SINGAPORE: Nurturing talent must be the Malay—Muslim community’s next key phase of ethos to embrace, said Minister—in—charge of Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.
He noted in Parliament on Friday that while there are existing talent development programmes for the community to tap on, there is room to broaden the offerings to a widening talent spectrum and Mendaki is exploring relevant pilot programmes that can do so.
It is also launching a skills centre for learning and upgrading, called SENSE College in Tampines. It will offer students a second chance to obtain qualifications such as ’N’, ’O’ and ’A’ Levels, and setting up its first school—based student care centre in Blangah Rise Primary School.
Programmes at the school will teach students fundamental life skills, and have a dedicated officer to support children with learning disabilities.
He also highlighted examples of young Malay—Muslims who have done well for themselves, adding that he is encouraged by such developments.
He said the film and entertainment company Lucasfilm Singapore had told him about a local student, Nor Azman, who had dabbled in web design and videography and did projects on his own accord.
According to Dr Yaacob, he also went through a Jedi Academy internship amid tough competition. He was a Mendaki award recipient in 2006.
Dr Yaacob said Nor Azman is now with Lucasfilm, armed with a Second Upper Honours NTU degree in Fine Arts — Digital Animation.
Dr Yaacob said: "Nor Azman is one reason why I have asked Mendaki to think of a talent management framework for our community.
"The point I also want to make is that the system — Ping Yi Secondary, Singapore Polytechnic and NTU (the schools Nor Azman attended) — and the employers who offered him internships and assignments, all spurred him on and helped create a talent that Lucasfilm is proud to mention."
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