Singaporean Students Schooled in Dating

May 01, 2008 10:29 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The tiny island nation is trying to fight its falling birthrate by pushing college students to date.

30-Second Summary

Some college students in Singapore are now required to take courses on romance such as “Love Relations for Life: A Journey of Romance, Love and Sexuality.”  The effort is the latest campaign by the nation’s government to get its reluctant citizens to date, marry and have children.

“We want to tell students, ‘Don’t wait until you have built up your career,’” said Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, the minister of state for community development, youth and sports. “Sometimes, it is too late, especially for girls.”

Singapore has one of the lowest birthrates in the world, with 1.24 children born per woman of childbearing age last year, reported the International Herald Tribune.

Singapore—whose government has organized tea dances, wine tastings, cooking classes, cruises, and screenings of romantic movies in the past—is not the only nation where the government is taking on the role of matchmaker. Falling birthrates in developed nations across the globe have prompted governments worried about population decline to take a variety of measures to combat the trend.

The BBC reported in 2006 that the Japanese government was funding speed-dating parties to get its workers to date and start families. Hong Kong recently announced that it has ruled out awarding a one-time “baby bonus” to families to encourage having more children—a measure that several European nations have taken. In the past few years, France, Poland and Italy have created cash incentives for couples to have babies.

Headline Link: ‘A different kind of homework for Singapore students: Get a date’

Background: Speed dating parties in Japan, birthrates in the EU, Portuguese pension reform

Related Topics: Falling birthrates in Hong Kong and Russia

Reference: Global fertility rates, guide to dating


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