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Meeting with Minister of State, Minister Chee Hong Tat

March 31, 2017

Meeting Minister was a learning experience for me. The learning was enriching not because there was a lot of juicy information leaked to me, there wasn't, but rather the manner in which Minister carried himself in a most serious and thoughtful approach when dialoguing with us that made me sit up. I learned that humility and stateliness can co exist and that the job role is a reflection of who we are.


This last point has been on my mind for several years now, concerning identity especially the professional identity of adult educators. My good friend and colleague, Dr Parveen Sandhu, would sometimes comment, it is not what you say but who you are.


Increasingly, we need to re evaluate our role as adult educators, in the light of the transforming economic landscape. The traditional model of adjuncts taking on training assignments as a revenue stream will become less relevant over time.


Instead new revenue streams involving monetising of expertise through global platforms such as Udemy will grow. Going forward, the adult educator will have to either become a global expert pushing boundaries in their respective fields or take on the local coach role to localise content and competencies within the workplace context. There may not be an in-between role, especially for classroom trainers.


In the new Uberised era of adult education, competition and branding will not just be among institutions but among individual experts and not just locally but across national boundaries.


As Minister rightly pointed out, the top performers will have huge revenues while the rest will have to share the remainder of the spoils, just like in the film industry where some films are huge money spinners but the rest break even or even lose money.


I do think Minister is right. 


The best will win big. The competent will survive. The unmoved will eventually lose.

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