What does it take to be awarded a Public Service Medal? We find out from two recipients.
Contributed By Yeo Zhi Qi
NG YEOW LING:
2011 marks the 17th year that Ng Yeow Ling, the principal of North View Primary School, has been in education. And it has proven a significant year—Ng has been awarded the Public Service Medal (Bronze).
The award recognizes Ng’s dedication and service since he began his career as a teacher in July 1995. The former vice-principal of Millennia Institute shares, “I feel very privileged to be an educator, and this award is more than a personal achievement—it’s an affirmation to all educators out there who have been contributing, day in day out.”
Ng, 42, also coordinates eduNet, a network of professional educators who aspire to impact mainstream education. Among other things, eduNet organizes events that aid educators in improving themselves as leaders.
The father of two boys, Wayne, 15 and Ron, 10, speaks fondly about the annual Teacher Moment, a National Institute of Education initiative he spearheaded in 2009 to rally stories from the public about teachers who have changed their lives. “It is an opportunity to recognize the work of educators and to inspire each other because sometimes the work we do is easily dismissed or forgotten.”
Seeing his Public Service Medal as a testimony of God’s grace and faithfulness in his life, Ng hopes that he will be able make a bigger impact in the lives of his students.
Ever on the go, this principal already has plans for a new project. Titled “Whole Child Partnership,” teachers take on a personalized approach by understanding each student’s uniqueness and paying attention to commonly ignored non-academic aspects, such as social and leadership skills, aesthetics and even spiritual aspects.
Indeed, such is the dedication of educators like Ng who bring Singapore’s level of education to another level.
From resolving quarrels between neighbors to helping the needy to gain assistance, Ivy Teo has never found her voluntary work tiring but takes great pride in solving the wide range of issues that residents face. It is her sacrificial spirit that has won her a Public Service Medal this year.
When Teo is not busy running her furnishings business, the energetic lady is up and about organizing activities for Tampines residents. Having volunteered for 15 years, Teo, who is the Residents Committee Chairman of Tampines Grove RC tells City News that there is nothing more satisfying than being able to help others.
On this, her first Public Service Medal, Teo shares, “I am happy to receive this award. Over the years, I have gained greatly through volunteering. I get to meet many people and have picked up useful skills on how to deal with people in all sorts of different circumstances. I am certain I have received more than I have given. And the Tampines West Community Club staff has been very helpful to me all this time.”
Teo’s days are packed with activities, from organizing big-scale projects such as National Day Dinners to planning potluck sessions for senior citizens, right down to doing house visits at nights. She rarely has a quiet moment of rest. This tight schedule, however, does not diminish the sense of satisfaction she gets whenever an event runs successfully or when she knows she has played a role in providing assistance to families struggling to make ends meet.
When asked why she thinks she has been given this award, Teo chuckles and says, “I have no idea. I have just been doing what I have done for the past 15 years. I love what I am doing and that’s more important.”