On 29 April 2017, 26 KLCII graduands of the University of Warwick Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Early Childhood Care and Education stepped on to stage at the Marriott Hotel to receive their degree certificates before their loved ones and into a new phase of their lives as EC educators.
The third batch of preschool principals and teachers, who completed their three-year part-time degree course last year, were all jubilant and chatty as they met their course mates and lecturers at the graduation ceremony.
The Best Student Award went to 53-year-old Sharida Belsha, a Senior Teacher with Preschool for Multiple Ingelligences who had made her career switch seven years ago to join the early childhood education sector.
In the opening address, Ms Marion Wong Wai San, Vice Principal (English programmes) KLCII, applauded the graduates for the hard work and sacrifices throughout their study course, saying they had proven to have the talent and character to succeed and progress further. She also said that, with the highly regarded degree from the top 10 university in the United Kingdom, they were better prepared to more effectively help make a difference for the children they work with.
The graduates also had a dose of guidance and inspiration from Emeritus Professor Dr Carol Aubrey from the Early Childhood Department The University of Warwick, who is also the Co-ordinator of the Warwick undergraduate programme for Singapore. In her address to the students, Dr Aubrey said that education does not stop after graduation. They should pursue their dreams confidently to make a difference to their lives.
“Graduation is not an end, it is a beginning. So what’s next? Well, currently we are in negotiation with KLC to introduce a Master’s programme with a focus EC leadership, innovation and change. Hopefully at least some of you may wish to pursue your studies still further,” she said.
No graduation ceremony is completed without a valedictory speech. For that, Best Student Sharida was given a heart-warming welcome to the stage to speak on behalf of her cohort. She described the study journey as a long and challenging one, as they had to juggle work, studies and family commitment, saying she was grateful to her family for the support and encouragement.
Thanking her family, her lecturers, her employer and the children at her workplace, Sharida concluded her speech with a quote from the book “How to be a great teacher” by Wynn Godbold
“A great teacher is like a fountain she draws from the still deep waters of personal growth and professional knowledge to serve others from her abundant overflow.”