Juggling work, family and night classes to earn degree
Mum Angela Goh and rest of pioneer batch of full-time SUSS students graduate
While most parents would be sitting down to help their children with homework, Ms Angela Goh had schoolwork to do as well.
Ms Goh, 37, who took part-time studies at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), received her Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics yesterday at the university's campus in Clementi.
It took her three years of juggling her job at a government enforcement agency, taking care of her family - she has two sons aged eight and 10 and is pregnant with her third, a girl - and attending night classes at the university before she was able to complete the course.
SUSS provides education to adult learners and is known for its flexibility in allowing part-time studies.
Of its 2,268 students who will be conferred their degrees over three days, until tomorrow, only 168 are full-time students.
The pioneering batch of full-time students also received records of their other achievements that showcased their non-academic skills, such as creative thinking and decision-making, and are aimed at boosting their chances of finding work.
President Halimah Yacob was at the ceremony at the university campus yesterday.
SUSS president Cheong Hee Kiat said: "The trio of an academic transcript, an enhanced transcript and an e-portfolio will be a powerful job-prospecting armoury for each student, and one for employers to better size up their prospective employees."
The university also considers prior work experience when taking in new students, exempting them from certain modules, subject to admissions interviews, to shorten their study periods.
This was announced last month for early childhood programmes.
But Professor Cheong said yesterday that the initiative will be extended to human resource management programmes as well.
Senior Minister of State for Education and Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat said at the graduation ceremony: "For Singapore to grow and develop further, we must have a culture which supports continual pursuit of knowledge, innovation and improvements so that we remain globally competitive and socially cohesive in a fast-changing economy."
Ms Goh, who credits her husband for his support, said that prior to her enrolment at SUSS, her highest certification was a polytechnic diploma in marine engineering.
Due to financial reasons at the time, she was not able to further her studies.
"I always tell my children, 'Nothing can beat a hard-working person'. If they work hard now, they will have an easier time in the future," she said.