Poly grads reminded to continue learning

At Republic Polytechnic's 13th graduation ceremony yesterday (main photo), valedictorian Nur Nazurah Abdul Rahim (above) encouraged her peers to pursue their passions tirelessly.
At Republic Polytechnic's 13th graduation ceremony yesterday (above), valedictorian Nur Nazurah Abdul Rahim encouraged her peers to pursue their passions tirelessly.ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG
Mr Lee Zheng De is Singapore Polytechnic's 200,000th graduate.
At Republic Polytechnic's 13th graduation ceremony yesterday, valedictorian Nur Nazurah Abdul Rahim (above) encouraged her peers to pursue their passions tirelessly.ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG
At Republic Polytechnic's 13th graduation ceremony yesterday (main photo), valedictorian Nur Nazurah Abdul Rahim (above) encouraged her peers to pursue their passions tirelessly.
Mr Lee Zheng De is Singapore Polytechnic's 200,000th graduate. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLYTECHNIC

Ministers at graduation ceremonies urge students to keep up with rapid changes

Try, fail, try again is the philosophy Mr Lee Zheng De, a 20-year-old graduate of Singapore Polytechnic, has learnt to live by. Mr Lee attempted a number of ventures before he launched Packdat.com, an online travel planner that has created over 5,000 successful itineraries in 16 countries across Asia.

Such an entrepreneurial spirit, as exemplified by Mr Lee, Singapore Polytechnic's 200,000th graduate, was lauded by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean at the institution's 58th graduation ceremony yesterday. More than 5,200 Singapore Polytechnic students graduated this year.

An entrepreneurial mindset and lifelong learning are attributes needed more than ever, he noted, saying: "Rapid technological breakthroughs are fundamentally changing the nature of globalisation and our economy, the work that we do and the skills required."

One way that Singapore Polytechnic helps students develop these qualities is through its entrepreneurship centre, SPiNOFF, which will soon be offering its programme to adults, as well as Singapore Polytechnic's partners across the Asean region.

DPM Teo emphasised the increasing importance of lifelong learning in an economy that is undergoing constant change.

Last year, more than 23,000 individuals took up programmes at the polytechnics to develop the skills that would allow them to stay relevant and productive.

Adaptability and continuous learning was also a theme in Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu's speech at Republic Polytechnic's 13th graduation ceremony. The ceremonies spanning the next six days will involve over 4,700 graduates.

"To stay on top of change, and to reap all the opportunities that are coming our way, what matters most is our willingness to unlearn old routines, pick up new skills and strive for excellence in whatever we do," Ms Fu said yesterday.

In support of the nationwide SkillsFuture movement for life-long learning, Republic Polytechnic has unveiled two new specialist diplomas: in digital content creation for business, and cloud architecting and management.

Valedictorian Nur Nazurah Abdul Rahim, from the School of Technology for the Arts, encouraged her peers to pursue their passions tirelessly in order to succeed.

"At the end of the day you need to push yourself to get what you want. You have to work for it," said the graduate in media production and design.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2018, with the headline 'Poly grads reminded to continue learning'. Print Edition | Subscribe