On behalf of everyone at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), NTU President, Professor Bertil Andersson, expressed his deepest condolences on the passing of Professor Lee Sing Kong on Friday. He was 65.
A stalwart of education, the late Professor Lee Sing Kong, dedicated his whole life to the advancement of education and science.
In his initial career as a horticulturalist, Prof Lee played a leading role in the preservation and development of Singapore's national parks and greenery, helping to realise the late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's vision of Singapore as a Garden City.
As an educator, Prof Lee was a widely respected academic who played an instrumental role in advancing Singapore’s teaching education system.
Under his leadership as Director of NIE from 2006 to 2014, Prof Lee rallied the institute and the teaching fraternity to bring Singapore’s education system to greater heights, and to place NIE on the world map. Singapore's success in the global Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings in maths, science and reading and other global league tables are a testament to his contributions.
Mr Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman of the NTU Board of Trustees said, "Sing Kong will be remembered as an exceptional leader of the teaching fraternity and friend by generations of teachers and students. He was passionate about education and learning, and lived life to the fullest. We have lost a very special member of the NTU community. Sing Kong will never be forgotten and will be deeply missed.”
Prof Lee was appointed NTU’s Vice President for Education Strategies after he stepped down from NIE in 2014, and subsequently as Vice President of Alumni and Advancement in August 2015. At NTU, Prof Lee played an important role in leading the development of NTU’s strategies and innovations in curricula, teaching methods and assessment. He was also instrumental in moving NTU into research on higher education learning through the establishment of the Centre for Research and Development in Learning (CRADLE) at the University in 2014. He also initiated fresh efforts to increase the University's outreach to alumni and strengthen donor engagement.
Mr Inderjit Singh, NTU Board of Trustees Member said, “Sing Kong was an exemplary individual in so many aspects of his life and he has touched so many with his passion and enthusiasm. He always showed concern for our alumni's life and work across the globe and listened closely to suggestions for their development. There is no doubt that Sing Kong’s legacy will live on in many people who knew him and were touched by his life in some way.”
Prof Bertil Andersson, NTU President said, “Prof Lee was an inspiring figure who left an indelible mark on Singapore's teaching and higher education. Throughout his remarkable career, he was a dynamic leader who firmly believed in the importance of education. Thousands of teachers and students have benefitted from his contributions to the teaching profession in particular. His dedication to NTU and to NIE and his lifelong passion for education are well known. I extend my most heartfelt condolences to his beloved family and many friends. We will miss him deeply.”
For his outstanding contributions to Singapore and the nation’s teaching education system, Prof Lee received the prestigious Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2011 and the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2004.
He has also been lauded internationally for advancing the teaching profession. Prof Lee was the first Singaporean to receive the Medal for Distinguished Service, the highest honour bestowed by the Teachers College, Columbia University, USA in 2013. Prof Lee was also awarded Vietnam’s Medal of Honour in 2012 for the Cause of Education, in acknowledgement of his contributions in sharing NIE’s best practices on leadership programming and to mark the successful launch of the country's National Training Programme for School Principals.