QUESTION BY YAHOO ANSWER , Singapore
Should we also “turn off the lights” to help boost Singapore’s low birth rate?
South Korea's health ministry, which is charged with boosting the nation's low birthrate, is turning off the lights in its offices once a month to encourage staff to go home early and make more babies. The ministry said in a statement Wednesday the switches will be flicked at 7.30 pm every third Wednesday in the month to "help staff get dedicated to childbirth and upbringing".
Singapore is facing a similar situation and the government is looking to encourage more matchmaking companies to be formed.
Is this another solution for Singapore’s low birth rate and why?
20 Jan 2010
My Answer: ( voted one of the top 5 best answer) submission was under pen name of "Surprised
Frankly no. Solving the low birth rate can't be so simple. Who can ensure that the early time off from work will bring everyone home to do what the government plans for them to do?
Solving the low birth rate problem is not so straightforward.
I feel the government has, to date, not fully succeeded because they are only trying to solve this matter as a piecemeal issue and not as a integration of many other problems that ought to be solved concurrently and simultaneously to bring about the desired goal of a higher birth rate.
What the government is currently doing should be enlarged and refined.
Firstly, reduce stress in work further. Follow the South Korean on the early time -off from work but expand on their idea.
This idea can be expanded further by giving pay leave for couples to go away on some weekends using chalets on a subsided basis . This will allow both couples to be more physically relaxed and would prepare their state of mind for what they have to do .
Procreation is a creation of a new life, how can it be achieved in such a rush? Let them slow down for their emotions to gear up for the passion of procreation.Then the success rate of a new baby is higher.
Next, whilst the government understands the high cost in prenatal preparations for both mother and the unborn child, they can do more.
This suggestion may seem petty and trivial but every little help counts, Ok?
Help them with some incentives like free gynaecologist check-up, free supplements of milk and vitamins, and even a small allowance for their preparatory needs of a new child arrival.
Thirdly, the incentives and rewards given to the new parents to raise another child is not attractive and conducive enough. Whilst it presently do help parents , the duration for these assistance is too short.
Why only help the child up to a certain age, why not longer? Why not up to junior college level?
I understand other richer countries give every child a sum of money until 18 years old. The child also gets free education for many years and even their tertiary education heavily subsided( only 10% of school fees to be paid)
Understandably, when doing future financial planning, and if they have to provide for the high cost for their child 's future education, parents will tend to take the easy way out to solve their decision-making , i e not to have any more babies. The less children, the less financial worry, right?
If the government is willing to help with this problem , it may unplug some of the reservations of some couples to decide on having another baby.
Another thing the govenment should look into, is to ensure that the housing needs of a larger family be addressed.
Now most of the housing flats are mainly 3 bedrooms or less. The impression given to family is to to have less children, not more, because there is no plan for the third child to be housed.
In line with government 's aim for larger family , the housing board should start to build 4 bedrooms apartment, so that the perception on lack of space and room for additional child will never be a turn-off for a potential new birth.
These are only some of the possible things the Government can look into depth and analyse carefully before they implements it, if found suitable.
We are now a well to do country. Use part of this wealth to invest into the demograpy of the country before it reaches a point of no return where couples are too exhausted and turn -off with too many unsolved child -raising issues .