SINGAPORE - A Plague presentation ceremony was organised by the Young Sikh Association (Singapore) and the Central Sikh Gurdwara Board at the Colonial@Scotts on Nov 2. The event was held to recognise the academic achievements of young Sikh graduates. An important principle for the event was to engage the graduates and reinstate the need for intellectuals to contribute to the Sikh community and Singaporean society.
A good number of the 41 graduates recognised at the event pursued their degree after spending time in the workforce, while seven completed post-graduate studies. There were also several graduates who began their degree studies after completing their diplomas in local polytechnics.
Mr Jivan Sidhu, 31, who completed a Master of Business Administration programme in Cambridge, mentioned the tough competition among Singaporeans and foreigners. "Arming yourself with specific qualifications to complement your career goals opens up doors and demonstrates to potential employers your willingness to upgrade," added Mr Jivan.
Another graduate Sharanjeet Kaur Dhaliwal, 23, returned home after completing her Bachelor of Business programme at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
"For me, the degree was a natural progression in upgrading myself. The diploma was a stepping stone for me. I knew that I had to develop further if I wanted to compete in the marketplace. I do have plans to do a Master's programme sometime soon," said Ms Sharanjeet.
Minister of State for National Development and Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman was the guest of honour. He said the Government has developed new pathways for Singaporeans to acquire more practice-oriented diplomas and degrees. The Government will also work with industries to promote upgrading the workforce.
"We also want to develop more peaks of excellence for Singaporeans to aim for new types of jobs and not just traditional ones so that they can keep pace with fast-evolving trends in the economy and technology. We will also bring in more value-added industries so that incomes can be reflective of the high skills needed in these industries," he added.
President of the Young Sikh Association Malminderjit Singh acknowledged the importance for Sikhs, like all Singaporeans, to upgrade themselves to stay relevant. He added: "The Sikhs have always been a vibrant group, contributing to Singapore's economy, and we should also leverage on opportunities provided by the Government to upgrade ourselves."
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