What comes to mind when you see the word “teacher”? It would least likely be an 11-year-old-child, but these days, it could very well be a possibility.  
After all, why not? With topics like sustainability, the younger generation might be more cognisant of their role as heirs of the future, and as a result be more concerned about educating others about sustainable practices. This is what is happening with the Young Scientist Badge scheme, a 41-year-old programme by the Science Centre Singapore to cultivate an interest in science among primary school students in Singapore. An unexpected but welcome outcome of the scheme is seeing students taking the lead in pushing for sustainable living in their homes.  
With this example in mind, one wonders if we can put our students in the driver seat more. As much as we talk about student-centred learning, such instructional approaches are often still initiated by teachers. Maybe it is time to think also about student-driven learning.   
Perhaps we could draw inspiration from the efforts of a Filipino education accountability project, and get students on local school boards in decisions concerning education governance. Or, in multi-disciplinary coalitions dedicated to creating diverse education-to-workforce pathways, could we not include students in the conversation too? If students, being the recipients of learning and hence the biggest stakeholders of education, can have their voices heard more, they can be empowered to make real and impactful change for the future they hold. 

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Mr Ho Swee Huat

Mr Ho Swee Huat is the Founder and Managing Director of Abacus Assets Advisors Pte Ltd. Before starting the company, he had an established career in the banking industry, with 20 years of experience in Singapore, Hong Kong and New York.

He was an Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of CapitaCommercial Trust Management LTD from 2004 to 2013.

He is the current Chairman of Autism Association (Singapore) which he co-founded with a group of parents in 1992. He is also Vice-Chairman of Eden School, a special school for children with autism.

Mr Ho holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Liberal Arts degree in Economics from Hamilton College, USA.

He has been a member of the Board of the Foundation since its incorporation.