SINGAPORE - Singapore's oldest non-profit private education institution, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS), celebrated its 60th anniversary on Saturday night (April 23) with a gala dinner and book launch.
The school, which was first known as the Supervisory and Management Training Association, was established in 1956 to address the training needs of the workforce.
It has since grown its staff strength from just six to over 350, with overseas campuses in Uzbekistan, Malaysia and India.
In a speech as the guest of honour at the dinner, Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob said private educational institutions will always play a role in meeting needs as there is growing demand for tertiary education places.
"The challenge for a private educational institution like MDIS will be to ensure that it continues to uphold high standards and quality of education offered to the students. In this way, it will ensure that there will be a demand for its students in the labour market," she said at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
She also emphasised that the SkillsFuture initiative for lifelong learning is not one specific programme, but a whole new approach.
"It requires Singaporeans to think of learning as something that they have a very strong role to drive themselves instead of just leaving it to the Government and employers. Once we have identified our own niche areas and strengths, this new thinking requires us to put in effort to deepen those skills," she said.
"It applies not just to those who are already in the workforce but also to our students who are still studying as learning has no boundaries and there is no start date or end date."
At the dinner attended by around 800 guests, including faculty, students and alumni, MDIS launched its coat of arms in red white and gold, which includes two lions symbolising courage and strength, and an open book symbolising a culture of lifelong learning.
It also launched a commemorative book, Inspiring Lifelong Learning, The MDIS Story, authored by writer and branding consultant Koh Buck Song.