Tuesday, April 28, 2015
PSC chairman on selecting scholars
Not that I purposely try to but Eddie Teo had never made a speech or written an article that I could criticize like I do his other colleagues who has also serve as head of civil service at other times.
I find this true too when I read, Values that stand the test of time in public service by the ST.
The PSC needs members who are good judges of character and motivation. They interview young 18 year olds whom I feel by and large do not even know themselves all that well. Therefore they must look for some qualities like litmus paper turn red to test acid with other tests to ago along. Then they judged and at that point science becomes art, the candidate is chosen or rejected.
Really, how do you assess a young person who doesn't even know himself or herself? Within very strict limits I would think. It becomes a process of recognizing attributes in the interviewee which he or she does not yet know their impact on his or her future because of inexperience.
Then there is the skill needed to sieve the genuine ones from the fakes. My ex colleague was one such fake who joined the admin service in mid career. I suppose it is harder to judge an older and more experienced candidate.
I also wonder if top executive recruiters try to learn the tools of the trade from the PSC. Are its methods copied by these Search firms? Imitation is the ultimate flattery and symbol of success.
What worries me is that our system failure to anticipate this, which I think is best to quote Mr. Teo.
But I do worry quite a lot about one downside of our meritocratic system. When scholars are told they have succeeded on their own merit and given public acclaim, a few may become swollen-headed. They may think that they have arrived on their own effort and owe nothing to anybody else. They forget that nobody succeeds in the public service or in life, for that matter, without the support of other people. They must never forget that their family, friends, school, bosses, peers and subordinates all play a key role in helping them succeed. From time to time, they have to be reminded that they must not believe in PSC's hype and should stay humble if they truly want to be a good public servant.
But I am not criticizing Eddie Teo or the PSC after all this wasn't his meritocratic system. I think it is just a statement of reality. At the end of the day there is not enough of the type of people the PSC is looking for. Take such types in too and then teach them. Why else do you get them so young if not to mold and groom them?
Nevertheless I told my children please do not apply for a PSC scholarship. We don't even want the bond free NUS scholarship.
Posted by PengYou at 11:25 AM