Speech by Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry Of Education, at the Nanyang Polytechnic, School of Interactive and Digital Media (SIDM) Graduation Ceremony

Published Date: 03 May 2017 12:00 AM

News Speeches

Ms Jeanne Liew, Principal and CEO, Nanyang Polytechnic,

Mr Freddie Yeo, Chairman, IDM Advisory Committee,

Members of the IDM Advisory Committee, Faculty and Alumni,

Graduands and parents,

Introduction

1. Good morning and congratulations once again. Thank you to Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) for inviting me to join you on this special day. First, allow me to extend my sincere congratulations to the 345 graduands who will be receiving their diplomas from the School of Interactive and Digital Media (IDM) today. Let us put our hands together to congratulate them on reaching the pinnacle of their polytechnic journey.

2. Graduands, this is a significant milestone and also an opportune time to acknowledge and show your appreciation to those who have made this journey possible for you. It takes a village to raise a child; it certainly takes a family to raise a child. It also takes a community to make your polytechnic journey possible and enriching. This day belongs to your family, teachers and friends, as much as it does to you. Let us put our hands together to thank the IDM advisory committee and faculty for their hard work.

3. As this year marks the 25th anniversary of NYP, I would also like to congratulate NYP on 25 wonderful years of commitment to vocational education in Singapore. NYP has come a long way since its establishment in July 1992, and has grown from strength to strength as more than 80,000 full-time students passed through its doors. Graduands, you should feel very proud to be graduating not just from SIDM, but from NYP because it is a quality institution.

Ready for the future

4. For many of you who are starting out in your careers in interactive and digital media, your training in NYP would have armed you with a strong foundation and provided you with a head start. NYP’s strong ties with key industry partners have opened up many opportunities for industry collaborations and learning. The IDM advisory committee has also given strong support and has helped to make sure the curriculum is current to future-proof graduates. As part of your internship experiences, you would have learnt first-hand from industry practitioners and gained a better understanding of your chosen field of work.

5. For some, these learning opportunities have also translated to job offers. One of your peers, Hoon Jie Ling, so impressed the management during her internship stint at Bandai Namco Studio, a leading global publisher and developer of interactive content, that she was offered full-time employment. Her supervisors rated her skills comparable to those of her senior colleagues. This is a reflection of Jie Ling’s skills, as well as the good training provided by NYP.

6. Some of you would also have gone on overseas internships and worked on international projects. Such exposure to international business practices, different cultures and varying market conditions will stand you in good stead in this rapidly changing global economy. The industry-relevant training and international exposure, built on a robust curriculum, will no doubt have readied you to take on future challenges. Go forth and do NYP proud.

Learning for Life

7. While today’s graduation marks an important milestone, learning does not stop here. Getting this diploma is just the beginning of a lifelong journey of learning. To remain relevant and successful in this fast-changing and uncertain global environment, it is important that we continue to learn, to deepen our knowledge, craft and skills, and be adaptable and open-minded.

8. NYP has a vibrant philosophy of lifelong learning. As your principal, Ms Jeanne Liew said, the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP) that leads to a Specialist Diploma in User Experience Design and Management is one of platforms that allows for skills mastery at the workplace.

9. I understand that graduates from the first ELP in Games Development are here with us today to receive their Specialist Diploma in Games Development (Design). I am sure they are ready to share how their experience and the benefits of the SkillsFuture ELP have led them to work and learn under the teachers’ guidance as well as mentors’ advice in the workplace. MOE has been working closely with SkillsFuture Singapore, the polytechnics, including NYP, and the relevant industry partners to specially design and curate the programme, so that polytechnic graduates can have a meaningful work and study programme. Now you can have the best of both worlds – immediately after graduation, you can transit into a position that allows you to continue learning, possibly attain a specialist diploma, and at the same time earn a salary. Every ELP position also comes with a nurturing mentor to ensure the participants have a fruitful experience.

10. One of your seniors, Jessie Tan, was sponsored by her company Neeuro to undertake this ELP. In the course of her study, her company has witnessed the value of the programme. They were impressed at how the programme gave Jessie a deeper understanding of technical knowledge and industry methodologies, which she was able to apply in her daily work. Her strong grounding enabled her to assume leadership roles and contribute to the company. When you have this constant attitude of learning even after you graduate, you can keep yourself relevant and progress in your career.

11. Like Jessie, you may choose to enrol in an ELP after graduation. Beyond ELPs, there are also multiple pathways for you to pursue your aspirations. Some of you may wish to start work to gain relevant experience or do freelance work; others may wish to further your studies. Whichever path you choose, embrace a love for lifelong learning. Consider learning opportunities that resonate with your interests, learning styles and goals. The fact that we have many SIDM students doing NYP proud is because you are in a field that you are most passionate about. Knowing your strengths, interests and talents would help you make an informed decision about your future education or career pathways. When you are guided by passion, you can keep going. Be proactive and deliberate in your learning. It is good to accumulate your learning experiences little by little, and as you stop to review what you have learned, you can consider what other new knowledge you wish to attain and develop in. In today’s rapidly changing world, it is at the junctures of various disciplines that we see innovation. Therefore, do not rule out learning new knowledge and skillsets. Above all, stay curious and enjoy the learning journey!

Making a positive impact

12. As you look forward to making your mark in your careers or furthering your studies, I also hope that you will seek opportunities to give back and contribute to the community. It is important to look beyond ourselves, our personal gains and ambitions. Often, what withstands the test of time is not your individual successes, but the positive impact that you have made in the lives of others. As you seek mastery in your respective areas of expertise, I hope that you will also take time to be a source of positivity for those around you, no matter how big or small. It is in giving that you receive. You are well-placed to contribute your skills and multiply the impact on others. Do not underestimate your ability to make good change for others. For instance, you can be a mentor to your juniors in school, volunteer in your community, or lend a hand to those in need.

13. This year’s Lee Hsien Loong Award recipient, Rebecca Lou, is someone who has made an effort to contribute to the community. She has not only consistently performed well in school, but also volunteered her time with digital media efforts for Sengkang West Constituency and assisted in the publicity of grassroots events. Similarly, another student, Joyce Tan, contributed by participating in environmental conservation efforts and befriending the elderly in community events. Her internship at the Muscular Dystrophy Association has brought joy to others in a very real, tangible and meaningful way. I hope that all of you can set aside some time to give back to society. The positive energy that you get back when you put a smile on someone’s face is life-changing.

Conclusion

14. Once again, congratulations on this momentous occasion, and I wish all of you the very best as you expand your horizons and explore uncharted waters. Armed with your deep skills, curiosity and generosity of spirit, you can be assured of an exciting journey ahead. We are sure you will make Singapore proud.

15. Thank you for allowing me to celebrate this significant occasion with you today, and have a wonderful time of celebration with your family, teachers and friends.

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