Ex-teacher a firm believer in lifelong learning

Ms Hafizah is pursuing a master's in applied psychology and hopes to be an education psychologist after she graduates.
Ms Hafizah is pursuing a master's in applied psychology and hopes to be an education psychologist after she graduates.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Looking to make a mid-career switch, former teacher Noor Hafizah Wahianuar took up a master's degree course in applied psychology at the National Institute of Education two years ago.

The former English and mathematics teacher, who left CHIJ Katong Convent in December 2015 after more than five years there, plans to keep upgrading herself.

"I've always felt lifelong learning is important. It is definitely important to upgrade to keep myself and my skills relevant in the field I am working in. I would say the same of some of my peers.

"However, some are still hesitant as they cannot afford the time to upgrade their skills due to personal and job commitments," she added.

The 30-year-old's SkillsFuture Credit of $500 went towards paying her fees, which are estimated to be $32,000.

Ms Hafizah is one of more than 126,000 Singaporeans aged 25 and older who utilised the SkillsFuture Credit last year.

Some tapped it to upgrade their job skills or prepare for a career change, while others used it to try out new interests.

Ms Hafizah said: "I think most people are either unaware of the scheme or are not sure of the types of courses that they can use the credits for. Perhaps with more information and accessibility to the scheme, more will start to use it."

She hopes to pursue a career as an education psychologist after graduating this year. "I want to be able to give more specific support for teachers and students, especially those with special learning needs," she said.

Calvin Yang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2017, with the headline 'Ex-teacher a firm believer in lifelong learning'. Print Edition | Subscribe