SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday that Singapore needs to prepare students for the future as it makes a critical transition amid a fast changing and uncertain world.
The prime minister was speaking at the launch of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's 50th anniversary dinner on Friday evening.
Mr Lee said the government will strengthen the polytechnic sector to ensure it continues to produce graduates with a wide range of skills which complement workers emerging from other educational pathways.
The prime minister also unveiled the polytechnic's blueprint that will propel the institution into the next 10 years.
Mr Lee noted that the polytechnic has developed in tandem with Singapore's progress.
He said: "Polytechnics in Singapore are a jewel in our educational system. They offer a first rate tertiary education to a large segment of our students. They are high quality, practice-oriented technical training for jobs. They lay a solid academic foundation, especially in technical subjects like Maths and Science, for those who go on to further their studies."
Mr Lee said polytechnic graduates need not see a degree as the only avenue up, adding that they can be proud of their achievements.
He said: "I know they see their time at the polytechnic not as the completion of their education, but as the basis for them to upgrade themselves further, educationally and in their careers. Many of those who do start working, they are highly sought after by employers; 90 per cent secure jobs within six months after graduation."
Mr Lee also welcomed the launch of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's 4th Strategic Plan at the event, which aims to forge closer ties with industries.
Ngee Ann Polytechnic will collaborate with industry partners to create more opportunities for students to work and solve real world problems. The scope for internship placements will also be expanded to include project components.
As part of the new initiatives, polytechnic students will also form multi-disciplinary teams while on attachments.
Jeanne Liew, Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Registrar and Senior Director, said: "So it could be for example engineering and business students coming together, because today’s engineering problems may not just be engineering problems; it could be things like the business model, it could be marketing, it could be also the design of the product. This is really what we mean."
Ngee Ann Polytechnic will also introduce more overseas programmes to broaden students' perspectives. - CNA/jc
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