Thanks to Victor’s invitation, I got to attend the 72nd Anniversary dinner of the Singapore Gardening Society held at the Four Seasons Hotel, which was held yesterday. It was a significant event because the occasion marked the society’s start to set up a study grant to help students by providing a source of sponsorship for them to pursue a career in horticulture and related disciplines in Singapore.
This is a much needed and welcomed opportunity because now, it can give passionate individuals a chance to pursue and become properly trained for their future jobs which is instrumental to build up a force that is necessary to help Singapore succeed its aim to be a “City in a Garden”. If I can turn back time, I would have opted to be trained in horticulture or botany.
I think Singapore should also consider providing the relevant undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses again. The local universities now no longer provide relevant undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses and the most nearby place people can do so is to fly to Down Under.
At the mean time, we have the Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE) that was recently set up by the National Parks Board and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency. From the website, CUGE is described to “serve as the lead training provider for all levels of the landscape industry workforce. It uses the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) System to train and certify skills training and facilitate career development in the landscape industry.” Maybe in the future, it may expand its training to provide undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses? I do hope so.
CUGE also does research, but it is more industry oriented. With effect from 1 April 2008, CUGE expanded its roles to include a research arm and efforts will be focussed on the four major areas – urban landscape operations & management, new dimensions of urban greenery, environmental studies & urban ecology and socio-economic studies. More can be read from their website: http://www.cuge.com.sg/