Because no child should sacrifice their future.
For the longest time, my aspiration was to be a teacher.
Not like ABC 123 to primary school kids (I don't have anything against them of course) but I always saw myself as the young, hip, chio (HAHA) teacher who would be able to reach out to youths and make an impact on their lives. I'd say more like an educator (?) of life lessons rather than a teacher of differentiation and integration and why tsunamis happen - though I have to admit I had a lot of fun teaching that to my Secondary 3 kids.
And so, I spent the most part of my younger days doing a lot of teaching. From volunteering at halfway houses for teenage girls to long-term relief teaching stints at junior colleges and secondary schools - both the elite independent schools and the normal tech stream at neighbourhood schools, I am glad this part of my life happened.
(It feels pretty strange though that 30% of my friends on Facebook are my ex-students who have graduated, buying their first homes and all while here I am, still wondering if I should straighten or curl my hair every morning lol.)
(Just the other day I had an ex-student emailing me about my laser treatments and I was like :scream: you stalker kids!!! even though he should be 24 or 25 now? Hahaha. And major ego boost whenever he tells me as he remembers me as the pretty teacher with the long rebonded hair in his JC :raising_hand:)
So anyway, yes I still refer to all of them as my kids and those years spent connecting with them are memories I hold close to my heart. Even those xiao bengs who took a VERY long time to warm up to me cause they hate all 'chers right, but when they eventually did, it's heartwarming to know that I've became much more to them than just the
woman chiobu they saw every day in the classroom. I feel like a mother please. Now I give people advice on how to select their BTOs okay!
Every year when MOE releases their recruitment or teachers' day videos.. I absolutely cannot I tell you. Especially those bad-boys-turned-good stories? I end up bawling my eyes out and going to MOE's website wanting to submit my application haha.
This morning, someone shared with me this video about NTUC Income OrangeAid’s Future Development Programme:
Cried until eyes swollen.
But at least there's a happy ending to this story.
Today, NTUC Income announced that it will commit $2.5 million to help needy students studying in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnics. The latest Future Development Programme will offer 1,000 bursaries over three years to students from low-income families who are likely to forego tertiary education in favour of entering the workforce to support their families. The bursaries will provide students from polytechnics $3,000 annually; while those from ITE will receive $1,800 a year. Beyond helping with their school fees, the bursary funding is designed to assist with the living expenses of these students so that they have more time to concentrate on their education. Besides bursary funding, NTUC Income will offer financial literacy lessons, personal and career development, as well as provide work opportunities for these students.
This film's based on a true story and I have seen quite a few of such cases during my teaching years (which isn't VERY LONG as compared to those who are bonded) and I really hope this programme reaches out to more students who are likely to drop out of school to support their families and create a better future for them.
Because no child should ever have to sacrifice their future.
More about the Future Development Programme & NTUC Income OrangeAid here.