Building A Learning Nation

by Patrick Liew on December 12, 2016

Recently, I joined a group of young people to discuss about the future and the future of future.

Suffice to say, the world is probably changing faster than you and I can predict the changes and prepare ourselves to leverage on the changes.

To preempt, protect ourselves from, and proactively respond to the disruptive future, our first and last line of attack as well as defence is education.

By that, I’m not referring to just formal education.

We need to be totally committed to lifelong learning to survive and succeed in the new and insanely-exciting world of opportunities and possibilities.

To do that, we need to develop passion and joy for learning. We need to also develop ability to learn now to learn effectively and efficiently.

Research have shown that by being passionate for learning and being self-directed learners, we can continue to change, improve and achieve better results.

Moving forward, we should build on our culture, a culture that believes in achieving excellence in schools and transform the culture until we become a learning nation.

Learning becomes part and parcel of the lifestyle of every single person, and not just the young.

However, learning cannot be an end by itself.

Through lifelong learning, we can unleash
the potential of each and every person and help them exercise their gifts and strengths to fulfill their plans, passions and aspirations.

To do so, we may have to change our perspectives on educational outcomes, results and impacts.

We need to believe there are multiple intelligences and multiple pathways to reach multiple destinations of excellence.

Every person can choose their own journeys and even change their journeys at various points to live a purposeful, happy and filling life.

Together, as a nation of lifelong learners, we can create a brighter future for ourselves and our future generations.

How can we become a nation of lifelong learners?

For too long, our country has been more inclined to adopt a top-down approach in running society and major affairs of the people.

We need to recognize that nobody has a monopoly of the best ideas, plans and actions.

Therefore, we need the public, private and people sectors to work more closely together. We need more bottom-up and peer-to-peer initiatives to take ourselves to a higher level.

Lifelong learning is the best way to help our people optimise use of their potentials and help them to be the best that they can be in fulfilling their dreams.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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