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Date [ 2014-02-28, 05:53 ]

Education stalwart Professor Lee Sing Kong hands over the reins to Professor Tan Oon Seng.

Prof Tan Oon Seng, Director NIE (Incoming, 1 July 2014)

(Singapore=Koreanpress) Benjamin Kim = Nanyang Technological University (NTU) today announced the appointment of Professor TanOon Seng, 56, as the new Director of the National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore. Prof Tan will assume the position on July 1, 2014.
Current NIE Director, Professor Lee Sing Kong, 62, will relinquish his appointment on June 30, 2014. This would effectively have him had holding office for more than seven years, beginning from November1, 2006. However, Prof Lee will not entirely disappear from the NTU campus, as he will continue his appointment as professor of biological sciences.
Professor Bertil Andersson revealed, “NTU is proud to have had Prof Lee helm the NIE through these crucial years. Under Prof Lee’s leadership, NIE has achieved an outstanding reputation as a leading teacher educational institution in the world. He has made invaluable contributions and launched many key initiatives that have greatly impacted teacher education in Singapore and abroad.”
Prof Lee had spearheaded the articulation of NIE’s strategic directions since 2006 and guided NIE in achieving its vision of becoming an “Institute of Distinction,” renowned for excellence in teacher education and educational research.

He was also instrumental in establishing the International Alliance of Leading Educational Institutes (IALEI) in August 2007 with seven other world leading educational institutions. As the think tank that will influence the educational sector globally, IALEI draws expertise and research in education to generate ideas, identify trends and serve as a collective voice on important educational matters and thus influence policies and practice in education.
Under his stewardship, NIE took a systematic review of teacher education programmes in partnership with MOE and its schools, using the revised National Curriculum as key guides.

The resulting 21st-century teacher education model was launched in 2009 to develop teachers with the key values, skills and knowledge necessary to function in the 21st-century classroom. The Thinking Teachers framework that crystallises NIE’s unique paradigm of value-based teacher education in the design, delivery and enhancement of NIE programmes and courses, is often cited as a reference point by the international teaching fraternity.  
Prof Lee was instrumental in bringing together top academics from NIE and USA’s Teachers College, Columbia University, to develop a new Master of Arts in Leadership and Educational Change programme, jointly offered by the two institutions. Launched in 2012, this is the first of its kind programme, focused on moulding candidates from Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region and beyond to meet the demands for developing leaders in education with both local and global perspectives.
The NIE also plays an important role in providing educational research and research based-pedagogical curriculum and direction to the Ministry and its schools to transform the teacher preparation system and to ensure it continues to meet changing needs of the educational system.

In tandem with these advancements, Prof Lee saw to a further elaboration of the new pedagogies and transformed NIE’s tutorial rooms on a campus-wide basis, to promote a more conducive and collaborative environment for learning and teaching that would enable the acquisition of 21st century skills.
For his outstanding contributions to Singapore and the nation’s teaching educational system, Prof Lee received the prestigious Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2011. He has also been lauded internationally for advancing the teaching profession.

Prof Lee is the first Singaporean to receive the Medal for Distinguished Service, the highest honour bestowed by the Teachers College, Columbia University, USA last year. Prof Lee was also awarded Vietnam’s Medal of Honour in 2012 for the Cause of Education, in acknowledgement of his contributions in sharing NIE’s best practices on leadership programming and to mark the successful launch of the country's National Training Programme for School Principals.
In a heartfelt message to his NIE colleagues and counterparts, Prof Lee announced, "The best teacher is one who can inspire the heart of every student and, through this, change their lives not only in the classroom but beyond. I wish to thank everyone in the NIE family who had helped lay such a foundation in the heart of every student teacher, such that when they graduate from NIE, they can be the best teachers to their students.

Because of its daring spirit in confronting change and adopting innovations in the process, NIE has been recognised as a leader in several educational initiatives by our international peers."
On his successor, Prof Lee said, "I have known Oon Seng as a dedicated leader whose passion in teacher education knows no bounds. I am confident that he will bring NIE to a new height as an Institute of Distinction."
Prof Andersson continued, “On behalf of NTU, I would like to thank Prof Lee for his passion, dedication, distinguished years of service and his capable leadership as Director, NIE. His relentless passion and drive for education and his contributions to NIE, NTU and Singapore will continue to inspire generations of teachers to come.

”“I am also confident that as the new NIE Director, Prof Tan would build on the excellent foundation laid by his predecessors and bring NIE to greater heights of excellence.”

Prof Lee Sing Kong, Director NIE (Outgoing, 30 June 2014)

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