SINGAPORE — Two polytechnic students have become the first recipients of the S R Nathan Education Award.
Together with the award, the S R Nathan Endowment Fund was started with a donation of S$129,000 by Mr Nathan to Republic Polytechnic (RP) and aims to help needy students who have graduated from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and are pursuing a diploma at RP.
The fund is used to support bursaries of S$1,500 each for up to six ITE graduates a year.
Set up in 2011, the S R Nathan Education Upliftment Fund has helped students from ITE and other beneficiaries managed by Community Foundation of Singapore, including self-help groups.
“They have progressed, so our idea is to help a few of them. I hope others will do likewise because there must be other students from the ITE who will get a chance to go to poly but cannot afford to do it,” said Mr Nathan.
Mr Muhammad Hanafi bin Halid, a second-year Biomedical Electronics student from RP, told TODAY the award would lessen the burden on his stepfather, who is the sole breadwinner of his family of eight.
“It will really help me concentrate better in my studies. Hopefully I don’t have to spend so much time doing part-time work now,” said Mr Muhammad.
Fellow recipient Lim Pei Xuan said she intends to pursue a degree and the award would definitely help.
“I feel touched that somebody of a high position recognised our efforts and reached out to us,” Ms Lim said.
When asked if the financial assistance would be extended to students at other polytechnics, Mr Nathan said the first priority will be ITE students. “So we hope in the future we can do more, but I can’t promise exactly how,” he said.