By Lim Yuan Xiu
May 6 – anticipation and nervous chatter filled the air at NP’s Convention Centre as graduates awaited the end of their polytechnic journey.
Gracing the opening graduation ceremony, guest of honour, Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Trade and Industry told graduates that while graduation marked the culmination of their efforts, it was “the first step to lifelong learning”.
She encouraged graduates to constantly upgrade themselves and make the most out of the skills training opportunities available to them.
“Continuing education should not be about a mere paper chase, but a gradual process of developing and honing valuable skills, bit by bit, deepening skill sets and eventually mastering it,” said Ms Low.
Stressing the importance of education, Mr Clarence Ti, principal of NP also called on graduates to keep up the spirit of excellence and be “passionate lifelong learners, bighearted persons who serve beyond yourselves, and global-smart professionals who embrace change”.
“Continuing education should not be about a mere paper chase, but a gradual process of developing and honing valuable skills, bit by bit, deepening skill sets and eventually mastering it.”
– Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education
In his speech, he highlighted the example of Marine and Offshore Technology graduate, Wong Tong Jun, a student devoted in his learning and desire to help fellow classmates through peer tutoring. Nominated for the NP Student Character Award, Tong Jun displayed great integrity when he found and returned an envelope containing $30,000 to the police, in December last year.
While Mr Ti offered his felicitations to the graduates for their hard work and efforts, he urged them to always remain humble and appreciative of those who have stood by them.
As a mark of gratitude to parents and lecturers who supported them in their three-year journey, Burhanuddin B Mohamed Ali, 20, Rolls-Royce Gold Medal and Prize winner and valedictorian of the School of Engineering, Aerospace Technology, invited the graduates to rise and take a bow.
He thanked those present and said: “To our beloved parents, whose efforts often go unrecognised, we thank you for your unconditional love, patience and support. You’ve always had faith in us even when the rest of the world may doubt our abilities. You are our motivation and the reason why we are here today.”
Beaming with pride, Burhanuddin’s father, Mr Mohamed Ali, 52, who was amongst the audience said: “I am very proud of his achievements, and how he has developed as an individual.”
Besides presenting diplomas to students from Aerospace Technology and Marine and Offshore Technology, the graduation ceremony also saw the Diploma Gold Medals, Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal, Lee Kuan Yew Awards, Lien Ying Chow Gold Medal and Ngee Ann Kongsi Gold Medal awarded to various winners.