Despite starting his career as a primary school teacher in 1965, Mr Jumaat Masdawood went on to study woodwork and metalwork so he could teach such technical skills to secondary school students.
Later, when Singapore needed graduate teachers, Mr Jumaat enrolled at the National University of Singapore at the age of 35.
"It was a little difficult at first after 16 years out of school," he said. "But when you have been teaching for 16 years, you ask yourself, 'Where am I going?' So I answered their appeal for graduate teachers."
His story is one of many featured in the Good Morning 'Cher: Our Schools, Our Teachers, Our Stories exhibition to commemorate 50 years of education.
Organised by the Ministry of Education as part of its SG50 celebrations, it includes stories of pioneer teachers like Mr Jumaat, information about education then and now, as well as school memorabilia.
"The education system has undergone many changes. We have new and innovative programmes, we have created many pathways for our students to develop," Education Minister Heng Swee Keat told reporters at the official launch of the exhibition yesterday.
"But at the same time, the basic principles have not changed. We continue to put a strong emphasis on developing every child to bring out the best in every child. We continue to constantly innovate so that we can have better programmes that can meet the changes in our society and our economy."
The free exhibition will be on from noon to 9pm at Changi City Point today. It will then be held at Westgate from July 24 to 26, Ang Mo Kio Hub from Aug 14 to 16, and Suntec City Mall from Aug 28 to 30.