It gives me great pleasure to join you at 4PM’s Bestari Award presentation ceremony for outstanding Malay/Muslim students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

ITE- 4PM Partnership

ITE and 4PM have been working closely for more than a decade, developing the potential of many ITE students. One exemplary product of their partnership is the Project Bestari ITE, or bITE. bITE enhances the learning of our ITE students through their participation in service-learning projects in the community. Under the ambit of this project, ITE students have the opportunity to reach out to the under-privileged in our society. For example, 65 students from ITE College West participated in the Ramadan on Wheels project earlier this year. The students adopted 18 elderly families for a period of 6-months, during which they delivered food to the families’ homes monthly and took the opportunity to befriend them.

ITE also engages students of all races through developmental programmes such as camps, workshops and talks. These programmes help to develop life skills in our students, and encourage them to give back and share what they have with the community. I am happy to share that over the past 10 years, bITE has benefitted more than 24,000 ITE students.

In 2010, ITE and 4PM also launched a pilot mentoring programme called FRENZ, to guide and inspire students of all races to excel in their studies. In 2014, this collaboration has been enhanced to provide holistic support for all students. Participating students will benefit not only from academic support, but also socio-emotional and skills development support. They can look forward to fun outings and camps, as well as mentoring sessions.

ASPIRE

Such collaboration supports what the Applied Study in Polytechnic and ITE Review, or ASPIRE, aims to achieve – to develop the potential of every student and provide opportunities for them to achieve their fullest potential. The ASPIRE Committee recommends the provision of more of such developmental programmes, to strengthen students’ leadership, character and resilience, and equip them with life skills that will be critical to their success not just in school, but also in life and in their future. ITE and 4PM have set a good example, and I hope to see similar collaborations between our education institutions and community organisations, because we want to develop all students to realise their potential like the 45 award recipients here today.

Success Stories

Congratulations to all 45 of you. Today, we recognise and celebrate your achievements. Let me just give one example. Khairunnisa Bte Abdul Ghani was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was younger, but this did not stop her from excelling in school. With hard work and determination, she did well in her course and graduated with a perfect GPA of 4.0 in the Nitec course in Asian Culinary Arts at ITE College West. While studying at ITE, Khairunnisa also served in the Student Council and actively participated in community projects. I applaud her tenacity and passion to serve, and wish her all the best in her career.

I am also delighted to see past Bestari Award winners returning to volunteer with 4PM as a way of giving back to the community. One such person is Ms Zulayqha Zulkifli, who was the recipient of the Outstanding Bestari Award last year. Soon after receiving the award, she became a 4PM mentor at ITE College East, among her other contributions. I also understand that she is the vice-chairman of the event today. To our Bestari Award recipients today, I hope Ms Zulayqha will inspire you to do the same in giving back to the community and society.

Conclusion

Last but not least, I would like to extend my utmost appreciation to the principals, lecturers and 4PM’s management committee and staff for your efforts in shaping our award recipients into who they are today. Your love and concern for these students have contributed to their success. I also would like to congratulate parents, many of whom are here with us today, for the way that you have encouraged your children and urged them to be the best that they can be. With that, thank you and congratulations again to the award recipients.