BY LOW WEI XIANG
THE newest graduate of Singapore's oldest polytechnic met its first graduate yesterday on the first day of Singapore Polytechnic's (SP) graduation ceremony.
The meeting had special meaning because SP, founded in 1954, has become the first polytechnic here to produce 150,000 graduates.
As SP's 150,000th graduate, Mr Kenneth Chen Yixin, 21, received a special memento from its first registered student, 86-year-old Lim Chin Aik.
Mr Lim had held key managerial positions in his 30-year career with Nestle Singapore. He worked another 25 years with other organisations before retiring in 2003 as manager of Seletar Country Club.
He advised Mr Chen, who plans to set up his own business, not to stop furthering his education.
Mr Chen, who studied under a three-year scholarship awarded by SP, said: "One of my dreams is to earn enough to provide a scholarship to SP students like the blessing I had received."
This year, 5,384 graduating students will receive their diplomas over four days, starting yesterday with 496 students from the School of Architecture and the Built Environment.
The guest of honour, Education Minister Ng Eng Hen, praised SP for producing a steady stream of technically skilled labour in Singapore's formative years, keeping up with the economy's shifting demands, and grooming versatile and capable individuals.
He added that the Education Ministry will up the capacity of Singapore's five polytechnics by 20 per cent over the next four years.
It will also help increase collaboration between the polytechnics and industries, and improve upgrading opportunities for polytechnic graduates, he said.
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