On 18 March 2022, the title of Chevalier des Palmes Académiques was conferred on Mrs Wong Yin Leng, Senior French Teacher, Ministry of Education Language Centre, by H.E. Marc Abensour, Ambassador of France to Singapore. The Palmes Académiques is one of the ministerial orders of the French Republic. It was created in 1808 by Napoléon I under the name of « Officier d’Académie » to recognise individuals for their outstanding service to France in academia. It was replaced in 1955 by the current order of the Palmes Académiques which is conferred by the French Minister of Education.
Mrs Wong was awarded the Public Service Commission Scholarship by the Singapore government in 1979. After graduating with a degree in Language Sciences from the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, she returned to Singapore to teach French at the MOE Language Centre (MOELC). Eventually, she helmed the Department of French and Spanish for seven years, till 2021.
In a career spanning more than 40 years, Mrs Wong was instrumental in developing the French programme at the MOELC. Under her leadership, students were encouraged to go on immersion programmes, both local and overseas including France and other Francophone countries. She kept her students connected to the French community by having them participate in activities with French partners in Singapore, such the Campus France office of the Embassy of France to promote French higher education at the annual MOELC “French Day”, the Alliance Française and the International French School Singapore. Mrs Wong was also responsible for the programme that taught the Chinese language to French students from Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux who joined the Biennial Study-cum-Immersion Programme in Mandarin in association with the MOELC.
For her outstanding achievements, Mrs Wing received Singapore’s prestigious National Day Awards in 2010 and 2014, and the MOELC’s Long Service Award and the Outstanding Contribution Award both in 2019 and the Organisational Excellence Award in 2021.