SINGAPORE: A record number of students were recognised for their academic achievements by self-help groups for the Indian and Malay-Muslim community, SINDA and Mendaki.
The SINDA Excellence Awards honoured more than 460 students from the primary to university levels. Students received awards for excelling in the academic field as well as in the arts and sports.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is Chairman of SINDA’s Board of Trustees, presented the awards.
Also present was SINDA President, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah. She said awards like the one presented by SINDA give students an added motivation.
It is good for them to know that when they excel, when they do well, they're recognised not just by their schools and their families, but by the community as a whole. So I would certainly hope that these awards have been a factor in motivating the students positively," she said.
At the Anugerah Mendaki awards ceremony, 518 students were recognised for their exceptional academic performance. This is the highest number of recipients since the award was first given out in 1982. Last year, it was presented to 499 students.
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim said this reflects the continuing progress of the Malay community in Singapore. "It only goes to show that as long as you put in the effort, we basically work within the system - I think it's all a matter of paying off the hard work that we've put in and one day we will realise that our students can do well. They have demonstrated that it is not impossible for anyone of us to excel no matter where you start," he said.
For the first time in the history of the awards, two graduates of the Workforce Development Agency's Professional Conversion Programme were also recognised with the award. They were lauded for returning back to school for re-skilling.