11 Top Graduates also received prestigious awards for outstanding accomplishments
In Academic year 2019/2020, a total of 13,945 students graduated from ITE. Of these, 679 received Certificates of Merit (COM) for being among the top five per cent of the graduating cohort. In addition, 221 COM holders were awarded Course Medals for topping their respective courses.
ITE also honoured 11 top graduates from the Class of 2020. They received the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal, Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal, The Ngee Ann Kongsi Gold Medal, e2i Gold Medal and IES Engineering Award (Details on these Awards are at ANNEX A).
Transforming Grief to Grit
Tang Yu Alexander is among the 11 top graduates. At a young age of 16, Alexander faced the loss of two loved ones - his father and grandmother. Witnessing how his mother struggled as the sole breadwinner of his household that included his sister, an uncle who has Down Syndrome and a depressed grandfather, he stopped taking an allowance from his mother and began relying on government bursaries for his expenses. The mature youth did not let his grief nor Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affect his studies. Alexander excelled in his Biotechnology course and even represented ITE in the WorldSkills Singapore Competition 2020, in the area of Chemical & Laboratory Technology.
While juggling his school work and activities, he would take turns with his sister to care for their uncle and grandfather. Despite challenging circumstances at home, Alexander still made time to volunteer at community events and deliver meals to the needy. His willingness to serve others is not limited to community service. Alexander aims to be a medical researcher in future, finding cures or therapies for diseases. The Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal recipient has proven that nothing is too difficult to overcome if you put your mind to it.
Fit for the Future
An active and outgoing youth, Siti Nurshamira Bte Sabri enjoys playing sports and attending sports-related events. Her curiosity about sport physicians was piqued when she saw them in action during football matches. Since then, her dream job is to be a sports physician. To bring herself closer to her goal, she chose to take up ITE’s Sport Management course which fittingly combines her interest in sports with her desire to help others with injuries.
With a big heart for the underprivileged, Shamira actively volunteered at community events. Wearing several hats – as a team leader, facilitator and volunteer – she spearheaded various community service initiatives in school. One of her key contributions was leading the distribution of hand sanitisers and face masks to the elderly, bus drivers, cleaners and foreign workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A recipient of The Ngee Ann Kongsi Gold Medal Award, Shamira exemplifies the traits of an all-rounder who can thrive in her studies and volunteering pursuits.
Upskill to Upgrade
As a Business Development Manager in a marine-related industry, Teo Wei Li Willie is involved in the sales and distribution of engine parts and seawater pumps. However, he found it hard to understand catalogues and engine parts. Even though Willie possesses a diploma and degree, his lack of practical and technical know-how in engineering hindered his efficiency at work. This pushed him to search for a suitable course to equip himself with the necessary skills
Willie chose to enrol in ITE’s Continuing Education & Training (CET) Nitec in Technology – Automotive Technology (Light Vehicles). Even though automotive engineering was totally new to him, he was willing to start from scratch and pick up the basics. As he gained new knowledge, he could apply what he learnt in ITE readily in his day job. Now, Willie can decipher service manuals and diagrams without any difficulty. More importantly, the technical skills he acquired allows him to communicate effectively with his mechanics, technicians and engineers during troubleshooting. The ability to provide ideal solutions and technical support for his clients also boosted Willie’s confidence. For being an exemplary model in lifelong learning, Willie received the e2i Gold Medal. His upskilling journey encourages adult learners to constantly upgrade themselves so that they too, can be relevant in their careers.
The full profiles of the top 11 ITE graduates can be found in ANNEX B
Details on Awards for Top ITE Graduates
The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) recognises graduates who have performed well in their courses with a variety of awards.
Top ITE Graduate Awards
1) Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) Gold Medal [3 pax]
Donated in 1999 by the then Senior Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, from the sale of his memoirs, the Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) Gold Medal is awarded to the top ITE graduate of each ITE College, who has excelled in his or her course of study and co-curricular activities, and has made contributions to the community or in enriching College life. He/she will receive the LKY Gold Medal and $600 cash.
2) Tay Eng Soon (TES) Gold Medal [3 pax]
The Tay Eng Soon (TES) Gold Medal was introduced in 1994, following the establishment of the TES Scholarship Fund to promote technical and polytechnic education. The Fund was established in 1993 through donations from companies, individuals and staff of ITE and the polytechnics in memory of the late Dr Tay Eng Soon, former Chairman of ITE, and Minister in-charge of polytechnic and technical education (1988 – 1993).
An outstanding ITE graduate, from each ITE College, who has achieved excellent course performance, participated actively in co-curricular activities and contributed to the wellbeing and development of his or her college, will receive the TES Gold Medal and $600 cash funded by the TES Scholarship Fund.
3) The Ngee Ann Kongsi (TNAK) Gold Medal [3 pax]
The Ngee Ann Kongsi Gold Medals are awarded to the top graduates from ITE College Central, ITE College East and ITE College West, for their outstanding course performance, active participation in co-curricular activities and contributions to the Colleges.
The gold medals, first presented in 2018, are funded by The Ngee Ann Kongsi, a foundation that is actively involved in educational, cultural and welfare activities in Singapore. Kongsi has evolved to become a significant contributor towards the enrichment of Singapore society. The recipient of the award will receive TNAK Gold Medal and $600 cash.
4) e2i Gold Medal [1 pax]
The e2i Gold Medal was introduced in 2016 to promote lifelong learning among adult learners to increase their employability, and to motivate and give recognition to ITE Continuing Education & Training (CET) graduates for their upgrading efforts and achievements. The top ITE CET graduate will receive the e2i Gold Medal and $600 cash, donated by the Employment and Employability Institute.
5) IES Engineering Award [1 pax]
Introduced in 2013, the IES Engineering Award is awarded to a top graduate for outstanding performance in an Engineering course and contributions in Engineeringrelated projects and activities. The IES Engineering Award is sponsored by the Institution of Engineers, Singapore. The top Engineering graduate will receive a Plaque and $600 cash.
The ITE Course Medals are awarded to the top Certificate of Merit graduate in each course. Recipients will receive the Gold, Silver or Bronze Course Medal and a cash quantum of $300, $200 and $100 respectively. Course Medals awards are donated by relevant trade/professional associations and companies.