18.35 Activism - Young Union Leaders
Beyond Lecturing In The Classroom

Mentioned in this year’s Prime Minister National Day Rally, ITEs and polytechnics in Singapore have been named world class institutions, contributing talents to the nation’s workforce. In fact, thanks can and should also be given to the educators, teachers and mentors from these institutions.

Educators & Communicators
Meet Sia Geok Soon, a candid, 34-year-old lecturer in Info-Communications and Technology at ITE Central, and a delegate for youths in the Union of ITE Training Staff (UITS). Union leaders like Geok Soon play the role of educator and communicator not just to these future talents but also to employees working in ITEs in Singapore.
Teaching comes naturally to the lecturer as even in life he enjoys reading journals related to education as a hobby. “I like to try out innovative teaching methodologies in class to help my students learn better.” Trying out new methods is an adventurous attitude he applies to both life and work.

As a steward of the union, he acts as an educator and communicator to his members in UITS. He strives to be neutral and impartial in handling industrial relations issues to management on behalf of the staff at ITE.

Steering Communities & Talents
As a delegate for youths, he had gained a wealth of experience taking part in events like Young NTUC work plan seminars, monthly Young NTUC meetings, dialogue sessions and a leadership programme for executives discussing the educational policy.

He cherished the opportunities he had had from these activities in meeting national leaders, connecting with the Young NTUC team comprising leaders from other industrial unions, crossing hurdles together with his team mates from UITS, etc. He hopes to have more opportunities to communicate with and educate young members in his union

A Sense of Second Skilling
As an educator, Geok Soon feels it is necessary for Singaporeans especially PMEs to attain second skills and acquire the right set of skills both technical and soft that count towards establishing their career portfolios. He enthused: “Our young Singaporeans must possess a strong work ethic, initiative, resilient spirit, a willingness to innovate, and a ‘can-do, can-change and will-learn’ attitude.”

He added: “Singapore should have a powerful skills system that supports the alignment of skills with what the job market needs. The industry has to work closely with polytechnics and ITEs to keep the applied education curriculum and approach relevant.”

With second skills, Singaporeans can even align their passions with their careers. It deftly sums up a the statement that Geok Soon lives by, i.e.: “Enjoy what you are doing; do things that you find meaningful and are passionate about.”