News & Events

Staying Resilient in The Face of Disruptions

Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State for Education, and Communications and Information giving his opening speech.
Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State for Education, and Communications and Information, giving his opening speech.

As disruption brought about by technological advancements and globalisation continues to develop at a rapid pace and grow in scale, industries across Singapore and the world are compelled to adapt to new changes to thrive in a disrupted world. The education sector likewise, faces similar challenges. What skills will be in demand and of value? How must education adapt, evolve and challenge the status quo to better prepare learners for their future?

These tough questions were addressed at the The Straits Times-SIM forum on Disruptions in Education (DisruptED) on 3 February 2018. The event held at the SIM Headquarters was attended by over 400 guests and featured a host of local and international panellists. They included Mr Ben Nelson, founder of Minerva, a company whose goal is to reinvent higher education; Ms Kristina Kaihari, counsellor of education at the Finnish National Agency for Education; Dr Lee Kwok Cheong, chief executive officer of SIM Holdings; Dr Charles Zukoski, provost and executive vice-president for academic affairs at the University at Buffalo, New York; Ms Sandra Davie, The Straits Times’ senior education correspondent and Mr Oswald Yeo, co-founder of Glints, an online talent recruitment and career discovery platform.

In his opening speech, guest of honour Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State for Education, and Communications and Information, sparked the vibrant discussion among panel members and the audience by highlighting the need to prepare students for new models of teaching and learning in the face of disruptions.

“We need to prepare our students for a very different type of world. We need to build in them the resilience and adaptability that if it takes a little bit longer to get exactly on the right track to follow your passion, that’s ok.”

He added: “It’s worth doing it because if we get it right, we build the next generation and every generation thereafter to be even more future-ready, even more resilient and more able to take on these opportunities in the world.”

In the same vein, Dr Lee stressed the importance of adapting to changes to stay relevant amidst disruptions. He said: “At SIM, our passion is to open doors in life for those who come to us for education. We want our graduates to be ready for the world but the world is changing fast and businesses and jobs are being disrupted. So, we at SIM and the education sector, if we do not innovate and do not disrupt ourselves, we cannot even survive and not to mention… help our students.”

Citing the example of how newsrooms have transformed the way they work, Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/Tamil Media Group and editor of The Straits Times said, "We have transformed the way we operate, the way we think, into being a fully multimedia operation.”

He added that like the media industry, every other industry has to deal with disruptions. “The question for us is how do we prepare our people and especially our young people for this new age of uncertainty and change?…I think the best we can do is give them skills to learn and acquire knowledge but also give them the right attitude of mind to deal with change and the resilience to cope amidst all that change,” he said.
 

Panel moderator Ms Lydia Lim, Head, Training and Development, The Straits Times  (left) pictured with Mr Ben Nelson and Ms Kristina Kaihari during the first panel session on ‘Breaking The Mould’.
Panel moderator Ms Lydia Lim, Head, Training and Development, The Straits Times (left) pictured with Mr Ben Nelson and Ms Kristina Kaihari during the first panel session on ‘Breaking The Mould’.

Dr Charles Zukoski ( left) and Dr Lee Kwok Cheong lead the discussion on ‘Reimagining Established Models.’
Dr Charles Zukoski (left) and Dr Lee Kwok Cheong lead the discussion on ‘Reimagining Established Models.’

Many in the audience also got their questions answered during the interactive panel sessions.
Many in the audience also got their questions answered during the interactive panel sessions.

Mr Oswald Yeo kept the audience engaged as he shared about how he started his company Glints.
Mr Oswald Yeo kept the audience engaged as he shared about how he started his company Glints.

Ms Sandra Davie shares examples of aspiring young people who achieved success during the panel session on ‘Paths Less Travelled’.
Ms Sandra Davie shares examples of aspiring young people who achieved success during the panel session on ‘Paths Less Travelled’.

Find out what our speakers and guests had to say on adapting to disruptions in education.

Watch The Straits Times - SIM DisruptED Forum in full here.
 

Find out how we teach and learn differently at SIM. Sign up here for the upcoming SIM Open House on 9 & 10 March to attend programme briefings and talks.

Posted online, 13 February 2018