Middle-aged TP graduates champion lifelong learning
Mr Tan Wee Teck & Mr Chan Chew Seng are still furthering their knowledge
Mr Tan Wee Teck, 56, failed his O-levels in 1978 and could only take a welding course in Geylang Serai Vocational Institute.
Mr Tan said: "I told myself, 'This is not what I want to do in life.' So I went to re-take my O-levels."
Then he enrolled in Victoria School for his A-levels. He chose a science-focused subject combination to realise his dream of becoming a fighter pilot.
But he was tempted to give up after the first lesson.
Coming from Dunman High School, which was a Chinese school then, his English language ability was weak and he could hardly keep up in lessons, let alone understand scientific jargon.
But he pulled through and signed on with the navy after national service.
Mr Tan said: "I met a lot people who were more mature than me, who knew what they wanted to do in life, and they inspired me to further my studies."
After obtaining a Master of Business Administration, he opened his own construction company in 1999.
When his company had legal disputes, he started getting interested in construction law and went on to obtain a master's in construction law and arbitration.
Yesterday, Mr Tan graduated from the advanced diploma in early childhood leadership course from Temasek Polytechnic (TP), and hopes to provide mobile early childhood services in developing countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia.
He said: "You have to keep learning, or society will progress without you. Learning new things and staying engaged is part of the meaning of life.
"I still have many things I want to learn. Right now, I have an interest in horticulture and plants."
Meanwhile, Mr Chan Chew Seng, 56, graduated yesterday with a specialist diploma in business analytics from TP.
The senior information technology (IT) manager said: "The IT industry is always advancing, so I have to upgrade my own knowledge as well."
Mr Chan achieved his first degree at 34, a bachelor's in computer science and management.
He later earned a master's in IT at RMIT University.
He said: "It can be difficult to manage my studies and spending time with my family.
"Sometimes I study in my wife's office at night while she works, and sometimes I take leave from my job to spend time with my parents."