Wednesday, February 28, 2007

some articles on scholarships

This Friday, hordes of 18-19 year olds will flock to their JCs to receive their A level results (including Ms Gayle Goh). It will be a time of celebration and partying for some, and for some it might be a time of great sorrow and disappointment. Regardless, for everybody, it will be a time of contemplation and decision making for the future. For a handful of such 18-19 year olds, they will be thinking about scholarships.

I am of the opinion that there are good reasons to take a scholarship, but there are also good reasons for not taking a scholarship. Usually, 18-19 year olds are only exposed to the former and not the latter. I believe, more JC students are reading the blogosphere than ever, (thanks in no small part to Gayle) and as "alternative media" we are somewhat obligated to present views about scholarships which these JC students might not be aware of.

I was going to write my own article on the considerations necessary before taking up a scholarship, then I realized many others have blogged before I did, and I can in no way write a better piece than what has been collectively done so far. So instead, I will compile a short list of articles on scholarships, and urge you, if you are a potential scholar (or if you are a parent of one) to take the time to read these and think about the issues raised. What's at stake may not just be half a million dollars worth of a scholarship bond, but also your career choice and what you will do for the rest of your life.


On Singapore Angle, a 19-year old who qualified for but chose not to go for scholarships gave his reasons for doing so.

On A Pedagogue's Progress, kungfuzi talks about spoken and unspoken reasons for taking up a scholarship, and contemplates on such reasons. I think this dude is actually a PSC/MOE scholar himself, so he knows what he's talking about.

The KTM, on his last contribution to STOMP, quotes Mr Ngiam Tong Dow in saying that not everyone has the temperament to be a civil servant, even if they qualify academically.

Mr Wang talks briefly about the dangers of accepting a scholarship here.

The Legal Janitor, in a recent article, shares how to make a thoughtful and matured decision when talking about career choice and one's own future.

Lastly, if you are interested to talk to a famous ex-scholar who has vocal views about scholarships, you can contact Mr Elia Diodati (his email is available on his blog). He's probably a busy guy (incidentally Mr Philip Yeo is currently still commenting on his blog), but I suspect he'll be more than happy to talk to you about his views and experiences as an ex-scholar.


Mr Wang Says So said...

Thank you for mentioning my old post. However, the posts where I really discuss that topic are actually here:

Mr Wang Examines the Scholarship Issues

Why It Worked Then, And Why It Fails Now

And No, I Won't Charge the PSC A Single Cent For My Brilliant Ideas

Mr Wang's Scholarly Musings

Fearfully Opinionated said...

Hi Mr Wang,

I wasn't aware of your previous articles. Thanks for providing links.

However, my target audience for this post was 18-19 year olds (and their parents) asking this question "Should I take up a scholarship or not?". And I was looking for articles which approach it with pros and cons with respect to the individual potential scholar.

It is not attempting to answer the question "Should the governement (and GLCs) continue to give out scholarships or not?", nor hence not the ambigious question "Are Scholarships a good idea or not?" Which is why I did not provide links to other posts by KTM or Elia Diodati which discussed that issue.

kungfuzi said...

Thanks for linking to my piece. And yes, I am a government scholar.