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Meridian Junior College jc 1 General Paper 2012 Term 1 Youth and Education

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Meridian Junior College
JC 1 General Paper
2012 Term 1

Youth and Education



Youth and Education Key Concepts


Youth and Education Statistics and Figures


Article: The young Singaporean adult


Article: Education system must be tweaked to develop diverse range of talents


Article: Finland’s schools flourish in freedom and flexibility


Article: Left Behind (Youth Unemployment)


Article: Obama asks graduates to close the education gap


Sample Essays from past Zenith issues


Essay questions & comprehensions




Definition of youth by UNESCO

The United Nations define youth as persons between the ages of 15 and 24. UNESCO understands that young people are a heterogeneous group in constant evolution and that the experience of ‘being young’ varies enormously across regions and within countries.
The National Youth Council (NYC)

The NYC, a division of the People's Association, was set up by the Singapore Government as the national co-ordinating body for youth affairs in Singapore. The NYC:

(a) Advocates active youth citizenry - engagement, leadership and voice for issues - through programming, resources, funding and recognition. 
(b) Connects the youth sector for increased youth outreach, through creating opportunities and access, both local and overseas. 
(c) Enables the development of youth and the youth sector, through training and capacity building. 
Definition of youth in Singapore
The National Youth Council's (NYC) working definition of youth encompasses those between the ages of 15 and 35 years old in Singapore.
Why did NYC raise the age limit of youth from 30 to 35 years old?

Youth Development is an on-going process in which young people are engaged and invested. In view of Singapore's ageing population, the National Youth Council raised our working definition of youth in Singapore from 30 to 35 years old so as to continue engaging our young working adults, who can be active and positive contributors to our society and be part of the youth developmental process.

Qn: Why is there a need for organisations like the NYC to manage the youth affairs? Why is it important to engage the young?
Essay: Can we put Singapore’s future in the hands of our youth? (MJCJC1MYE10Q8)

Formal versus informal education

Formal education is classroom-based, provided by trained teachers. Informal education happens outside the classroom, in after-school programs, community-based organizations, museums, libraries, or at home.
Objectives of education in Singapore

  • A confident person who has a strong sense of right and wrong, is adaptable and resilient, knows himself, is discerning in judgment, thinks independently and critically, and communicates effectively.

  • A self-directed learner who takes responsibility for his own learning, who questions, reflects and perseveres in the pursuit of learning.

  • An active contributor who is able to work effectively in teams, exercises initiative, takes calculated risks, is innovative and strives for excellence.

  • A concerned citizen who is rooted to Singapore, has a strong civic consciousness, is informed, and takes an active role in bettering the lives of others around him.

Qn: What role does schools and education play in developing the young? Why is education a matter of concern for the state?

Education for All Goals by UNESCO
Education for All (EFA) is an international initiative launched in 1990 to bring the benefits of education to “every citizen in every society.” In order to realize this aim, a broad coalition of national governments, civil society groups, and development agencies such as UNESCO and the World Bank committed to achieving six specific education goals, as listed below. This Education for All Goals (EFA) is also aligned to one of the 8 Millennium Development Goals.

  • Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children

  • Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to, and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality.

  • Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes

  • Achieving a 50% improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults.

  • Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.

  • Improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.
Literacy Rates
There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise specified, all rates are based on the most common definition - the ability to read and write at a specified age. In Singapore, literacy is defined as someone of age 15 and over who can read and write.

Qn: What role can the government and international organisations play in promoting education? How successful has these efforts been in promoting education to all?


Education levels among residents in Singapore, aged 25-39 years,

comparison between years 2000 and 2010.
Key statistics on employment outcome of graduates from institutions of higher education, 2008-2010

Qn: With higher education level and income, is life necessarily better for the young in Singapore today?

Is this the same situation for the young in other parts of the world?
Essay: Was life for young people in Singapore better in the past than it is today (GCE A 2003, Q9)

List of countries by literacy rate, as included in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Report 2011. (a sampling)

Essay: To what extent can education improve the lives of people? (PJCJC2MYE10Q3]

Statistics on Youth Volunteerism and Activism

Statistics on Youth Delinquency

Qn: Why should the government be concerned of the state of education in the country? What is the role of education in developing an individual?
Essay: “The only aim of education is to enable one to find a job.” Is this true? (MJCJC1PE10Q10)

As the cost of higher education skyrockets, a new Pew study finds that students and families are questioning its value, TIME, 19 May 2011

Qn: How important is higher education?

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