Singapore's Health Minister Ong Ye Kung delivered the keynote speech entitled "Youths – Bridge Between East and West, Pivot Between Present and Future" at the Lianhe Zaobao Singapore-China Forum 2023 held in Beijing on 21 November. He spoke about issues affecting the youths of today — whether in China or Singapore — noting that while they have big issues to tackle, they still have much to look forward to in this pivotal moment in history. This is the English version of his keynote address delivered in Mandarin.
More than 1.2 million Chinese studying overseas are expected to return home this year, but the hunt for a job this year could be tougher than in past years for these overseas graduates. In the countries where they studied, Chinese graduates are also finding it hard to secure a job. With global economic growth slowing and unemployment rising, some countries have accelerated the pace of stabilising their job markets this year, including tightening visa rules.
As schools are held liable when students get injured for whatever reason, some Chinese schools have taken to implementing measures such as making all students wear helmets to school — whether or not they ride scooters or motorcycles — and restricting their movements in between classes. What effect is this having on schools, parents and children? How much is too much?
Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai gives his thoughts on school songs of Chinese-medium schools, and the ideologies and values they embody.
China put forth a draft Degree Law recently that includes harsh consequences for degree holders who use artificial intelligence tools to ghostwrite their dissertations. These aggressive measures reflect a conundrum that the country’s academia and wider community finds themselves in: how can China balance between the desire for technological progress and the fear of losing its identity and autonomy?
The pandemic has changed the world, not least in disrupting the lives of young people stuck at home from school, where they not only gain knowledge but also practise the norms of social behaviour. Now that they are back in school, these children who lack social experiences are acting up by engaging in disruptive behaviour in class. Commentator Chip Tsao feels that there is no way back as the gap between the generations widens.
The current wave of closures among international schools in China can be attributed to factors such as high tuition fees, options in other countries, and falling birth rate. But the biggest factor is undoubtedly financial tightening by parents, in turn due to China’s economic situation. Zaobao journalist Daryl Lim finds out more.
While China’s pre-made meals are quick and convenient for eateries to provide to general consumers, there has been a recent controversy over bringing them into schools. There is also concern over the ingredients used and what goes into the meal. Given the current lack of regulation in pre-made meals, how will the authorities handle the rapidly growing industry?
Cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai muses on how heroes of the past are honoured after their time, recalling that in his youth in Taiwan, the founder of the Turkish republic was lauded as an honourable founding father, next to Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek. However, given the similarities in ideals and values, could it be that the high praise for Ataturk was in fact meant to boost the controversial image of Chiang?