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2nd Quarter 2012 Newsletter

Shan (right) and classmates formulating a customised lesson plan for children with special needs

Financial Aid for Students Training to be Care Professionals

Students with a passion for the care sector can now get financial assistance to pursue their education. The Temasek Cares – Healthcare Building Capability Project and Temasek Cares – Special Needs Building Capability Project were established to encourage more students to focus on healthcare and special needs.

Administered by the Agency for Integrated Cares (AIC) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), the programmes offer scholarships to registered nurses and students who intend to pursue careers as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and early-intervention teachers. Under these two projects, Temasek Cares has provided scholarships to 16 students since 2010.

Recipients are chosen based on academic performance, community service and their passion to serve in the sector.

Bamashankari D/O Saseendran (Shan) is one of those who has chosen to work in this field. "I love working with children, equipping and enabling them to succeed in life," explains Shan, who is currently pursuing a diploma in Child Psychology and Early Education at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Through this programme, Shan will acquire practical skills such as curriculum planning and teaching approaches for children with special needs. "With this award, I do not have to be a financial burden to my parents. This way, I can fully direct my focus and attention to my studies."

Given the positive response, Temasek Cares extended its support this year, for both programmes. The additional funding provides for a greater number of study awards for enrolled nurses and individuals specialising in speech therapy.

Biorisk Management Training in Myanmar

Building Biorisk Capability in Southeast Asia

The past decade has witnessed emerging infectious diseases such as SARS, H1N1 and the Avian Influenza - each adversely affecting the lives and economies of those in affected regions. An important first step in containing such outbreaks is to manage laboratory biorisk through safe handling of infectious biological materials in the country first affected by such outbreak.

To strengthen the capability in the regional countries, a joint programme by Temasek Foundation and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory - the Capacity and Capability Building in Laboratory Biorisk Management has been set up since 2010 to impart knowledge on laboratory biorisk management of emerging infectious diseases to professionals from five ASEAN countries. Aimed at building capabilities within the relevant agencies, the programme hopes to strengthen each country's national health development resources in terms of capacity building, surveillance, information sharing, research and training for laboratory biosafety and biosecurity (Biorisk).

The inaugural training programme was held in 2010, where 25 professionals from Laos were trained. This year, 30 laboratory personnel from the health and veterinary agencies in Myanmar were similarly trained in managing biorisks.In the second phase, trainers shortlisted from the first phase will collectively develop a specific Biorisk management programme for their respective institutes in Myanmar. Through the sharing of knowledge and institutionalisation of safe laboratory practices, it is hoped that we will all be better prepared for future emerging diseases.

Emeritus Professor Lam and team observing cockles cultured in a controlled environment

Cultivating Hepatitis-free Shellfish

Many Hepatitis A cases reported in Singapore resulted from the consumption of contaminated food from raw or partially cooked shellfish. When harvested from sewage-contaminated waters, these food sources carry the risk of the Hepatitis A virus.

This 3 year research project funded by the Singapore Millennium Foundation aims to develop a land-based recirculating multi-trophic aquaculture system. Using this system, cockles, filter/substrate feeders which feed on food and fecal wastes from fish, will be reared in the same water as fish.

"By injecting the fish with the Hepatitis A vaccine, we hope that the antibodies developed by the fish will be released to the water through mucus secretion, and circulated to the cockles to provide passive immunity against the virus," explains Professor Lam. "Moreover, since the cockles are farmed in a controlled environment, the risk of these cockles carrying diseases is also reduced."

The success of this project could mean markedly less risk for everyone tucking into their seafood feast.

Young Laotians picking up aspects of English from Lloyd

Sharing IT and English Skills with Young Laotians

In April, 28 selected Temasek Polytechnic students shared their skills in IT and English writing, to 40 individuals in Laos. They were on the Laos Overseas Community Project, co-funded by STEP. Since its inception in 2008, more than 200 youths from Temasek Polytechnic have been provided the opportunity to broaden their horizons - becoming better international citizens while sharing their knowledge with others.

The group spent a week coaching 40 Lao youth on Microsoft Powerpoint and Basic Business Writing. They also took the time to help paint Pheng Heng Primary School, a local elementary school.The rich and meaningful experience is reflected in the thoughts of Lloyd Chang and Persis Chong, final year students who took part in the programme: "

This experience has taught us essential skills we need in the working world, such as communication," shares Lloyd. Adds Persis "Being in Singapore, we are so diverse that we sometimes become insensitive to people from other countries. After the trip, I have learnt to respect and understand more about the culture of others."

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 26 Mar - Nanyang Polytechnic trains 160 Sri Lankans to Lead Country’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training Reform [more]
  • 20 Mar - Temasek Foundation, Singapore and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory collaborate on research training and manpower development programmes in Myanmar [more]
  • 7 Mar - Singapore’s Madrasah Al-Irsyad Partners Indonesia’s Mathla’ul Anwar To Set Up New Global School In West Java [more]

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