YOUR VIEW: ‘Wealth not the only way to measure success’

Our reader argues that Singapore needs to stop labeling and streaming students from a young age, and thus "marking" their path. (AFP file photo)

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There is a fundamental flaw in our system that needs to be addressed. Human capital is our only “real” asset yet it is not being fully capitalised.

Studies have shown that children only reach their full potential when they are in their early to mid-teens.
In our vigour to become the best and No.1, we have “streamed” and “labeled” children very early in their lives. In the process, we have eliminated a sizeable percentage of our potential human capital. At such a young age, we have “marked” their paths in lives. Each child is unique and may take different paths in life to reach the same objective.
Success comes in different shapes and sizes.  Is the value of a social worker who manages to help a family break out of their “poverty or vicious cycle” any less than a CEO of an organization? The social worker’s efforts can last for generations, yet does society held them in the same esteem as a CEO?
Whether we like it or not, the current composition of our society and large single population is partly the offspring of government policies.

This national conversation is a step in the right direction but I am not too optimistic that it will bring drastic change to our current societal norms.

Our material values are appreciating at the expense of our moral ones.

Zamroad Mohd, 45
Finance professional