Is Literature Taking a Backseat?

Is Literature Taking a Backseat?

Singapore is well known for its students doing exceptionally well in science and math. Science and math are the foundation subjects of the island country.

Students are viewing a career in science as lucrative and rewarding and hence are drawn to pursue the course. With many students opting science subjects, there are few takers for literature and other arts subjects.

The booming IT industry and technology sectors are also influencing more and more students to give priority to math and science. The employment prospects in the technology domain look very promising to students and this has resulted in fewer students enrolling for literature courses over the past decade.

Literature subjects also require students to have a good command over the language that comes by countless hours study and contemplation of the subject. To master in the language, a student needs to have enormous patience and put a lot of effort and there are no formula or short-cuts to replace hard work.

Literature subjects do not promise of quick and easy money and the students taking up the subject need to study a lot and be perfect in grammar and build a large vocabulary.

Students are afraid of taking up literature or any other arts subjects as they doubt their competence and feel that they are not proficient enough to take up those subjects.

Some reasons why literature is taking a backseat

1. Emergence of new technical courses

With the emergence of new courses keeping pace with the technological advancement, literature subjects are not popular any more. With more and more companies focusing to develop new products and leverage Artificial Intelligence, nanotechnology and robotics technology are gaining enormous popularity among students. These courses are viewed by the students as more lucrative and exciting as compared to the literature subjects. Hence, many students take up these newly-introduced courses and look to cash in on the novelty of the field of the study.

2. Literature is being viewed as a girls’ subject

A study revealed that many Asian students consider English literature as a girls’ subject and the subject is popular in girls’ schools. Due to this perception, many students who have an aptitude as well as interest to study the language choose not to take up literature as a subject. The chauvinistic attitude of a few people has dented the image of literature as a serious course and has been deterring many bright students from taking up literature. A change in attitude can only revive the glory of literature.

3. Relatively less choices

Science stream offers many choices and job opportunities to students. However, arts and literature subjects limit the scope for the students. These subjects confine the students to these fields only, while students from math and science backgrounds can make a shift from their stream to the arts and literature. However, the students belonging to the arts background don’t have the luxury to make the transition from their stream to the science.

4. Job prospects in literature not wide as science subjects

The job opportunities provided by science subjects are far wide as compared to the job prospects offered by literature subjects. Even though literature is rich as a subject, earning potential is more in science subjects and the newly-introduced courses in today’s scenario. Hence, students make the pragmatic choice and settle for the courses that promises a higher pay package. Literature is now viewed as more like a hobby than a serious course due to this reason. Presently, students are also not avid readers and hate to devote much time studying and reading. This is the reason that literature has lost some of its sheen.


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