I’m not really a fan of Microsoft, but this is a really good talk from a former Microsoft employee, Patrick Awuah. The talk is in the context of Africa (it is from TED Global, after all), but there are really good points that can be applied to all societies. He talks about how “a true liberal arts education — steeped in critical thinking, idealism, and public service — can produce the quick-thinking, ethical leaders needed to move his country forward.” (from TED.com).

That’s true not only for all countries as well, don’t you think? We need to train people to think, not just rote memorizing. That’s not really happening much in Singapore, though, in my opinion. Too many schools teach based on memory work. Even in the supposed top schools (like my former school), there’s a lot of drilling and memorizing. Singapore is not in as bad a state as Africa, but we should still focus on training our leaders to think, not just to memorise.

In the talk, Patrick Awuah mentions an email from a student of the college he set up. The email says “I am thinking now.”

Are we educating our youths to think?