Helping students to learn 'beyond the boundaries of school'

Every morning for around two weeks in July, Madam Thong May Teng, 42, spoke to students of Juying Secondary School, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and career aspirations.

She then tried to link them up with industry professionals to deepen their understanding of the fields they were interested in.

This was part of a project she led while on the six-month Leaders in Education Programme, which trains vice-principals before they take over as principals. The project won an award for being the best in the cohort.

Madam Thong , who is going to be the new principal of Anderson Secondary School, said her project aimed to help students "embrace working life".

Yesterday, she was among the 31 Singapore school leaders and four senior educators from Brunei who received their programme certificates at their graduation dinner at The Regent Singapore Hotel.

Education should aim to bring out the best in every child and leaders should look beyond the boundaries of school to improve its programmes, said Acting Minister for Education Ng Chee Meng at the event.

As Singapore moves towards a meritocracy of skills under SkillsFuture, schools have a part to play, he said. SkillsFuture was launched last year to provide Singaporeans with the opportunities to develop to their fullest potential throughout life.

"We can play a part by helping our students understand the importance of lifelong learning from a young age, and giving them many opportunities to pursue their passion and develop their skills," he said.

Two other award winners of the programme were Reverend Father Dr Adrian Augustus Danker, 50, who won the Academy of Principals Prize for Leadership Learning, and valedictorian Shane Kwok, 39. Mr Kwok said: "The challenge for education is to equip students to not only survive, but also to thrive in the future landscape."

This article was first published on October 17, 2015.
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