On Thursday, Hewlett-Packard (HP) released its inaugural HP New Asian Learning Experience Study, a survey exploring how the personalities of Asian millennial parents impact the ways in which they define learning. The study revealed that Singapore parents are extremely focused on future-proofing their children – by preparing them for opportunities of the future workplace.

“The study gives us insights on how learning is evolving and where our innovations can ensure these young learners thrive,” said Koh Kong Meng, Managing Director, South East Asia & Korea, HP.

“At HP, we are aligned with the parental focus on print and digital learning making a positive impact on their children’s lives. To prepare the young learners for the future, we are creating new, immersive learning experiences though our innovative printers and personal computers.”

In this new Age of Experience – and era defined by the need for experiences that inspire creativity, spark collaboration and connect people – expectations and the advancement of technology has forever changed workplaces. Soon, work will be defined by  mobility, immersive technologies, borderless enterprises and collaboration with intelligent machines.

Amid these advancements, Singapore parents are concerned that their children will be unable to keep up with the pace of change and remain competitive for the future. The HP New Asian Learning Experience Study which surveyed 3,177 respondents across India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines aged between 25 and 42 with at least one child found that parents’ biggest worries are the rising cost of living (72%) and that their children will not have the skills for future roles (59%).

In Singapore, HP has enabled learning through technology with its HP Make IT Green Campaign through print creativity and learning for 63,000 students from 24 schools. The participating students had to create a sketch of the Mech Robot, used to destroy the E-waste Monster, a mascot which represented the e-waste issue in Singapore. The winning sketches were then made into trophies and awarded to the winners.  HP Singapore also supports the Micro:bit Innovation Explorer and Micro:bit Robotics STEM programmes in the local community.

HP’s study also revealed that parents still believe printed materials will impact their child’s learning more positively than purely digital learning. They see print and digital learning as having different benefits and feel that print is better for reading comprehension, time spent reading, knowledge of vocabulary, and retention, whereas digital platforms facilitate creative and critical thinking.

Ultimately, they perceive a mix of both print and digital as most beneficial. Parents prefer honing their child’s linguistic skills on printed materials (43%) and learning music on digital platforms (46%). They use a mix of print and digital predominantly to enhance math (53%) and linguistic skills (44%).

Today’s millennial parents know that education will and must evolve. The HP study shows that Singapore parents’ definition of learning reflects the requirements of the future workplace. They value experiential learning (78%) over rote learning and memorization (62%), saying that the latter is least helpful in helping their child perform better on tests (77%).

Tuition was ranked as the least valuable learning activity and worst way to prepare children for the future, with only 12% agreeing it would be beneficial. Parents also listed exam scores as the worst indicator that children are learning, with 54% saying the pressure put on children to academically perform is unhealthy. Instead, parents say that the top reason why they like helping their children learn is to expose them to new ideas (84%). According to them, problem-solving skills is the best indicator of learning.

Despite Singapore parents saying they value experiential learning, they still fall back on the methods with which they are most familiar. While they see only limited value in tuition, half of the parents surveyed (50%) say spending extra income on their child’s tuition is the biggest sacrifice they make for their children’s education. Parents also say they would consider sending their children to school abroad (23%) and move homes so their children will be in a better school district (22%).

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