Septuagenarian personifies continuous education

Thilliar VarnakulasinghamHundreds of qualifications in seven decades

First of Two Parts

Staff Reporter

In a world that witnesses increasing number of youngsters dropping out of school and struggling with poor literacy and numeracy skills, parents and caregivers should seek inspiration from Indian Newslink Health Columnist Thilliar Varnakulasingham.

Despite fragility that is common to septuagenarians, he has been pursuing education at various levels, acquiring qualifications and expertise in areas that have brought pride and joy not only to the members of his family but also the communities around him.

Lifelong Education acquires its true meaning with this grand man of letters.

Since migrating to New Zealand in 1998, Mr Singham has completed 75 online certificate courses and 55 distance learning and correspondence courses. He is a member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education, which enjoys consultative partner status with UNESCO.

Recent Qualifications

Mr Singham has more qualifications than his age (75), the most recent of which (accorded about four months ago) were Professional Membership (MCIL) of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (London) and the Royal Historical Society (London) and Fellow Charter Educator of the International Council of CCLP Worldwide.

The minimum qualification required to become a Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists of London is usually a degree in English language or a post-graduate qualification acceptable to the Council.

The Royal Historical Society (London) accords membership only to those actively engaged in historical scholarship and research. It is usually open to those who hold a degree in history with a professional involvement such as a teaching role and publication of books or other contributions to scholarship.

The Academic Board mandated by International Council of CCLP Worldwide under the International Treaty signed with Consortium Universities Euro-American selected Mr Singham as a Fellow Chartered Educator for his contribution to Education and Research.

Global recognition

Based on the reference value of his outstanding achievements in education, Marquis Who’s Who selected his biographical profile for inclusion in ‘Who’s Who in the World 2015.’

Mr Singham’s Cambridge University English Teacher Membership gives him unlimited professional development online. He holds two qualifications in the teaching English as a second or foreign language.

He is a member of the World Education Research Association, the International Association of Facilitators and an Advisor Member of the World Association of Technology Teachers.

Besides being a member of the International Shakespeare Association which maintains liaison with UNESCO and other international organisations, he completed a course on ‘Shakespeare and his World’ offered by the University of Warwick.

Mr Singham is also a member of the International Society for Education Through Art, a non-governmental organisation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Fostering values

“Education through art is a natural means of learning at all periods of the development of the individual, fostering values and disciplines essential for full intellectual, emotional and social development of human beings in a community,” Mr Singham said.

Among his many gratifying achievements is the Certificate of Appreciation that he received from Radio Television Brunei in 1993 for his role as the Principal of St Michael’s School based in Seria, Brunei Darussalam. During his stay at the oil-rich Nation, he completed several certified courses in ‘Art of Drawing and Painting,’ ‘Art of Photography,’ ‘World Music,’ ‘Innovation for Powerful Outcomes,’ and ‘Theatre Studies.’

The International Council of Associations for Science Education-Asian Symposium, organized by the Brunei Association for Science Education, was held at the University Brunei Darussalam in 1989. Mr Singham was Assistant Secretary and Editor relating to the event, for which he was honoured with a Certificate of Appreciation.

The country also hosted the International Council on Education for Teaching (World Assembly) 1995. ICET is an international non-government organisation with consultative status with the UNESCO. He was honoured with a Certificate for actively participating in the World Assembly.

Legal expertise

The expertise of Mr Singham extends to the legal field as well. He is an Associate Member of LAWASIA, an international organisation of lawyers’ associations, individual lawyers, judges, legal academics and others. It focuses on the interests and concerns of the legal profession in the Asia Pacific region.

“LAWASIA holds consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, observer status with the World Intellectual Property Organisation and operational status with UNESCO,” Mr Singham said.

Literature & Religion

The Delhi Tamil Sangam honoured him with the title of ‘Senthamil Kalai Semmal (Great Scholar of Tamil Literature) at the ‘International Conference on Developing Tamil,’ held at the Indian Capital in 2008.

He is a member of the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion, an affiliate of the International Association for the History of Religions. He has studied world religions for many years. In his book on ‘Extolling the Glory of Lord Muruga,’ he has cited several examples where science and religion go hand in hand.

His religious articles have been published in international journals. He is also a friend of the ‘Aetherius Society,’ an international scientific spiritual organisation.

“The single greatest aspect of the Society’s teachings is the importance of selfless service to others,” Mr Singham said.

‘Vishwa Dharma Prasaar Yaatra,’ sponsored by the Global Leaders of the Indian Diaspora, honoured him in Auckland in 2003.

Climate Change

Mr Singham has the distinction of having his article on ‘Climate Change,’ published without abridgement in the ‘Carbon Capture Report,’ which is one of the world’s premiere sources of daily news and professional information. The service, provided by the University of Illinois, has subscribers in more than 120 countries.

(To be Continued)

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