Opening more doors with further education
Technical support officer is studying part-time for a diploma
On the day of her final-term test last year, Madam Lina Afiqah Mohd Nor, 29, went into labour.
The technical support officer, who is pursuing a part-time diploma at Singapore Polytechnic's (SP) Professional and Adult Continuing Education (Pace) Academy, said: "I couldn't stop thinking about the test while giving birth. I was so worried I was going to fail the module."
Madam Lina's fears were unfounded as her lecturer arranged for her to take the test from home during confinement after she had her daughter.
Pace Academy offers adult education and training with more than 230 continuing education and training (CET) programmes. These include part-time diplomas, customised courses and short courses. The academy had 24,000 students last year.
SP will be setting up a CET programmes booth for the first time during its Open House, which runsfrom tomorrow to Saturday, from 10am to 6pm. For Madam Lina, who is in the final semester of her 2½-year industrial chemistry and life sciences diploma, the journey to getting an education has been far from smooth.In 2007, she dropped out of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) while pursuing a Higher Nitec in biotechnology to work at a fast-food restaurant.
When she was 21, she decided to return to ITE to pursue the same course.
Said Madam Lina: "I realised I could not go far without a qualification. I wanted to give myself a second chance."
After graduating from ITE, she decided to work as she wanted to ease the financial burden of her parents, who have six children.
She enrolled in SP two years ago under the CET programme and has night classes after work.
Said Madam Lina: "It hasn't been easy juggling school and work, but I am to determined to complete this diploma to open more doors for (myself)."
Dad inspires son by going back to school
Last year, Mr Tneoh Yunn Chung, 46, graduated with his son from Singapore Polytechnic (SP).The production assistant manager obtained a part-time diploma in business practice from Pace Academy at SP after enrolling in 2013.
Mr Tneoh, who was the oldest student in his class, said: "My age was never a concern to me. Not only did I want to stay relevant in the industry, I also wanted to lead by example for my sons."
The father of two boys, aged 18 and 21, said his poor computer skills was the main obstacle he faced going back to school.
Thankfully, he had the help of his elder son, Mr Tneoh Yuan Chen, who taught him how to use the relevant software.
The younger Mr Tneoh, who was pursuing a full-time diploma at SP then, said: "Seeing my dad so motivated and driven inspired me to work harder in school."
Juggling studies and work was tiring for the older Mr Tneoh, who would wake up at 6am to go to work and reach home at 11pm after night classes.
He also spent his weekends doing revision work and projects, graduating with a grade point average of 3.5 and receiving a job promotion shortly after.
He said: "I was determined to do well to show my sons that if I could do it, so could they." - ANG TIAN TIAN