SINGAPORE: Former President S R Nathan has donated S$129,000 to Republic Polytechnic (RP) to provide financial assistance to needy students who have graduated from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and are now pursuing diploma programmes at RP.
At a luncheon held in his honour at RP on Thursday, he presented the donation to set up the S R Nathan Endowment Fund, which will be used to support bursary awards of S$1,500 each for up to six students per year.
Four students will receive the S R Nathan Education Award this year, up from two last year.
From next year, six students will receive the award each year.
To qualify, a student must be enrolled in a full-time diploma programme at RP, and have graduated from one of the ITE colleges.
The two students who received the award last year are Muhammad Hanafi Bin Halid, a second-year student in the Diploma in Biomedical Electronics at RP's School of Engineering, and Lim Pei Xuan, who is currently in her third year pursuing a Diploma in Hotel and Hospitality Management at RP's School of Hospitality.
Mr Hanafi, who graduated from ITE College West (Dover) in 2007 with Higher NITEC in Electrical Engineering, said: "Previously, I had to work extra hours at my part-time job to support myself and cover my daily expenses.
"With this grant I no longer have to worry about my daily allowance, and can focus on my studies and even participate in various co-curricular activities."
Ms Lim, who graduated from ITE College West (Choa Chu Kang) in 2011 with Higher NITEC in Business Studies (Service Management), said: "This grant allows me to save for my future, as I hope to further my studies when I graduate from Republic Polytechnic."
Yeo Li Pheow, Principal/CEO of Republic Polytechnic, said: "Many ITE graduates who have done well at ITE upgrade their knowledge and skill sets at polytechnics to gain a competitive edge in the industry.
"Some of these students come from financially less-privileged homes.
"The S R Nathan Endowment Fund will help provide support to deserving students who are in need of financial assistance." - CNA/xq
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