Monday, 11 January 2016

Edusave awards for poly students too

MOE extends Edusave to polytechnics, introduces award for non-academic excellence at polys and ITE
By Samantha Boh, The Sunday Times, 10 Jan 2016

Polytechnic students will be eligible for Edusave awards from next year.

Two categories - the Edusave Merit Bursary and Edusave Good Progress Award - will be extended to polytechnics.

Also, a new Edusave Skills Award will be introduced next year for polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) to recognise non-academic excellence, including achievements at conferences and competitions.

Acting Minister of Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung, who made the announcement at an Edusave award ceremony at North View Primary School in Yishun yesterday, said poly students should be recognised with Edusave awards.

"They have also worked hard, achieved good results and made progress," he said.

Before this, the Edusave awards covered only primary and secondary schools, junior colleges and ITE.

The new Edusave Skills Award for polys and ITE will be given to 3,500 students every year.

The extension of the two awards and the new award will cost the Ministry of Education (MOE) up to $9 million yearly.

Since the Edusave award scheme was introduced in 1993, about 2.2 million awards have been given out.

This year, the MOE will hand out about 120,000 awards.

Mr Ong said the new Edusave Skills Award is timely as Singapore has embarked on a SkillsFuture movement to encourage students and working adults to deepen their skills. He said the new Edusave Skills Award will further encourage students to master skills.

Mr Dickson Ng, 20, who is doing an accountancy diploma at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said the Edusave Awards are a further incentive to do well: "It is nice to know we are being included, that we are part of the conversation as Singapore changes its education landscape."

Yesterday, about 600 students in Ang Mo Kio GRC's Teck Ghee ward received Citizens' Consultative Committee bursary awards during a ceremony at Townsville Primary School. Secondary 1 student Nur Qysteena Dylalia Osman, 13, of Deyi Secondary, said the award will help her family with her school fees, stationery and phone bills.

Their MP, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, urged them to give back to society when they graduate.

"This bursary is a little bit of a help we can give you, to buy your school uniforms or textbooks or the necessary stationery for the year," he said. "Treat it also as an encouragement to work hard, do well, and do even better."

Additional reporting by Walter Sim

Edusave award recipient overcomes setbacks
By Rachel Au-Yong, The Straits Times, 11 Jan 2016

Ryan Sen Rajagopal failed his PSLE on his first try, but the Secondary 4 Normal (Technical) student has since topped his cohort twice, including last year.

For his hard work, the 17-year-old Chong Boon Secondary student was among 825 students in Ang Mo Kio GRC's Teck Ghee Ward to receive Edusave awards from their MP, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, yesterday.

Ranging from $100 to $500, the awards recognise students' achievements in academic work, co-curricular activities (CCAs) or character.

PM Lee noted that Ryan was a consistent performer who showed himself to be a capable leader, as monitor and also class chairman. He also represented his school in multimedia competitions.

Asked for the secret to his success, Ryan said: "Work hard, focus, and don't overthink things."

His academic improvement did not come overnight. Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at age four, he did not do well in his Secondary 1 exams as he did not feel motivated.

"But the next year, I really wanted to prove to my parents and teachers that anything was possible," he said.

With his parents' encouragement, Ryan went on to top his batch in the Secondary 2 and Secondary 3 exams. His next challenge is the N levels this year. He hopes to do well and pursue business-related courses at the Institute of Technical Education next year.

Congratulations to all those who received Teck Ghee CCC Bursary and Edusave Awards this weekend! Was happy to meet the...
Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday, January 10, 2016

Yesterday, PM Lee urged students to work hard, but also to look out for their classmates and pursue their passions, too.

"Study and do well, but also go beyond your studies to play your part. Care for your schoolmates so that you learn, share and prepare for your future, and lead others to do well, for all of us," he said.

PM Lee also met several award recipients. Upon discovering that Cassidy Tan, 12, who received three awards for her academic achievements and leadership skills, was enrolled in his alma mater National Junior College, PM Lee quipped: "That's a good school."

He also encouraged Raffles Institution student Jordan Tan, 12, to participate in more mathematics competitions. Jordan said he was grateful for the advice, but added: "I would have to think about it, as I would like to try new CCAs too."

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