself? In terms of resilience or adapatibility to change? 


1.     Born with a silver spoon in their mouth, many Singaporean youths have been too overly sheltered and are so dependent on others that they may be ill-prepared to compete with their foreign counterparts who possess a greater drive to achieve success.

  • Many youths grew up with domestic workers who took care of their every need.
  • Many working youths in Singapore live with their parents and remain financially dependent on them even after they start working. As more Singaporean youths tend to delay marriage in favour of a career, they live with their parents for a longer period. In contrast, youth in other countries tend to leave the nest at the age of 18 years.

2.     Aptly termed the “strawberry generation”, Singapore youths are soft and lack the resilience to withstand disappointments and challenges in life.

  • Singaporean youths of today have generally been well-provided for and have not really experienced much hardship.
  • Rising rates of teen suicide which suggest that youths are having difficulty coping with increasing modern stresses.

3.     Due to the fear of failure, Singaporean youths of today are often too afraid to take risks and this makes them unprepared for an economy that competes on entrepreneurship and ideas.

  • This is often attributed to an educational system that prioritizes grades and rote learning rather than initiative and inventiveness.
  • The pragmatic culture is also seen as another reason for this outcome. Due to the primary objective of most youths to attain a high-paying job in the future, youths are likely to follow the conventional routes to success rather than take the road less taken.

4.     However, there is a growing emergence of youths who are investing their time and money in various enterprises and have started their own business.

  • Teenage entrepreneurs turn to the internet, creating blog shops and eBay stores or set up stalls at flea markets and bazaars.
  • The amended Civil Law and Bankruptcy Bills allows anyone aged 18 or older to start and run a business.
  • More schools are starting to train their students to think entrepreneurially – even Primary school students are involved in mini-business startups and tertiary institutions have sent their students to be immersed in overseas entrepreneurial hubs.

5.     In addition, in recognition of the flaws of the current educational system, there is a growing attempt by MOE and schools to nurture students to develop 21st century competencies.

  • Attachment programmes (to various sectors of the industries) areoften included in tertiary institutions to provide early exposure to the working life.
  • To cultivate students who are prepared for the globalized world, more schools are involving their students in exchange programmes to allow them to experience other cultures. There is also greater participation in international competitions so that students are better aware of international benchmarks and are exposed and hence better prepared to handle the rigours of competing with foreign talent.

6.     It is also arguable that Singaporean youths are academically equipped and possess the relevant IT skills necessary for the world ahead.

  • Singaporean students are still among the best worldwide in Science and Mathematics.
  • Most Singaporean students are bilingual.
  • Singapore is the 2nd most technologically savvy country and youths are well equipped with such technological skills.
Credit: Mr Marc Lim, Ms Melissa Olsen

One thought on “‘Unprepared for the modern world.’ Is this an accurate assessment of the youth in your society?

  1. Anonymous says:

    thanks 4 this ! its really insightful and useful

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