Singapore Power awards its first poly and ITE scholarship to 21 students

(Left to right) Mr Kwek Jia Chen,19, Ms Nurfadilah Binte Mustaffa,20 and Mr Mohamed Farhan Bin Mohamed Rafi,24. Twenty-one students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnics got help to "power up" their education on Tuesda
(Left to right) Mr Kwek Jia Chen,19, Ms Nurfadilah Binte Mustaffa,20 and Mr Mohamed Farhan Bin Mohamed Rafi,24. Twenty-one students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnics got help to "power up" their education on Tuesday. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Twenty-one students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnics got help to "power up" their education on Tuesday.

They were the pioneer batch of students to receive a scholarship for ITE and poly students launched by Singapore Power (SP), a leading energy utility company.

The scholarship is one of the newest initiatives by the company to develop people to work in the power sector and is awarded to current electrical and mechanical students from the ITE or polytechnics, who have completed their first year of study.

The students are selected based on their academic results, aptitude and passion for power engineering, said SP.

Students in the polytechnics will receive $24,000 over their course of study, while ITE students will get $11,000. They will be required to work in SP for two years after they graduate.

Student Nurfadilah Mustaffa, 19, who will graduate from her Higher Nitec course in electrical engineering in ITE College East in May, is looking forward to working in the power company then.

"People always think that girls cannot do well in engineering, and I want to prove them wrong," she said. The scholarship money will also help cover her transport fees - her family lives in Johor Bahru, and she spends about two hours travelling to school every day.

She is one of seven scholarship recipients from the ITE.

Fellow ITE College East schoolmate, Mohamed Farhan Mohamed Rafi, 24, who will also be graduating soon from his electrical technology Nitec course, said working in SP is a "good starting point" for him.

"I hope to work first, then go and further studies. I don't just want to be a technician. I want to be an engineer eventually," he said.

One of the 13 polytechnic students to receive the scholarship, Kwek Jia Chen, 18, will aim next for the university scholarship given out Singapore Power. "I hope to finish university before I start working at Singapore Power," he said.

Noting that the number of students who pursue engineering courses and join engineering firms have fallen, Mr Wong Kim Yin, SP chief executive, said he hopes the scholarship will help to raise awareness and interest among students.

As the company takes in between 150 and 200 recruits each year, Mr Wong said he hopes that 20 per cent of the new employees will be made up of scholars, with the new scholarship, which is called the Singapore Power Nithiah Nandan Polytechnic and ITE Scholarship after late unionist Nithiah Nandan. This is to honour his contributions to Singapore's power sector and dedication to the lives of workers, said SP.

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