Distinguished Science Alumni Awards 2009
SEAH Jiak Choo, PPA(G), PPA(P), PPA(E)
BSc(Hons) 1975 Mathematics
Former Director-General, Ministry of Education
Ms Seah has had a distinguished career in the Education Service spanning 32 years. She joined the Education Service as a teacher in 1977. She taught in Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College, and was Principal of Tanjong Katong Secondary School from 1990-1993. She also held various appointments in MOE, in curriculum planning, testing and assessment, and school supervision. She rose to become the Director of Schools in 2002 and was appointed Director-General of Education on 1 Apr 2004.
Ms Seah has contributed significantly to the advancement of education in Singapore. Today, there are more options and greater flexibility in our school system, accompanied by a more innovative mindset among teachers. As the Director-General of Education, she engendered greater school and teacher ownership and fostered a higher sense of professionalism among the 29,000-strong teaching force. She put in place several innovations that have a lasting impact on Singapore’s education landscape. She led the transformation of lower primary school education through the introduction of the Strategies for Effective Engagement and Development (SEED) programme, which is a ground up approach for teachers to design the most appropriate strategies and programmes to provide students with a more stimulating learning experience. She also played a key role in realising the "Teach Less, Learn More" (TLLM) approach which aimed at teaching better, engaging the learners, building their character and preparing them for life. On the information technology front, she made significant contributions to the development of the Masterplans for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education, which led to the enhancement of teaching using IT tools.
Ms Seah is an advocate of professional and leadership development of teachers, and made significant contributions to the two comprehensive reviews to enhance the recognition of the teaching profession in recent years. She also chaired the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) and was a member of the Institute of Technical Education Board of Governors.
For her contributions to Singapore’s education system, Ms Seah received the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) in 1991, the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 1997 and Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2007.
"You live well when you contribute much."
In recognition of her accomplishments and contributions, the Faculty of Science honours Ms Siah Jiak Choo with the 2009 Distinguished Science Alumnus Award.