Speech by Second Minister for Education, Dr Mohd Maliki Osman at 4pm Bestari Award Presentation Ceremony

Published Date: 26 November 2021 02:00 PM

News Speeches

Mr Nassar Zain, President of the Malay Youth Literary Association (Empat PM)

Principals and Teachers

Ladies and Gentlemen

Award Recipients

1. A very good morning to all. It is my pleasure to be here with you today at the Empat PM Bestari Award presentation ceremony as we celebrate the achievements of our outstanding students. It is always good to come back and be part of this ceremony as we honour the outstanding achievements of all our award recipients.

2. My heartiest congratulations to our award recipients who have worked very hard to excel academically, made a difference in the community, and demonstrated inspiring leadership towards their peers.

3. Take for example Deanna Erfina Binte Muhamad Dali, a nominee for the Bestari Outstanding Student Award this year. Deanna is very passionate about the built environment, and she emerged as valedictorian in her Higher Nitec Architectural Technology course in ITE. Keen to make a difference in the society, she also set time aside to give back to the community. For instance, I was told she led her class in organising Hari Raya celebrations for the residents at Blossom Seeds, a home for the elderly. Deanna is now pursuing her diploma in Architecture at Singapore Polytechnic.

4. No less impressive is Muhammad Ezekeyle, who has shown grit and resilience in overcoming personal hardships and excelling in his studies. Ezekeyle has also exemplified the spirit of others before self; when he realised his neighbour's house had caught fire, he rushed to aid his neighbours in need. Ezekyle was awarded the Community First Responder Award for his bravery and quick-thinking. Well done Ezekeyle and Deanna!

5. I would also like to commend the long and strong partnership between Empat PM and ITE. This collaboration has spanned almost two decades, and both organisations have provided youths from ITE with opportunities to inculcate values such as lifelong learning, teamwork and caring for others as well as building confidence and resilience amongst the students. I am heartened to hear Project Bestari ITE, or best known as "Project bITE" has reached out to and benefitted over 30,000 students from various races and backgrounds.

6. Empat PM's efforts to develop our youths holistically and empower them to harness their potential to the fullest complements the government's efforts in providing opportunities for our students. One such example is the Review of Opportunities and Pathways in Applied Education that I am leading, together with esteemed representatives from the people, public and private sectors. The Review has been engaging stakeholders and studying how best to support the unique strengths and interests of our students and graduates from ITE and the polytechnics so that they can be equipped with the relevant skills as they embark on their careers subsequently. Through this process, we have consulted around 1,200 stakeholders, including students, alumni, educators and parents on their aspirations for the applied learning sector, and the recommendations will be announced in the coming year.

7. As we continue to enhance the flexibility of our education pathways to suit the unique needs of our students, I hope that many young people like Ezekeyle and Deanna will continue to define success in their own terms and embrace service to our community.

8. My congratulations once again to all the Bestari Award recipients. Many alumni of this award have gone on to achieve greater heights and greater success and return to serve Empat PM and other community organisations. For example, Mr Muhammad Saufi Abdul Rashid, who was the winner of the 2007 Bestari Outstanding Student Award, has been actively involved in Empat PM projects and has made an invaluable contribution to the success of project bITE. Today, he is the Vice President of the Empat PM Management Committee and the Chairman of Project bITE. I hope today's recipients will follow on with this excellent tradition of giving back and continuing to support and serve the community. My greatest appreciation also to the principals, lecturers of ITE, and Empat PM management committee and staff for contributing to the success of this programme. Thank you and I look forward to many more award ceremonies with Empat PM and ITE.

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