Two JC teachers receive first Outstanding Economics Teacher Award

Winners of the inaugural Outstanding Economics Teacher Award:  Ms Deborah How, head of arts at Hwa Chong Institution (2nd from left) and Mdm Rahimah binte Salim, lead teacher of economics at Anglo-Chinese Junior College (2nd from right).
Winners of the inaugural Outstanding Economics Teacher Award: Ms Deborah How, head of arts at Hwa Chong Institution (2nd from left) and Mdm Rahimah binte Salim, lead teacher of economics at Anglo-Chinese Junior College (2nd from right).ST PHOTO: MARISSA LEE

SINGAPORE - Economics tutors from seven junior colleges were honoured on Thursday (Oct 27) at Singapore's first Outstanding Economics Teacher Award presentation.

Some 130 nominations were received for 33 economics teachers, and two teachers were selected as the overall winners for demonstrating excellence in their field.

Ms Deborah How, head of arts at Hwa Chong Institution, was lauded for her ability to make even the most complicated of ideas tangible and understandable to students, and inspiring their love for learning.

She must be doing a good job because her students are quite enthusiastic about updating her when they see economic concepts play out.

Ms How, who has taught at Hwa Chong for 16 years, shared: "They will text me to say, 'Ms How, the COE (Certificate of Entitlement) quota has been cut, prices will go up and you can't get your new car!'"

Mdm Rahimah binte Salim, the lead teacher of economics at Anglo-Chinese Junior College, was lauded for her acute awareness of students' evolving learning styles, and for guiding fellow teachers to use seminar-style teaching to make learning more interactive.

Mdm Rahimah, who has taught at the school for 32 years, said the award strengthens her passion for teaching economics.

"For me, learning in any context must be meaningful, it must be something students can relate to. So when the cost of obesity was in the news, I brought that into my lectures and tutorials, because there is underlying economics there."

Five other finalists were also recognised for their contributions to teaching.

They are Mr Richard Bong from Nanyang JC; Mrs Chua Siew Hong from Jurong JC; Mdm Saadiah Binte Abdullah from Serangoon JC; Mdm Tan Dai Hwee from Anderson JC; and Mr Tan Kay Song from River Valley High School.

Acting Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng, who presented the awards, said in a speech that it is important to make learning a journey of discovery for students, as this will help them develop an intrinsic motivation to learn and create.

He said: "By giving them (students) the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills to understand and solve real-world issues, it will help them uncover passion, nurture talent, reduce the over-emphasis on academic results and put joy into learning.

The awards were launched by the Economic Society of Singapore (ESS) in August this year, with the support of the Ministry of Education.

The one-day Singapore Economic Policy Forum, held at the Regent hotel, was organised by the ESS and SMU's School of Economics.