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Recognising Our Outstanding Educators and Celebrating NIE’s Milestone Journey

1. Seven outstanding educators received the 2020 President's Award for Teachers (PAT) from President Halimah Yacob, while another six inspiring young educators received the Outstanding Youth in Education Award (OYEA) from Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Education, at the virtual Teachers' Day Celebration and Award Ceremony held on Thursday, 3 September 2020. President Halimah Yacob also unveiled the National Institute of Education (NIE) Nanyang Technological University (NTU) orchid - Papilionanda NIE SG - at the ceremony, in commemoration of NIE's 70th anniversary.

President's Award for Teachers (PAT) 2020

2. The recipients are (not in order of merit):

  • Mdm Shanthi Deenathayalan, Guangyang Primary School;
  • Mdm Wong Bing Sum, Radin Mas Primary School;
  • Miss Yeo Cheng Yong, Fuhua Secondary School;
  • Mdm Ira Wati Bte Sukaimi, Mayflower Secondary School;
  • Mr Tang Yee Fun Francis, Outram Secondary School;
  • Mr Oh Chee Kiat, Institute of Technical Education College East; and
  • Dr Chia Hui Teng, Singapore Polytechnic.

3. The seven recipients excelled in their commitment to develop their students to their fullest potential, and in adopting innovative approaches in their lessons. These educators are lifelong learners and mentors to their peers, inspiring students through their words and deeds. During this COVID-19 period, these educators have continued to support their students by designing innovative online experiences such as gamifying learning, conducting live exercise sessions and providing platforms for students to share their talents. They also reached out to students with additional needs, as well as colleagues and other educators in the fraternity, offering support and collaboration on teaching strategies.

4. The PAT recipients were selected from 17 finalists ( Annex A), by a panel chaired by Ms Lai Wei Lin, Second Permanent Secretary (Education), and Mr Wong Siew Hoong, Director-General of Education. The panel comprised representatives from the COMmunity and PArents in Support of Schools 1 (COMPASS), and Post-Secondary Education Institutions (PSEIs). This year, a total of 13,268 nominations from schools, PSEIs and the public were received for 3,399 educators from 321 schools and institutions.

5. The remaining ten finalists will receive their certificates at institution-level platforms. The PAT recipients will be given the opportunity to participate in an overseas conference cum study trip, as part of their professional development. For PAT finalists, each will receive a professional development grant to attend conferences, seminars and courses, or to purchase resources for professional development. In addition, recipients and finalists will undertake individual or collaborative projects for professional learning and sharing. These projects will enable them to be role models to other teachers as they help drive professional excellence in the fraternity.

Outstanding Youth in Education Award (OYEA) 2020

6. The recipients are (not in order of merit):

  • Ms Yap Zhi Jun Vivienne, Kranji Primary School;
  • Mr Lim Kok Wei Desmond, Oasis Primary School;
  • Ms Anushia-Devi D/O Balachandran, Teck Ghee Primary School;
  • Mr Ang Kok Wee Alex, Northbrooks Secondary School;
  • Mr Koh Han Yeow Shane, River Valley High School and
  • Ms Yong Min Hui Vicki, Swiss Cottage Secondary School.

7. These six young educators, ranging from 28 to 34 years old, have been exceptional in nurturing our students holistically, including cultivating future-ready students with strong problem-solving skills, nurturing resilient students and critical thinkers who are able to empathise with others, and helping students discover the joy of learning. They have also actively worked with other stakeholders and are inspiring role models to other young educators. To support Home-Based Learning (HBL), these teachers employed innovative teaching approaches and online platforms to engage their students in meaningful learning experiences. Some of these approaches include setting up virtual conferences for their students, leveraging online tools to assess their students' learning, and creating opportunities for their students to connect with one another and learn life skills through online clubs and virtual show and tell sessions.

8. The OYEA recipients – selected from 12 finalists (Annex B) – were chosen by a selection panel comprising representatives from the Ministry of Education (MOE), NIE, the National Youth Council, and members of MOE's COMPASS. A total of 4,864 nominations from schools and members of the public were received for 1,309 teachers from 276 schools.

9. Besides honouring the achievements of young educators, OYEA aims to inspire youth to take up teaching as a fulfilling profession. Each OYEA recipient will receive a trophy, citation certificate, and be fully sponsored to attend an overseas professional development programme. After this programme, they will be able to share their professional learning with the education fraternity.

Commemorating NIE's 70th Anniversary

10. The NIE NTU orchid (Annex C), Papilionanda NIE SG, commemorates NIE's 70th anniversary and the institution's lasting impact in nurturing educators in Singapore. This peach orange hybrid bloom stems from the rich heritage of our national flower, Vanda Miss Joaquim. The brush of amethyst in the labellum symbolizes the central role that NIE plays as the heart of education and teachers' professional learning, leading the future of education grounded in values, and built on a strong partnership with MOE, our schools and our global partners. The petals represent NIE's mission to inspire learning, transform teaching and advance research locally and internationally. The orchid, a resilient bloom, represents our Singapore teachers who are quick to adapt to their changing environments and flourish. This Teachers' Day, we celebrate the long-standing professionalism of our educators with the NIE NTU orchid, as a reminder of where our journey begins.

Footnotes
  1. COMPASS was established in December 1998 to advise MOE on strengthening and promoting school-home-community collaboration.
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