PRINCIPAL AND CEO OF SINGAPORE POLYTECHNIC
AT THE POLYTECHNIC’S 56TH GRADUATION CEREMONY
THURSDAY 5 MAY 2016 (SESSION 1)
Associate Prof Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Social and Family Development
Members of the Singapore Polytechnic Board of Governors
Ladies and Gentlemen
- Good morning and welcome to our 56th Graduation Ceremony. It is our pleasure to have Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Social and Family Development, join us today to celebrate this milestone occasion for you and your families.
- This year, Singapore Polytechnic celebrates the graduation of 5,845 students from our diploma and post-diploma courses. To the graduands, this marks the successful completion of your studies at SP and the beginning of a new chapter in your life. To the families, friends and lecturers, congratulations for contributing to the graduands’ success today.
SkillsFuture: Inspired Learner
- Under SkillsFuture, all Singaporeans are encouraged to develop deep specialised skills and mastery in their respective fields. SP’s vision of “A caring community of inspired learners committed to serve with mastery” is aligned to this nation-wide initiative. The education in SP has prepared you well with industry relevant knowledge and skills, overseas exposure and character development through our purpose-designed curriculum and activities beyond the classroom.
- SP has also implemented Earn & Learn Programmes (ELP) in the Food Manufacturing, Energy and Chemicals, Power, Infocomm Technology and Maritime industry sectors. ELP is a work-study programme designed to give fresh poly graduates a head-start in careers related to their discipline of study. Our inaugural batch of ELP students will be graduating with an Advanced Diploma in Applied Food Science later this year.
- Enrolling in the second run of ELP for Food Manufacturing is Angela Lau Chu Zi. Angela graduates this year from the Diploma in Food Science & Technology and has been employed by Seo Eng Joo Frozen Food Pte Ltd. Angela shares that, while the diploma course provided a good understanding of the science and technology behind the food industry, she looks forward to a more practical approach to learning, with hands-on experience and on-the-job training in the ELP course. This will allow her to deepen her skills and develop her sense of responsibility towards the company.
- The Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) at Singapore Polytechnic is the Sector Coordinator for the maritime industry. With support from the Ministry of Education, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and Workforce Development Agency, SMA has launched several initiatives under the SkillsFuture framework. In April this year, the ELPs for Maritime (Seafaring Deck Officer) and Maritime (Seafaring Marine Engineer) were launched for graduates from the Diploma in Nautical Studies and Diploma in Marine Engineering. The ELP for graduates from the Diploma in Maritime Business will be launched in June this year, in support of the Port and Terminal sector.
- With these programmes in place, you will have a head-start in your career, and build on the skills and knowledge that you have acquired in SP. I am confident that you can contribute to your industry and society, in the spirit of the SP motto, “Berkhidmat dengan Keahlian” or “To Serve with Skill”, and in the future “To Serve with Mastery”.
Pursuit of Passion
- Recently, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Mr Ong Ye Kung said, “The rethinking of the meaning of higher education must include the fact that the collective good is attained, or in fact, can only be attained — by the ability of individuals to pursue their own talents and passion.” He added, “The higher education system must help people uncover and pursue their passions, and chase their respective rainbows”.
- With us today is Daniel Ong Wei Liang, recipient of the Gold Medal award from the Diploma in Nautical Studies. Having worked in the finance industry for some time, he realized that a desk-bound job was not for him. At the age of 27, he left his office job to enroll in the DNS course in pursuit of his passion for sailing.
- As a mature student, Daniel initially faced some difficulties adjusting to the age‐gap between himself and his younger classmates. Gradually, he established himself as a “big brother” to his fellow classmates, explaining abstract concepts in simpler terms and leveraging on his past working experience to give advice.
- Daniel excelled in his studies in SP. His conviction to his passion and studies was validated when he served on board a ship as a cadet. He found the seafaring work much more enjoyable and meaningful than being in an air‐conditioned environment.
- Daniel believes that the outlook for the maritime industry is bright. I understand that Daniel sees himself contributing as a second officer and a positioning operator in the offshore industry. I wish him all the best in his aspirations and success in the future.
- Graduation is a time to rejoice and celebrate. For Lee Hwee Leng, a graduand from the Diploma in Maritime Business, it is also a triumph over adversity.
- Hwee Leng was keen to join the Diploma in Nautical Studies but due to her medical condition, she was enrolled in the Diploma in Maritime Business instead. Hwee Leng suffers from Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Since she was 14 years old, Hwee Leng has been suffering from fatigue, photo-sensitivity, chest pains, headaches and memory loss. As a result, the family is burdened with medical bills.
- SP has made every effort to secure bursaries and scholarships to enable Hwee Leng to focus on her studies. Hwee Leng shares that her lecturers have all been very supportive. Amongst them, Hwee Leng gives special credit to Captain Lim Yuon Fatt, Mr Chew Cheah Boon and Mr Vernlick Chua for their help through her studies and project work; sharing invaluable industry knowledge and advice. Hwee Leng counts herself fortunate to have close friends who are always there to spur her on and lend emotional support during her difficult periods.
- With the help of her family, the school, lecturers and friends, this brave lady overcame her physical discomforts to excel in her studies and completed all the requirements of her course – including a challenging jetty jump at the Poly Marina.
- Hwee Leng, we are truly inspired by you. We proudly applaud you today for your tenacity, resilience, and for graduating with a Diploma with Merit.
- In closing, I would like to encourage you to pursue the next phase of your life with passion, vigour and courage. Take every opportunity to upgrade and develop yourself. While chasing your dreams, do not forget to be a socially responsible individual and take care of others too.
- Once again, congratulations to all of you. I wish you the very best in your future endeavours.
- Thank you.