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ECONOMY, HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Academic system overhaul needed to produce more entrepreneurs: report

Students need to be street smart too.

Singapore's rigorous education system might need to be overhauled in order to ensure the next phase of the country's success, according to a position paper by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF).

Schools need to foster a more entrepreneurial mindset and culture, the SBF said, and the entrepreneurial spirit should be cultivated in students early in life.

"For Singapore to launch into a second phase of growth comparable to its first 50 years, an entrepreneurial generation is needed with a “can-do” spirit and a willingness to choose the road less travelled," said Claudia Zeisberger, Professor at INSEAD.

THe SBF suggests introducing programming, engineering and robotics much earlier in primary and secondary schools, in order to allow students to build their skill of creating
solutions.

Students should also be allowed to run enterprises in pre-universities and universities, such as canteens and transport.

"The skills that made Singaporeans successful in the past 50 years are different from those required in the years to come. A re-think of Singapore’s very academic focused school system should be considered to develop street smart and agile entrepreneurs," Zeisberger said.

Other recommendations include introducing activities or programmes that ask students to identify opportunities and/or understand the consumers, as well as continuing to expand placements that are not necessarily in business, such as social impact endeavours.

"Effecting meaningful change requires a concerted effort and a willingness to make not just incremental changes, but at times fundamental changes to allow for a re-thinking of traditional methods and approaches," Zeisberger said.

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