Mrs Chan Kwai Foong, became a teacher because her father told her it was a good way to get a free education.
Mrs Chan, 62, said: "My parents were poor so we had subsidies for school.
"My late father told me that my education was all paid for by the government so he wants me to be in the civil service when I grow up."
The Yishun Primary School principal started her teaching career in 1972 and became a principal in 1994 and is retiring at the end of the year.
She believes that education is about teaching values and is glad the system now focuses more on the holistic development of students.
She said: "The way we teach and engage our students now is a really big milestone in education.
"I want kids to enjoy learning and not just have the emphasis placed on the academics."
Mrs Chan plans to take a break but still wants to be part of the ministry.
"If they require me on a freelance basis in the future, I might consider it," she said.
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