Should ALL polytechnic and ITE students do Econs as a general module?

By March 2, 2018Current

TL;DR – Ignorance is not always bliss.

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Economics or better known as econs is a subject that is offered to most junior college students, polytechnic students in business-related courses, and to students in university who choose the subject as a major or elective.

And then we have the many other students from the engineering, infocomm and even design schools who might not ever come across the subject in their academic life.

But why study economics?

It might be my personal observation, but I genuinely feel that economics is everywhere in our everyday life.

And an understanding of the subject, no matter how little, will provide some insight into how every business, our economy and basically life at large works.

If you ask me, one can be a very good designer or programmer but if he does not understand market demand and supply forces or even how taxes work, they will inevitably be disadvantaged.

This observation was made no thanks to countless people I have met who went on and on “stupid decisions” made by the government, especially during our recent Budget 2018. I’m sure you would have received a certain “Dear Prime Minister” chain message and perhaps even thought that it made some sense.

I am not sure about you but I feel that these questions could be answered by anybody who has some understanding of economics. Of course an economics professor or teacher will be able to provide a much better explanation but even with just some basic knowledge of how the economy works, our perception will be very different.

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More often than not, the reason behind why people get angry is simply because of a lack of understanding.

“Why our stupid gahment always do road ah? Here do road, there do road? Too free ah?” 

“If I’m the gahment ah I will just give all the poor people more money lah. You see overseas all free medical and give free things leh!”

“CPF for what? It’s my money leh! Return my CPF!”

But after some explanation (albeit with my shabby knowledge), I often end up with a “Orhhhh. It’s like that meh? Like that also make some sense lah hor”  response.

Is it possible? 

Some polytechnics have been offering Cross Disciplinary Subjects where like the term suggests, students can pick up modules from other disciplines. So for example, a design student can choose to read some business or IT modules as part of his/her Diploma.

Some secondary schools have also started offering economics as an O level subject.

I’m obviously not doing policy work at the Ministry of Education but if you ask me, econs is probably a more useful subject than say, trigonometry or calculus.

One can argue that if people are interested in the subject, they can read up themselves and not rely on the education system to spoonfeed them but then again, can’t the same be said about history and geography?

I’m also guessing that one reason why this hasn’t been implemented yet is due to a lack of economics teachers/ lecturers in Singapore.

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Smith Leong

Author Smith Leong

Social Media Trainer @ NTUC | Youth Mentor | Labour Champion | Photographer | Content Creator |

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