24 December 2018
Nur Syawalliah Rahmat was a GCE N-Level student who was among the top-performing students of her Normal (Academic) cohort at Bartley Secondary School.
She scored an aggregate of nine points in English language, mathematics and her three best subjects. This score allows her to apply for the Polytechnic Foundation programme — a programme that prepares students for entry into relevant diploma courses.
Syawalliah plans to study psychology at either Temasek or Nanyang Polytechnic and hopes to become a guidance officer. She is inspired by Girls’ Home officer Ms Siti Natashah Mohd Nah, who was in charge of her well-being during her turbulent youth days spent at Singapore Girls’ Home.
Syawalliah had been placed in the Girls’ Home when she was 14 and she remained there for nearly three years, after her stepmother filed a Beyond Parental Control order. Syawalliah attended classes at the Girls’ Home, but later set the goal of returning to a mainstream secondary school. In the second semester of last year, she was accepted by Bartley Secondary. To Syawalliah’s surprise, none of her schoolmates discriminated against her, even after finding out that she had been residing at the Girls’ Home.
Now living with her 45-year-old technician father, Syawalliah said that she has let go of her past anger and called what her stepmother did a blessing in disguise.
Ms Natashah says that she feels proud and happy for her former charge, Syawalliah.
“Now she has a goal. She knows what she wants to do and how she is going to do it,” the Girls’ Home officer said.