7 November 2012 - Speech by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Communications and Information & Education at the Youth Infocomm Day on Wednesday, 7 November 2012, 12.30 pm, F1 Pit Building
Speech by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Communications and Information & Education at the Youth Infocomm Day on Wednesday, 7 November 2012, 12.30 pm, F1 Pit Building
Parents, Teachers and students
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. It is my pleasure to join you here today at the Youth Infocomm Day. I am heartened to see such enthusiasm and excitement in our students as they gather to present their infocomm projects, share experiences, and interact with leaders in the local ICT industry. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the teachers, sponsors and partners for your kind support in preparing the students for this event and making it memorable for them.
Infocomm Promotes Creativity and Innovation
2. This year's National Infocomm Club Awards, or NICA (pronounced as N-I-C-A) for short, themed "Learning with ICT", attracted 144 entries from 52 schools. The entries, ranging from mobile applications and interactive games to flash animations and electronic books, showcase creative and innovative ideas of our young infocomm talents.
3. An exceptional entry is Dunman High School's "Catan Lab" - an Android application developed by five members, which enables students to watch videos of live chemistry experiments and learn about qualitative analysis anywhere, anytime. Another entry is White Sands Primary School's "The Adventures of Hopi and his Grandpa" – a role-playing game on the Windows platform where students can have fun solving problems while learning about the importance of caring for the elderly. The team of 3 members was inspired to develop this game after learning about the importance of respecting and caring for the elderly in their social studies lessons.
4. I understand that Infocomm Clubs at various schools have also come up with good projects, with a number of these projects winning prestigious awards. For example, Crescent Girls' School's innovative project "H3" clinched the Gold Award in the 2012 Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) Awards. What is "H3"? It represents "Healthy, Hale, and Hearty'" and is a user-friendly healthcare mobile application by a group of 3 students that aims to provide personalised health management. Another entry by Hwa Chong Institution showed us how learning traditional Chinese can be fun through a mobile application developed on the Windows platform. The project won first place in the Junior College category of the Splash Awards organised by the Singapore Computer Society earlier this year. I am confident that more of our young infocomm talents will create useful and innovative products and be recognised at national award platforms.
Growth of Student Infocomm Community
5. I am happy to share that since the infocomm clubs programme started in 2005, the student infocomm community has grown to 25,000 members currently! There has also been a steady increase in the number of Infocomm Clubs, to about 280 today!
6. Today, I would also like to congratulate 22 students who will be appointed as Youth Infocomm Ambassadors. Besides developing infocomm skills, these ambassadors will join about 100 Ambassadors to promote infocomm and organise infocomm events. Our newly appointed ambassadors will also take on the role of cyber guides to impart their infocomm skills to senior citizens.
Infocomm as a Rewarding and Fulfilling Career Choice
7. Beyond pursing infocomm excellence in schools, infocomm can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice. According to MOE's 2011 Graduate Employment Survey, infocomm graduates are highly sought after, with more than 90 per cent obtaining employment within six months of completing their final examinations1. The median starting salaries of infocomm graduates are also among the highest.
8. Young infocomm entrepreneurs are also doing well. Mr Darius Cheung, 31 year–old, started tenCube - a mobile security firm, immediately after graduation from university. Just two years ago, TenCube was successfully sold to McAfee - an international security juggernaut. Recently, Darius launched "BillPin", a mobile application that helps to keep track of shared bills among friends. We wish Darius all the very best for his new venture.
Benefits from Inter-Agency Collaborations
9. The Government is committed to forge strong collaborations with industry partners and schools to develop infocomm talents in Singapore. Students from the primary level to tertiary level are provided ample opportunities to acquire infocomm skills and be exposed to Singapore's infocomm industry. Through inter-agency collaborations, students can benefit from programmes and awards ranging from IT Exposed, Computer Science Reloaded and the JC Computing Award for pre-tertiary students; to the Integrated Infocomm Scholarship (IIS) and the National Infocomm Scholarship (NIS) for tertiary students.
10. I am pleased to learn that one of our NIS scholars, Kevin Chia, is enjoying a fruitful infocomm journey. Kevin, whose passion for infocomm was ignited at the age of five, was sponsored under the scholarship to attend a Bachelors of Science programme in Information Systems Management in Singapore Management University and later on, to attend a Masters programme in Information Technology at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, in the United States. Kevin completed his studies in 2009, and now works as a consultant in IBM Global Business Services. Sharing his passion for infocomm with our younger generation, Kevin recently took on the responsibility of mentoring young talents to improve their infocomm skills and knowledge. He has shared that mentoring his juniors has brought him an immense sense of achievement.
11. Like Kevin, I believe you share a strong passion for infocomm. I urge you to pursue your interests and participate in the various infocomm programmes and award schemes available. I also encourage you to share your infocomm skills and knowledge with friends and family members so that your loved ones can reap the benefits of infocomm.
12. I wish everyone a fruitful Youth Infocomm Day, and I look forward to learn more about the interesting projects you have submitted.
13. Thank you.
Note to Editor
1 MOE 2011 Graduate Employment Survey: www.moe.gov.sg/education/post-secondary