Mr and Mrs Singaraju
Parents of Divesh S/O Singaraju, Class of 2014 Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering, Singapore Polytechnic
“Dear Fellow Parent,
One of the proudest moments in our lives happened a few months
back. Our youngest son, Divesh, went up on stage to receive
the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal from Mr Heng Swee
Keat, the Minister for Education, at his graduation ceremony. In
addition, he was the Valedictorian who delivered a moving speech.
It was indeed a very proud moment for our family.
We had our worries when Divesh was about to embark on his
Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering after his ‘O’ levels at
Commonwealth Secondary School. He was recovering from a
serious illness and we were concerned whether he would be
able to cope with the demanding curriculum. We heard that SP
is the best in Engineering, so we expected the course to be
Divesh (in Graduation gown) with his family
It was by no means an easy feat that Divesh graduated with the
highest honours. His passion for Engineering started after he
took an aeroplane for the first time. The passion kept him going
and it grew stronger each year in SP. He wanted to do better
each time, even though we told him to take it easy, as we were
fearful of his health. Thankfully, he had such dedicated lecturers
and helpful course mates.
Divesh would often tell us how his lecturers would go to great
lengths to ensure that every lesson was understood. They would
even give advice, like friends would, when Divesh told them
about his personal problems. Even the technical staff in the Aero
labs would stay back to help him if he wanted to work overtime
for his projects. His course mates, he said, were the best that
he could ever ask for – always helpful and encouraging.
Divesh was spending so much time in SP because he was truly
enjoying his time there. He served in the Mechanical and
Aeronautical Engineering Club as an Honorary Secretary. He
was active in sports too. He went to Cambodia for a community
service project where he and his group members built a home
for the needy, as well as taught English to a home for orphans
and widows. In addition, he was an avid photographer and
contributed his photos to SP’s publications.
Despite language and cultural differences, Divesh did his
internship with a major aeronautical maintenance, repair and
overhaul firm in China. From his SMS and Skype exchanges
with us, we could tell he was so thrilled with the experience there
as he could get really close with real aircraft!
As parents, we are extremely grateful to SP for giving Divesh
such a memorable learning experience. He has grown and
matured so much during these three years. His brother, Haresh,
who is a young doctor, took the junior college route after his ‘O’
levels. But he too never doubted Divesh’s choice when he said
he wanted to do Engineering at SP. Looking back, we are happy
that we supported his decision.
If any parent comes to us for advice on where their child should
go after ‘O’ levels, we always tell them to first ask their child
where their passion lies and what they hope to do in the future.
We believe that with passion, half the battle is won. The other
half is to learn and grow in a nurturing environment. SP has
provided that environment for our dear Divesh who is now
pursuing an engineering degree at Imperial College London (UK)
under a Singapore Airlines Overseas SINDA scholarship.
Mr and Mrs Singaraju
Divesh S/O Singaraju
Class of 2014
Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering
Divesh is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Aeronautical
Engineering at Imperial College London (UK) under a SIA-Sinda
Mr and Mrs Han Kian Kwang
Parents of Alethea Joy Han Huien, Class of 2013
Diploma in Perfumery and Cosmetic Science, Singapore Polytechnic
Currently pursuing a degree in Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh (UK)
“Dear Fellow Parent,
It was a momentous and emotional experience for us when we attended our daughter’s graduation ceremony back in May 2013.
In the midst of all the camera flashes, speeches and thereafter the handshakes and congratulations, our minds went back to the days when we struggled between reason and passion over Alethea’s insistence on taking the SP route after her ‘O’ levels at Methodist Girls’ School.
We will not hesitate to recommend SP to our friends if their children want to take the poly route
We were glad that her passion had prevailed over the reasoning of her parents. It is true that the heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. Thankfully, SP had provided Alethea the right environment and given her numerous excellent opportunities to grow and blossom over the years in many areas. As we look back and reconnected the dots, in an amazing way, the Diploma in Perfumery and Cosmetic Science is a divine providence for Alethea. Somehow, she has been “wired” into perfumery since young and this diploma course was launched at such a time when she just completed her ‘O’ levels.
As parents, we struggled because we saw her as we were (with sight but not insight). Her passion and grit brought us to see her as she is. Her growth and achievement in SP further elevated us to see her as what she can be.
Alethea (centre) with her parents
For that, we would like to express our thanks and appreciation to SP, the team at the School of Chemical and Life Sciences, and especially to all the lecturers and staff at the Perfumery & Cosmetic Science course. In particular, I remembered Ms Jessie Tong who even came to send Alethea off to Oxford University for her internship while she was pregnant ....their thoughtfulness and love for Alethea are much appreciated.
Even after she has finished her last semester, the dedicated lecturers continue to provide her with valuable advice on her options after her diploma.
The opportunities that were opened to Alethea during her SP journey were truly amazing and contributed much to nurturing her passion further. The internship at Oxford University gave her deep insights on the various possibilities after her diploma. Beyond academic pursuits, she was active in the Karate Club and has won medals at competitions. All of these contributed to a truly holistic development in her.
While we cherish the many awards given to Alethea, deep down inside, we also recognised that the highest reward for her toil is not what she has received but what she will become of it. Yes. It takes a whole community to bring up a kid. Thank you all for being part of her compelling future.
Finally, to those parents who are still struggling with children like us before, our advice is simple:
“Trust their talents; Follow their passion; Silence our own fear; SP is the place to go.” Today, we will not hesitate to recommend SP to our friends if their children want to take the poly route.
May SP continue to enrich our present, enhance the future, ponder the improbable and achieve the impossible.”
Stanley and Michelle
Parents of Sean Lee Teik Ren, Class of 2011
Diploma in Business Information Technology, Singapore Polytechnic
“Dear Fellow Parent,
Many parents fret when their children reach two or three critical junctures of their education journey. This typically happens at PSLE, GCE ‘O’ Levels and then perhaps the more difficult choice of polytechnic education or GCE ‘A’ Levels. This last decision is probably most difficult if your child has both options available. Understandably, parents want the best for their children. My wife and I are no different and had similar worries. As Sean was our eldest child, it was our first time.
An education environment that would allow him to excel both in his studies and his chosen co-curricular activity – sailing
As parents, we wanted Sean to have a wholesome and balanced lifestyle in an education environment that would allow him to excel both in his studies and his chosen co-curricular activity – sailing.
The learning environment had to be receptive to different learning styles and provide opportunities for him to grow mentally and physically, where if he stayed focused and passionate, would allow him to excel. We believed that Singapore Polytechnic, including other polytechnics in Singapore and the junior colleges, offered such opportunities.
Sean (centre) and his parents at the NTU Scholars Awards Ceremony
Our role was to show him education possibilities for his future, regardless of whether it was a professional diploma or the GCE ‘A’ levels. This might not be easy for a young person making a potentially life-long decision. They could get distracted by peer influence, glitzy brochures and illusions of careers offering big bonuses. I think the challenge is to help them find his or her true passion. We have three children - all three have now taken different pathways. Whichever pathway, in the long run, we believe their passion will guide and sustain their individual pursuits.
Sean displayed strong love and excelled in sailing at national level from his primary school days. We took the bold but untested step to enroll him at the then new Singapore Sports School. It allowed him to pursue sailing and do his GCE ‘O’ Levels. He eventually excelled with grades good enough to go to the best junior colleges in Singapore. With his grades, we encouraged him to visit all the polytechnics, junior colleges and even the local universities to see what was on offer and to see which course of study appealed to him. The idea was to help him see the longer term and not focus on distractions offered at academic fairs. As a family, we shared his passion and longer term career goal, including wanting to sail at the Asian Games and hopefully someday, take part in the Olympics.
Sean was quite clear in his mind that he wanted to go on to university and pursue a career in accounting or finance. He believed going to the polytechnic would give him a better head start. He eventually opted for the Diploma in Business Information Technology in Singapore Polytechnic as a launch pad to university to seek his passion. During his time at SP, he did well enough in his studies and sailing to be awarded the prestigious Nanyang Scholarship at Nanyang Technological University for a double-degree in Accountancy and Business.
We are very pleased with his progress. More importantly, Sean himself is happy.”
Watch what Stanley has to say.
Parent of Dexter Lee, Class of 2010 Diploma in Engineering with Business, Singapore Polytechnic
“Dear Fellow Parent,
My son Dexter Lee joined Singapore Polytechnic (SP) as one of the pioneer students in the Diploma in Engineering with Business three years ago. Although it was a new course, he was keen on it as he felt that it would equip him with engineering fundamentals as well as business skills. Looking back, I must say that it was the best decision. I could see how he has blossomed over the years in SP.
SP, being the first and therefore the oldest polytechnic has much experience in keeping their curriculum relevant to industry needs by engaging the stakeholders such as companies.
The course has given him many opportunities to apply what he has learnt to carefully designed projects and assignment.
During his time with SP, he was given the opportunity to participate in the bazaar project that honed his entrepreneurial skills. He learned how to develop a marketing plan to increase sales for Body Shop and design engineering products that gave him good insights on product development and business operation. Through these projects and assignments, he learned much about teamwork, communication and presentation skills, innovation and creativity. As he was in the SP Outstanding Talent (SPOT) Programme, he was exposed to current affairs through a special module, picked up a third language (Japanese) and also represented SP at the Global Youth Conference. He also embarked on a month- long exchange programme to Fukuoka, Japan where he had the opportunity to practice his Japanese language, learned about the culture and made many new friends.
Dexter (right) at the SP Graduation Ceremony
During his final year in SP, he was one of 13 students who opted to go on a four-month overseas immersion programme at the Beijing Technology and Business University instead of an internship with a local firm. Over there, besides attending classes on business modules, they also took lessons to improve their Chinese language and learned more about Chinese culture. They were also attached to a local engineering firm for two weeks which gave them insights on how a company in China operates. I travel to China regularly for business and was impressed that that my son could engage me on business challenges in China after his stint in Beijing! Dexter has also learned to be more independent. The SP curriculum and the nurturing environment prepared him not only for work but higher education as well. Besides the regular curriculum, he also took Diploma Plus, a mathematics module that would strengthen his foundation for university education.
I am truly happy to see my son being transformed from an unmotivated and reserved youth into a confident, articulate and motivated young man. The learning environment in SP has kept him interested and motivated. He was offered places in the local universities and has decided to take up a business degree at Nanyang Technological University.
I will strongly recommend SP to any parent who wants the best for their children in a polytechnic education. The polytechnic landscape has changed drastically over the years. SP, being the first and therefore the oldest polytechnic has much experience in keeping their curriculum relevant to industry needs by engaging the stakeholders such as companies. Speaking in the capacity of a human resource professional at a multi-national company, I can attest that polytechnic graduates are viewed upon favourably by employers due to the relevant skills and hand-on approach they bring to the table.”