Mr Muhammad Hafiz Bin Mohamed Johari took on a part-time job as a delivery driver to support himself through his part-time degree studies at Singapore Management University.
“It was incredibly difficult to juggle my studies and work, so I made the tough choice to pull out. I was upset but I knew at the back of my mind that I would pursue my studies later again,” he said.
He gave up his degree dreams in 2009 and joined the Singapore Police Force (SPF).
Today senior investigating officer Staff Sergeant (SSgt) was given another shot at his dream.
“I’m very honoured, and definitely will work hard to repay the trust shown in giving me this sponsorship, and try my best to contribute back to SPF in many more ways,” said the 25-year-old.
SSgt Hafiz wants to pursue an economics degree at the National University of Singapore.
“After my degree, I hope to join the commercial crime department because currently I’ve done the ground work of policing, and learnt the ropes of investigation. I think it would be time for me to take on the challenge to tackle white collar crimes,” said SSgt Hafiz.
SSgt Hafiz is one of the 162 outstanding Home Team officers who received Degree Sponsorship Awards at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) 2013 Home Awards and Degree Sponsorship Presentation Ceremony, on 20 April 2013.
Presenting the officers with the awards, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr S Iswaran said, “This award recognises your contributions to the Home Team, and it is also our investment in your future with us by supporting your upgrading and acquisition of skills and competencies.”
Reiterating the Home Team’s commitment to providing officers with opportunities for professional development and career advancement, Mr Iswaran who is also the Second Minister for Home Affairs revealed that 13 per cent more Home Team officers received the degree sponsorships in 2013 compared to 2012.
SSgt Hafiz received the award under the Home Affairs Learning and Growth Opportunities (HALO) programme.
|Staff Sergeant (SSgt)Muhammad Hafiz Bin Mohamed Johari is one of the 12 outstanding recipients of the Home Affairs Learning and Growth Opportunities (HALO) programme for 2013. PHOTO: Matthew Wong|
HALO fully reimburses recipients for their undergraduate tuition fees at local universities and tuition-related fees as they pursue the course while on a full-pay study leave.
Upon successful completion of the course, they will join the ranks of the Senior Office scheme of service.
Other MHA Degree sponsorship schemes include the Full-Time Degree Sponsorship, Part-Time Degree Sponsorship and 50% Reimbursement scheme.
“These awards recognise your contributions to the Home Team, and it is also our investment in your future with us by supporting your upgrading and acquisition of skills and competencies,” said Minister Iswaran who is also the Second Minister for Trade and Industry.
SSgt Hafiz won praise from Minister Iswaran for excelling in his work and aspiring to serve the nation better by upgrading themselves professionally.
Another exemplary Home Team officer praised by the Minister was Senior Staff Sergeant (SSSgt) Tay Chok Chwee.
Unable to secure a place in the local universities, SSSgt Tay joined CNB in 2001 upon completion of his National Service.
In his 11 years of service, he received several awards for operational excellence and good service.
In recognition of his excellent work, SSSgt Tay can now fulfil his parents’ wishes for him to be a dgree holder.
He is one of the three recipients of the 2013 Full-Time Degree Sponsorship and will take up a full-time Bachelor of Arts course in Sociology at SIM Global.
The Full-Time Degree Sponsorship covers the full course fees or up to S$25,000 annually for an overseas university’s course fees.
105 Home Team officers received the Part-Time Degree Sponsorship, where they will pursue specific degree programmes via SPF’s collaboration with Queensland University of Technology and UniSIM.
42 Home Team Officers also took up the 50% Reimbursement Scheme which reimburses half of the compulsory degree tuition fees upon successful completion of their studies.
|Minister in the Prime Ministers’ Office, Mr S Iswaran congratulates a HOME Awards recipient, and his family members. PHOTO: Matthew Wong|
Soon there will be another pathway for officers to pursue a degree.
Minister Iswaran announced that the Home Affairs Ministry is in the final stages of discussion with the Ministry of Education, the Singapore Institute of Technology and a university in the UK to roll out a new specialised degree in security studies and criminology.
“This new programme will be customised and contextualised to the needs of the safety and security industry in Singapore, and will provide our officers an additional pathway to pursue a full-time degree in an area with direct relevance to their work within the Home Team,” said Minister Iswaran.
The programme is expected to commence by the end of 2013.
“This programme is interesting, and I think it provides a chance for junior officers who want to take degree programmes to take on this degree, so that they can serve SPF in the future with specialised skills in criminology,” said SSgt Hafiz.
In addition to Degree Sponsorship Awards, 48 students were presented with awards to pursue diplomas.
Open to all potential and current local polytechnic students, the Home Merit Award was introduced in 2009 and the Home Study award in 2011.
Since 2009, there have been a total of 156 Home Award recipients.
Home Merit Award recipients will receive up to $20,500 for their polytechnic education annually.
This includes $2,500 for tuition fees, $12,000 for annual allowance, $2,400 for the semestral bonus for passing all modules, with a personal development grant of up to $3,600.
Home Study Award recipients receive up to $12,700 annually for their polytechnic studies - $2,500 for tuition fees, $7,800 for annual allowance and $2,400 for the semestral bonus for passing all modules.
Upon graduation, Home Merit and Study Award recipients will embark on a career with the Home Team with a bond period of four years.
2013 saw a total of 430 applicants for these awards.
“A career with the Home Team promises you the opportunity to learn new skills, to be challenged by new situations, and, above all, to work with other Home Team officers to fulfill our mission of keeping Singapore safe and secure,” said Minister Iswaran.
Click here to find out more about a Home Team career.