In 2006, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned him as an example of a second- generation Singaporean who was committed to contributing to the country. Shyam Srinivasan (left) was then about to embark on a three-year course at Oxford University to receive his bachelor's in physics. He planned to return to Singapore to become a teacher.
On July 9 at the National Institute of Education Teachers' Investiture Ceremony held at Nanyang Auditorium, Nanyang Technological University, Mr Srinivasan received the Singapore Association For The Advancement Of Science Prize for Best Performance in the Teaching of Biology or Physics or Chemistry in the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Secondary/Junior College), including a Distinction or Credit in Practicum, which came with a $500 cash prize.
He told tabla!: "I am very honoured to receive the award. It is a real encouragement to me as a new teacher as it affirms that I am heading in the right direction."
The 25-year-old arrived in Singapore from Chennai in December 2000 when he was 13 and became a Singapore citizen in 2006. Mr Srinivasan first studied in Upper Serangoon Secondary School, then Geylang Methodist Secondary School and went on to do his A levels at Victoria Junior College.
Having aced them, he then successfully applied for a government Overseas Merit Scholarship (Teaching). That was how he ended up at Oxford.
Back in Singapore, he did his postgraduate diploma in education at NIE. He was given on-the-job training and taught physics at Marsiling Secondary for three months. He wants to continue teaching there and has been doing so for the past two weeks.
Mr Srinivasan said he opted for a career in education because of his "teachers who were very inspiring and supportive".
He said: "They were the ones who instilled a passion for science in me, and I would like to do the same thing for my students, and provide guidance however I can."
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