Members of the SINDA Education Sub-Committee,
STEP Centre Personnel and Award Recipients,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good evening to all of you. It is my pleasure to join you here today at the STEP Appreciation Dinner 2014. This dinner honours the dedicated efforts of all of you—the STEP Centre Principals, the Centre Administrators and tutors—in making a difference in the lives of our students.
Since its inception in 1992, the STEP Programme has focused on nurturing our students and preparing them academically for the future. The programme started with just 3 centres that reached out Primary 4 to Primary 6 classes; now we have 20 centres, managed by 20 Centre Principals, 32 Centre Administrators and over 400 tutors.
STEP reaches out to 3,000 students on average each year, across all primary and secondary levels. To date, over 60,000 students have gone through the programme, many of whom have gone on to become successful individuals.
In 2013, Primary 6 Indian students achieved a significant leap in academic performance. The percentage of Indians who passed Mathematics at PSLE has increased from 73.7% to 79.1% in the last 10 years. Similarly, PSLE students improved from 85.8% to 87.6%.
The performance of our STEP students has also improved with more students having achieved A*s, A’s and better passes in English, Maths and Science at PSLE. O-Level STEP students have also improved, with majority of them having obtaining C6 to B3 grades in the last several years at GCE’O’ levels.
More of our students are also completing their tertiary education, which is key to their upward social mobility. About 94% of students from each academic cohort go on to complete post-secondary education. The number of students graduating from both established local and overseas universities is steadily rising. The success of our STEP students is a reflection of our success and the hard work that each one of you has put in.
While we are heartened and encouraged by our students’ progress, we recognize that there is more that needs to be done. Our eventual goal is to reach and surpass the average national performance levels, as this would mean that are students are well-equipped and capable of realizing their dreams and full potential.
At STEP tuition, we have an entire gamut of educational, mentorship and enrichment offerings that our students can benefit from. We have taken a hard look at these components, and have improved them for the coming years. For example, we will make our class sizes smaller, so that our students can get more personalised attention; we will have more impactful and customised curricula to meet the needs of differentiated learners; we will now offer double science options in addition to the existing double Maths classes. We also wish to make mentorship an integral component of STEP, and will be rolling out plans for this soon. I am confident that such new initiatives will give our students a better foothold in their academic journey and provide them with enhanced overall experience with STEP.
Currently we have brought in two MOE staff into SINDA: Mr Shahul Hameed heads the STEP Division and Ms Ratna Devi heads the Curriculum and Pedagogy Unit. I am confident that their experience and expertise will greatly aid us as we develop our educational programmes further.
Today, 129 of you would be commended for your work at STEP and I take this opportunity to commend each one of you. It is testament to your significant contributions, as many of you have gone the extra mile in making a difference in our students’ education. I meet many of your students at our other SINDA programmes and awards ceremonies, and I know that you have been the cornerstone of their transformation and progress.
I thank each one of you for joining hands with SINDA and being our ambassadors to the larger Indian community. I hope that you will continue to stand with us, as we lead the community towards greater progress and achievements.
Thank you and have a pleasant evening.