28 Aug 2020

Media Release


“Coming Together, Achieving Together”

798 Students Applauded for their Outstanding Achievements
at the Self-Help Groups’ Joint Tuition Awards Online Ceremony


The Self-Help Groups (SHGs), namely, the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), The Eurasian Association (EA), the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) and Yayasan MENDAKI, applauded 798 well-deserving students for their outstanding achievements in their PSLE, GCE N- and O-level examinations, at an online ceremony held this afternoon, 29 August 2020.


Joint Tuition Award Online Ceremony 2020

for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health.

The ceremony was live-streamed to YouTube and watched by more than 1,500 guests including family members of award recipients, tutors and well-wishers to celebrate the students’ achievements.

In his speech, Guest-of-Honour Minister Masagos said that the SHGs play a critical role in fostering strong bonds across communities, while serving the specific needs of the different ethnic groups, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic. He also commended the tutors in the Collaborative Tuition Programme for working tirelessly to innovate and improve modes of teaching that are suited for virtual learning without compromising on quality. “While things may not return to the pre-COVID ways any time soon, I urge everyone to keep up the spirit of resilience. We need to continue to help one another to thrive in these unprecedented times so that we may emerge from this pandemic stronger and more united than ever,” said the Minister.


Quotes by the Heads of Self-Help Groups

  • Dr Alexius Pereira, President, EA
    “Our Eurasian students have done us proud yet again! Balancing co-curricular activities and hobbies whilst aiming to be the top of their cohorts is no easy feat. I would like to personally congratulate our Youth from the various self-help groups who continue to be a key pillars in our communities and future of our Nation.”


  • Mr Pok Cheng Chong, Executive Director, CDAC
    “It is heartening to see so many students awarded for their good achievement and progress this year. 2020 has been a year of uncertainties. The Self-Help Groups will work together to support our students to overcome the challenges they could be facing in this “new norm” era and help them achieve greater heights.”


  • Mr Anbarasu Rajendran, CEO, SINDA
    “The Joint Tuition Awards has been an excellent platform for all four Self-help Groups to come together, laud our students’ achievements and inspire them towards greater success. We continue to do that this year, albeit virtually. With 181 SINDA recipients in 2020, SINDA is proud to see students in our tutorial programmes remain steadfast in their academic performance. Together with the other SHGs, we remain committed to ensuring that our students achieve their fullest potential, as one Singaporean community.”


  • Mdm Zuraidah Abdullah, CEO, Yayasan MENDAKI
    “We are proud to see the achievements of our Malay/Muslim students at the Joint Tuition Awards. They have worked hard and deserve to be celebrated for their efforts. Together with the other SHGs, we will continue to support our students’ aspirations and education journey through the guidance of capable tutors and the provision of quality education programmes. In these challenging times, we want to reassure the community that we remain committed to supporting our children’s educational needs.”


Student Profiles

GOH mentioned the following four students in his speech. You may contact the respective self-help groups for interview arrangement.


  • Best Overall Student (PSLE Category) – Zackary Bin Mohamad Rizal (Yayasan MENDAKI)

    Zackary Bin Mohamad Rizal started in the Collaborative Tuition Programme in Primary 5. For Zackary, he found it helpful that his tutor would take the effort and personally go through his weaker topics with him during the tuition.

    “During our tuition class, the tutor will also go through the previous topics so we can revise at the same time. I can also understand better in class as we are in a smaller group.

    ”Zackary also attributes his academic success to his friends. Together, they formed an after-school study group to help each other out in their studies. With hard work, determination and a spirit of never giving up, he made improvements of 3 grade jumps for English from D to A and 4 grade jumps in Mathematics from E to A.Zackary also counts his cat Snowy as an inspiration to achieve his goals. An animal lover, he aspires to be a vet or zookeeper in the future.


  • Best Overall Student (NT-Level Category) – Ess Valerie Ann (EA)
    EA’s top student, Ess Valerie Ann, is the recipient of Best Overall Academic Performance for the GCE Normal Technical Level category. Some awards that Ess has received throughout the years include Edusave Award for achievement – Good leadership and Service (EAGLES 2019) and the Edusave – Good progress award. Ess strongly lives by her favourite quote, “There are no short cuts to reach your goal. You will have to do it on your own”. Her belief in herself, hardwork and determination have surely paid off. EA looks forward to many more accomplishments from Ess.


  • Best Overall Student (NA-Level Category) – Saisree D/O Subramaniam (SINDA)
    Saisree D/O Subramaniam enrolled in SINDA’s STEP programme in 2019 at Sengkang Secondary School STEP Centre. Determined to ace her N Level examinations, the then student from CHIJ St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School, was motivated to work hard every day to achieve her goal of gaining entry into the Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP).

    Her resilience and efforts paid off as she improved her grades in both E-Maths and Combined Science and achieved an overall grade that allowed her to enter into the PFP. She attributes her improvements to her tutors who were always supportive and patient with her and made learning difficult topics fun and easy for everyone.Saisree dedicates her achievement to her single mother who has worked tirelessly to take care of her and her two siblings. She is motivated to make her mother proud by having a sustainable job and aspires to join the Singapore Air Force after her studies.


  • Best Overall Student (GCE O-Level Category) – Oon Yi Rou (CDAC )Oon Yi Rou attended tuition at CDAC from Primary 4 to Secondary 4. She scored 10 As in her 2019’s GCE O-Level Examination. She is most satisfied with her big leap in her A-Math results– from a C5 in Secondary 3 to an A1 in the O-Level. Her academic achievement was an outcome of her consistent hard work and determination to excel, as well as the unwavering support from her family and friends. Other than her school teachers who went an extra mile to provide guidance and support, she also credits her good performance to her tutors in her primary and secondary tuition classes. She described the lessons to be “insightful” as she has acquired additional knowledge beyond classroom teachings such as interview and presentation skills; and remembered the values incorporated in the lessons which made her the better person that she is now. From the day she stepped into CDAC as a quiet little girl, she has since blossomed into a confident individual who strives to achieve greater heights in the upcoming stages of her life.