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Month: January 2004

The ST Headline screams : It PAYS to Study, especially in S’PORE!!

The ST Headline screams : It PAYS to Study, especially in S’PORE!!

Study finds that worker here gets 13.2% more for each extra year of schooling – higher than in Japan, Australia and US.

IT PAYS to stay in school, a joint study by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has found.

For every extra year of schooling, a Singaporean worker earns on average 13.2 per cent more, which is significantly higher compared with countries like the United States, Japan and Australia.

Broken down by educational qualifications, the return on every year of schooling rises as an individual goes up the education ladder.

A first-degree holder, for example, earned about six times more than that of a worker who did not even have primary-level education.

The study found that a university graduate with a first degree would earn on average 17 per cent more for every extra year that he spent in school.

In comparison, a worker with only primary school qualifications would only earn on average 1.5 per cent more for every year he stayed in school.

The paper, written by two MAS and two MOM economists, also found that the wages of more highly educated people in Singapore increased at a faster pace than those of less-educated workers.

The salaries of less-educated workers doing manual jobs also peaked earlier, in 31 to 40 years of working, while the wages of more highly skilled workers continued to rise with experience even after they reached 50.

The study used data from an MOM survey in 2000 on education qualifications.

At that time, 13.5 per cent of the workers here had a first degree or better, while 30.7 per cent had primary school education or none at all.

The average number of years of schooling for both males and females was 10.1 years, while the median monthly wage for a graduate with a first degree and 11 to 20 years’ experience, was $5,320.

The paper noted that the rate of return on education was higher in Singapore than in other countries.

Citing research conducted in other countries, the paper said that the returns for each additional year of schooling in Australia were 5.1 per cent for men and 5.2 per cent for women.

The figures were 12.7 per cent and 13 per cent respectively in Britain.

For Japan, they were 7.5 per cent and 9.4 per cent respectively; while in the US, they were 7.4 per cent and 9.6 per cent.

Another study, a World Bank policy research paper, had reported that the average return on each additional year of schooling was 9.9 per cent in Asia, 11.7 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa and 12 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The authors concluded that the study showed that there was a substantial pay-off to education in Singapore.

‘As Singapore restructures itself and shifts from a technology-oriented society to a knowledge-based info hub, there will be increasing demand for high-skilled workers,’ they said.

‘The premium on investing in higher education should encourage and provide greater incentives for individuals to pursue such qualifications.’

I came across this particular article in our national newspapers, the Straits Times, this morning. For anyone who’s interested in the original e-copy of it, you may click on the link.

At first sight, I thought, “Hey! This is part of the government’s campaign to encourage the people to further their studies. Hmm.. And to tell the world that we have a whole crate of highly educated people aka workforce in the country!!”

However, upon second thoughts, this probably reflects the stereotyped thinking of our citizens. Why would such a phenomenom arise? Now, wait a minute, is this all part of the *whispers*government’s propaganda ?? *whispers* Ssshhh…!

Education. Education is the first criterion which the Singaporean employer goes by. This standard has been kindly set by our very own civil service. Therefore, if you are not a university graduate… Bah! You are out! Jeez… You have lousy grades… Boom! You are also out! They do not care if you have other redeemable qualities such as leadership, good communication skills etc. So what happens? They recruit people who top their classes, mug well and regurgitate the exact wordings of the textbook. Forgive me, but this is really how the Singapore educational system works. Not much room for creativity here. I do not deny that, among the smart alecks, there are some who excel in both IQ and EQ. However, by taking results and educational standard as prime criteria, many other talented people have been left out.

Not only that, the appraisal and promotional chances an individual has, in civil service depends not only the experience and contributions he has chalked up in his years of service but also on his O Levels, A Levels and what-have-yous. Therefore, if he acquired a D grade in either his ‘O’s or his ‘A’s, it may well plague him for the rest of his working life in the public sector!!*shiver*

Now you know why children commit suicide due to educational stress in this meritocratic system. Because, they know that if they make a bad grade in primary school, they will be haunted by it for the rest of their lives. How do they know?! Our national newspapers said so….



Came across this quirky little programme. Remember how we used to play 20 Questions when we were little (hmm.. or not-so-little)?? That’s how it works! And consistently when it is unable to guess the answer, the user will put the new item into its database and thus enabling it to grow. In a way, it serves as a learning cycle.

Anyway, I managed to beat it in the 1st time! I was thinking of the “trigger fish”. Hehe. Hey…! I wonder if I have told you my trigger fish adventure. Let me scroll through the past entries. If not, I will do so in my next entry.

Keep your eyes on this space!



My Mom has just bought the new chinese zodiac signs prediction book for the coming New Year… It has been written by some famous fengshui master (His face appears on the cover of the book. Decent-looking, bespectacled guy) from Hong Kong.

Therefore, everything has been written in CHINESE! It takes me about 3 times the length of time I need for reading English. Anyway, I painstakingly read through the first paragraph (the most important one because it sums up the general outlook). YIPPEEE!!! Rabbit (Yep yep! I was born in the Year of the Rabbit, the cute little white furry animal.) will enjoy luck and prosperity in the coming year, especially in career and studies. It’s one of the top 5 lucky animals!

Being the nosy parker that I am, I read through the rest of the zodiac signs (only the 1st paragraph of course!).

The top 5 lucky animals are :





Forgot the last one. Sorry. Hehe.

Anyway, I was pondering over this issue while I was driving to work this morning. I know that the English horoscopes (the stars) originated from the formation of stars. But.. but… what about the Chinese zodiac signs?? Where did they come from??!!

Butter Fingers!

Butter Fingers!

Darn!!! I was eating a piece of papaya while reading a blog and halfway through the huge piece of papaya toppled from the plastic bag, onto my WHITE T-shirt, before sliding down, SPLAT on the table!!!!

Even as I whipped out the tissue paper a mere split second later to salvage the damage, my WHITE T-shirt has been stained by orange spots!!! How am I going to face the public later!!!

And the worst thing was, I had to dispose that piece of sweet, juicy, orange papaya. SIgh…! Nothing pains me more than wasting food, even though it has stained my favourite white T-shirt. Sob sob…

Maybe I should wear my cardigan back to front to cover the stains?! Sigh….

Christmas! (Half a month late….)

Christmas! (Half a month late….)

Yes yes… I know that Chinese New Year (22-23 Jan 2004) is approaching and I am still posting Christmas links.

Again, from YY’s website (Hmm… I wonder where she got all these links from.. Truly amazing!!)

A brief description of the game :

You get to be Santa (Yeah!) and your task is to give the presents to the children and throw chunks of coal on the evil elves. (Again! I used to think that elves were the kindly serfs of dear O’le Santa. I’m totally disillusioned, but, nevertheless…) You have to avoid evil reindeers (huh?!) from running you down and avoid falling off the roof.

Simple right?! Wait til you start playing it and try figuring out the mambo jumbo of keys. My highest record on my third try was 4635. My brother beat me with 5700 points using my very own strategy! Hmpf! *fold arms*

Violent Game…

Violent Game…

Found the link of this game from YY’s website.

The aim of it is to blow the pesky Christmas elves to pieces!

Well, I am not exactly the world’s best shooter, so it actually took me 4 times to win the game. *sheepish look* So, you should be able to imagine the feeling of triumph and satisfaction when I FINALLY completed it!! I raised my fists up in the air in victory!!!! YES YES YES! Guess what?! I managed to slug my brother (who was actually standing behind my seat, watching me play.. ) in his mouth! He doubled up in pain, because my fist ploughed into his 2 front teeth and his nose. I suffered a cut on my knuckles (compliments from his bugs bunny teeth) with a bonus of his teeth imprint on them.

If you value your life, DON’T PLAY THIS GAME!!

Book Releaaassseeee!!!!

Book Releaaassseeee!!!!

The article on book release in the LIfe today got me all flushed and excited! That’s a totally brilliant idea! I have quite a few books at home just for this very sole purpose! I have read them once and yet I doubt they would interest me to read a second time. I have a strange fetish of keeping books which I have read at least twice. Since these do not qualify for this criterion, there’s no reason why they should stay on my shelves. Yet, it’s a pity to discard them.

Therefore, after reading about book release, I thought,”YEP! THIS IS IT!!”

Step 1 :

I eagerly registered myself at both the Bookcrossing website (I have decided to let my book gain some international exposure. I mean, wouldn’t it be totally cool if my book actually has the chance to travel across oceans and continents?!) and at the Passiton website (Being a Singaporean, I should show some support for the local website and the interest group. Patriotic eh?!)

Step 2 :

I made a stringent check of my bookshelves and selected 2 lucky books to experiment on. “Roses are Red” and “Violets are Blue”.

Step 3 :

I bugged my brother to print the Bookcrossing release book labels, snipped them into tidy little rectangular pieces (well almost as I’m not the world’s “straightest” cutter. So, they turned out to resemble little trapeziums instead. Hmm….). I stuck them smack on page one (with a stick of purple UHU glue. My brother claimed that the purple glue’s not superior to the white one, he got it because he’s *heow). Following the instructions in Bookcrossing, I filled in the BID number.

Step 4 : (The MOST IMPORTANT Step!!)

Ponder ponder… Hmm… hm… I have registered myself. I have the books and have even labelled them. Where’s the best place to release them??

A few places came to my mind:

– on a bench beside the reservoir? (It might rain and the poor book will get all wet and soggy!! Nah… I should choose a sheltered area!)

– in an SBS Bus?? (What if nobody picks it up at the end of the day and they end up at the SBS lost & Found?!)

– in the MRT? (Hmm.. If I left it there and someone picks it up and runs after me, telling me that I have forgotten them… Should I tell him that I’m.. eh hem… releasing them in the “wild”. He will probably think I’m nuts, if he hasn’t read the article!!)

– in the post box?! (Where only the postman will find it?!)

Argh argh!! I have got everything but nowhere to release them….

Being the ever cheapskate I am, something just popped into my mind… How about STARBUCKS?! Since Pass it on is advocating it. I might as well do it, then I get to register this action in both websites! Whee! I can simply kill 2 twittering birds with one book, oops, I mean stone. Ah wei! How smart can you get! *A pat on my own back* There there….

Step 5 :

What’s left now, will be to release the 2 books in Starbucks cafe on Monday.

Mission Completed…

*heow = Vain (in Singaporean context)