Temasek launches million-dollar scheme for poly students to work with Asean peers

Republic Polytechnic students will be working with Cambodian university students to grow fish in flooded padi fields in Cambodia, under a new million-dollar training scheme announced by Temasek Holdings' philanthropic arm on Friday.

Some 150 students from Republic, as well as Nanyang and Singapore Polytechnic, will take part in the programme called the Temasek Foundation Specialists' Community Action and Leadership Exchange (TF SCALE), and take part on hands-on research projects that can benefit people in South-east Asia.

The Singapore students will work with another 150 students from Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam in the inaugural run.

During a four-week exchange in Singapore, the polys each will host 50 Asean students from vocational and technical schools. The 150 Singapore students will later be attached to one of the regional institutions for two weeks to implement the projects.

In the fish project, students will grow gourami fish- a common Cambodian fish stock- in flooded padi fields. "This would supplement the Cambodian rice diet with a source of protein," said Hazman Azri, 20, a Year Three student in Republic Poly's Diploma in Environmental Science programme.

Ms Sin Sopheana, 20 of the Royal University of Phnom Penh came to Singapore for the launch of the programme. "The trees and the neat traffic in Singapore is nice," she said. "I wish we could have that in Cambodia too."

Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Foundation Benedict Cheong said the organisation is committing funds to the programme as it wants to nurture future leaders who are "not just technically work ready" but see themselves as "global citizens of the future".