Overseas Examinations Commission Celebrates Excellence
Island Grill CEO Thalia Lyn has reiterated the need for public-private partnerships to boost education.
Lyn was speaking at the Overseas Examinations Commission (OEC) 'Celebration of Excellence' last Thursday. The event highlighted the 128 years of outstanding service and innovation. Noting the OEC's various accomplishments, Lyn said we must view them in the context of our economic and social realities.
"We know the need that exists within our country and the 'education for all' goal that we aim for in 2015," she said. Lyn, who is chair of the NCB Foundation, noted the body had invested more than $1 billion for scholarships and grants.
"Today, the private sector wields unprecedented influence globally, particularly in developing countries, as a major source of employment, wealth creation and knowledge transfer," she said. "We all have to get together and do this." Lyn revealed the OEC was her first job, and, as a former teacher as well, she knows the significance of education and examinations.
"They are critical, symbiotic functions in any well-designed and productive society," she said. "They serve as validations for knowledge levels for not only resource talent pools, but personal development." She marvelled at the OEC's longevity, while it simultaneously maintained a high level of integrity.
"This is no mean feat and it must be applauded," she said. Lyn noted that as a government agency, persons would argue that the OEC should offer its services for free. But Lyn suggested this was not practical.
"Our Government already shoulders huge responsibilities in educating our young people," she said. "So if it had to administer examinations, it would further put pressure on the fiscal budget." She lauded the OEC for handling its finances well and being profitable.
"They must be highly commended for this because there are a few government agencies that can't make this boast," she said. Lyn encouraged the OEC to perform and deliver with the same excellence of the past 128 years.
"Transformation is essential and institutions that don't exercise a flexible and responsive business model render themselves obsolete," she said.
Chair of the OEC, Professor Neville Ying, said the organisation was built on four core principles: "integrity, reliability, innovation and efficiency", joking that by using the first letters, "Yes, we are an 'IRIE' organisation."
"As a consequence of consistent attention to these pillars, the OEC has gained regional and international respect and recognition over the decades of our operations," he said. "In particular, the confidence held by examining boards for the OEC is perhaps our greatest legacy."