Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thinking Hands

We must move beyond gathering and managing knowledge to emphasize creating our own knowledge. We are doubling our R&D investments over the next five years. The government will provide the initial push in terms of funding, manpower training and capability building. But the purpose is to jump-start private-sector R&D efforts that will ultimately yield economic dividends. Our public libraries epitomize the way technology helps every citizen to access and exploit information. Users can reserve books, videos or Cds from anywhere in the system, even over the Internet, and return them anywhere convenient. Every item is tagged and tracked with a radio-frequency identification chip, and IT makes it all work. There will be no barrier to knowledge, information and lifelong learning.

Our universities maintain open access, but rigorous academic standards; our polytechnics impart professional expertise through a practice-based curriculum, and our Institute of Technical Education equips students with hands-on technical skills and critical thinking habits. We are also investing heavily in upgrading the skills of the work force, keeping older workers current and employable. On an intelligent island, every pair of hands has to be a pair of thinking hands. None should be mere hewers of wood or drawers of water.

Globalization will force nations to reallocate resources, restructure their economies and reorient their societies for the future. Singaporeans accept this as a given. We are remaking ourselves into a key node in the global knowledge network, securing our place under the sun (Lee, p. 32).

LEE Hsien Loong - The Singapore Way. In «Issues 2006», Nova Iorque: Newsweek, 2005, p. 32

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