ITE to get a new head from 2017

The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central Campus in Ang Mo Kio.
The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central Campus in Ang Mo Kio. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will be getting a new head next year (2017). Its current director and chief executive Bruce Poh Geok Huat will be retiring on Feb 2, 2017, after 35 years of service in the public sector, ITE said in a statement on Thursday (Dec 1).

The 61-year-old will be replaced by Madam Low Khah Gek, who is now Deputy Director-General of Education (Schools) and Director of Schools at the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Madam Low, who joined the education service in 1984, has held many senior appointments, and has led initiatives such as the development of Applied Learning Programmes and Learning for Life Programmes in schools, and matching industry and community partners to support schools.

The former principal of Anderson Secondary School and Victoria Junior College also oversaw the implementation of subject-based banding, which allows some flexibility for pupils to take subjects at different levels according to their strengths.

In her previous role as director of MOE's Curriculum Planning and Development Division, Madam Low led the review of curricula at the primary, secondary and pre-university levels. She was also directly involved in the design of the curricula for Crest Secondary School, the first specialised school for Normal (Technical) students.

Mr Poh started his career as an engineer in Hewlett-Packard before joining the Singapore Economic Development Board in 1981. He helped set up Nanyang Polytechnic in 1992 and was its Deputy Principal before taking up his current position at ITE in Feb 2007.

In the last 10 years, Mr Poh has expanded the range of opportunities and programmes for ITE students by strengthening the institute's links with industry and overseas partners.

He oversaw the development of two out of the three ITE College campuses - ITE College West and ITE College Central, which were completed in 2010 and 2012 respectively.

Under his leadership, all three Colleges have modern learning facilities which simulate work environments to provide authentic learning experiences for students.

He also increased the number of courses from 54 in 2007 to 101 today, increasing the number of options and careers available for students to pursue their interests.

In the statement, ITE chairman Bob Tan thanked Mr Poh for his leadership and contributions to "level up Singapore's career and technical education system, enhance the success and value of ITE students and graduates, and raise ITE's quality and profile locally and globally".

"More importantly, his entrenchment of a caring culture among staff and students will remain a cornerstone of ITE education," he said, adding that the ITE Board of Governors welcomes Madam Low who has worked with students of diverse profiles.

Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), Mr Ong Ye Kung, also expressed his appreciation for Mr Poh's service. "Over the last decade, Mr Bruce Poh has been instrumental in driving key changes in ITE, with a focus on equipping students with skills for the workforce, in line with their interests and aptitude.

"This has led the public to view the ITE education model and its graduates in high regard."

He added: "We look forward to working with Madam Low Khah Gek and are confident that she will carry out her new role in ITE with the same level of commitment and dedication as she had done in schools and MOE Headquarters, and continue to build on the good work of Mr Poh."