MP Ang Wei Neng

MP Ang Wei Neng Says Local Degrees Should Expire Every 5 Years

During the budget 2022 debate on 1 Mar, West Coast GRC MP Ang Wei Neng suggested this “radical idea”. He said that degrees from local universities should have a “time stamp”.

In his proposed idea, graduates will have to attend upgrading courses every five years. If they fail to do so their degrees will become invalid.

He used an anecdote about a 50-year-old job applicant who self-learnt IT skills. He also accumulated experience running IT infrastructure and support. However, he was not seen as a good fit at a company because he did not have the relevant diploma or degree.

“Clearly, his skillset, real world experience, and knowledge about current IT practice trump over whatever IT diploma or IT degree he may have gotten 30 years ago, which would be obsolete by now. This episode reflects the need for continuous training and lifelong learning,”

MP Ang Wei Neng

What a problematic idea!

Did he even think before he raised this up? Singaporeans do not pay $30-50k and spend 3-5 years of their lives for a degree just to have it expire. Not everyone’s financially capable to upgrade themselves every 5 years either, some of them may even still be servicing their university loans.

Also, not everyone can afford taking time out of their jobs just to upgrade themselves every 5 years. Even if they could, education shouldn’t be all about formal learning. Time spent on their jobs can be just as important for them to gain knowledge!

Choosing between a local university vs private university in Singapore -  Glints
Image source: Glints

Also, what does this mean for Singaporeans who have to compete with people from other countries? Especially if our degrees expire and theirs doesn’t? Apparently our knowledge has an expiration date and theirs doesn’t, is he saying that all Singaporeans got issues with memory loss?

The whole idea just shows how out of touch our government is with the ground. Please lah, next time you got radical idea just think a bit more and maybe talk to some Singaporeans on the ground before mentioning it in parliament.