16 April 2012 - Speech by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts at the National Infocomm Competition Launch and Awards Ceremony 2012 at La Salle College of The Arts, The Singapore Airlines Theatre
Speech by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts at the National Infocomm Competition Launch and Awards Ceremony 2012 on Monday 16 April 2012, 3.15pm at La Salle College of The Arts, The Singapore Airlines Theatre
Distinguished Partners and Guests,
Parents, Teachers and Students
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. I am pleased to join you at the launch and awards ceremony for the National Infocomm Competition 2012. The National Infocomm Competition, or NIC, is the joint effort of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, or IDA, the Ministry of Education, local schools, Information Technology Standards Committee, Singapore Computer Society and the Singapore Science Centre.
2. Since it began in 2006, NIC has attracted more than 13,000 entries from secondary schools, junior colleges, ITE and polytechnics competing in more than 75 competitions. These competitions have exposed students to programming, mobile application development, networking, games design and creation.
Government is Committed to Further the IT Aspirations of Youths
3. I am pleased that our youths have been provided with opportunities to further their IT aspirations through participation in the NIC. Team Elderguardian from Temasek Polytechnic has earlier shown how creativity and innovative thinking in infocomm can make an impact and improve lives. Stroke sufferers are able to rehabilitate by playing games using the Microsoft Kinect. Another winning project, "Noted' by Hwa Chong Institution serves as a communication platform for teachers and students to keep track of students' results and progress. Our top NIC teams have also visited Silicon Valley in the United States to learn from top companies such as Google and Microsoft. This year's top teams can also look forward to a visit to Silicon Valley.
Launch of new NIC Format
4. To provide even more opportunities for youths to develop their infocomm talents, NIC will feature a revamped format this year. A new category will be introduced for primary school students, and a total of about ten NIC competitions will be organised for all categories to expose students to competitions at the regional and international platforms.
Awards and scholarships to develop infocomm talents
5. IDA will also be conferring 19 students with the inaugural IDA JC Computing Awards. This award encourages students to embark on an exciting infocomm career. It also gives these students a head-start in the infocomm industry, providing them with opportunities to attend local and overseas workshops, as well as go on interesting job attachments.
6. IDA's National Infocomm Scholarship and the Integrated Infocomm Scholarship also offer 'O' level students, 'A' level students and polytechnic students opportunities to pursue tertiary infocomm education. Integrated Infocomm Scholar, Joshua Tan, was a NIC participant and is currently pursuing his diploma in Information Technology at Nanyang Polytechnic. Joshua enjoys opportunities to participate in conferences, dialogue sessions and industry forums which enable him to keep in touch with technologies in the infocomm industry.
7. IDA's scholarships and awards also provide pathways for students with a passion in product innovation. Recently, a tablet called the "i-Slate" was developed in Singapore by the Rice-NTU Institute for Sustainable and Applied Infodynamics. i-Slate is a stripped down version of a tablet and enables technology to be brought to areas where higher priced alternatives are unaffordable. I am told that over the next three years, some 50,000 i-Slate will be used by 10 to 13-year-old pupils in rural classrooms in India, providing teachers and students with a reasonably priced and interactive educational option. I look forward to seeing more of such homegrown product innovations by our infocomm talents in the near future.
Infocomm as a Rewarding and Fulfilling Career Choice
8. There are positive signs for our infocomm graduates in the job industry. Infocomm fresh graduates are highly sought, with more than 90 per cent from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and the Singapore Management University, obtaining employment within six months after completing their final examinations1. The median starting salary of infocomm fresh graduates has also been attractive, and there has been sustained strong demand for jobs in emerging areas such as Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, Mobile Computing and IT Security.
9. To conclude, I would like to encourage all students to participate in the NIC and develop your creativity and infocomm potential with the infocomm awards and scholarships available. My congratulations also go out to all winners, including winners of online contest, "Can't Live Without Tech!".
10. Thank you.
Notes to Editor:
1 MOE 2011 Graduate Employment Survey http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/post-secondary