Recently, i received a colorful brochure in my mailbox of a particular pre-school/kindergarden in Central Tampines.
It is glossy with a lot of infographics and photos, about 5-6 pages long, A4 size. Being a business owner now, i thought to myself this publicity would have cost thousands of dollars. I read through the brochure carefully and what was presented within really attracted me as a parent. I thought of enrolling my son to this centre and excitedly discussed with my wife about it. Alas, the monthly fees were prohibitive to say the least. 1.5k. Per MONTH. What kind of an income does the parents have to earn to sustain this level of expenditure on one pre-school?
It was a no-go for us as it was more than twice the fees of a typical pre-school centre. One thing that resonated with me was that coding is fast becoming a skill like “Bilingualism” was in the 70s, “Typing” in the 80s, Microsoft office in the 90s and Financial Literacy in the 2000s. With IT creeping into every aspect of our lives, it will soon become clear that coding is the third language we have to master if we are to progress beyond being a consumer in all aspects of our lives.
To me, it’s clear that Life is just like School. Except that the consequences are less likable than a failing grade.
School: The first and most basic level is just reading, listening, memorizing facts and maybe practicing a few basic questions. Imbibing whatever you were taught.
Life: You do whatever Boss tells you to, settling into a routine of waking up, going to work, going home, sleep and repeat.
School: The second level is to ask questions, critically, after thinking through what has been told/shown to you. Teachers dig this part, it allows us to examine what we’ve learnt and try to dissect it together with the students, hopefully in the process, both learns something new.
Life: You go beyond what is needed, drawing up a schedule, pre-empting potential issues that from experience, you know might happen at various stages of work. You learn from books, courses, others who are much more knowledgeable/experienced than you are.
School: You integrate and synthesize ideas, concepts and extrapolate knowledge obtained from the teacher. Beyond academics, you rise up to take on student leadership positions, serving the student body and going behind the scenes to understand the workings of the school.
Life: You leave work after saving a sizable amount, networking with others in the corporate world. Set up your own business, learning how to be the producer instead of the consumer.
Think through and reflect what do you want to do with your life. Plan then execute. Failure to plan is to plan to fail.
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