16 Apr 2020
Second Week of Home Based Learning
We are into our second week of HBL. I have completed a few google meet sessions with SH1 and JH1 NJCians. I am glad that many have found HBL a good experience despite the challenges inherent in blended learning. I thank our teachers for their adaptability, innovation and commitment to ensure that learning continues
NJCians have raised concerns relating to examinations and pace of learning. I have replied that learning is the focus, not examinations. Pace of learning will have to be adjusted based on students’ needs. During this period of HBL, NJCians must develop traits of independent learning and learning how to learn. They need to learn how to listen actively, to take notes as well as make good notes for themselves. They need to learn to ask questions to which teachers can respond to clarify, to elaborate or to explain. Do seize this opportunity to develop yourselves.
To parents of NJCians, thank you for your support and understanding.
Take care and keep healthy.
Ang PC (P/NJC)
30 Mar 2020
Year so Far
2020 started blissfully until the Covid-19 storm descended on us. While we have adjusted well to the changes to our lives, we need to continue to be vigilant and to exercise self-discipline, particularly with regard to keeping ourselves and others safe. More importantly, we must keep our spirits high and not allow this challenge to weigh us down.
Our NJC values of Civility, Altruism, Resilience and Enterprise are relevant in this situation. We need to be civil to one another, to be supporting one another, to be able to take knocks and bounce back and to find innovative ways to keep us engaged in learning.
Let us come together to ride out this storm which will be be with us for some time.
31 Dec 2019
2020 and beyond
We celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2019. As we reminisce the past 50 years, we also look forward to the next 50 years.
These 50 years saw changes that impacted our education system and schools. Indeed, the present is so different that those of us who were in school in the 60s to the late 90s and even the early 2000s will not be able to grasp the changes in our education system and schools. What is consistent and relevant to the changes made is the “laser-focus” on the wellbeing and development of our children. We want our children to grow up to lead a good life, that is, to be able to exercise personal leadership and to always be of service to others.
As educators, we understand and appreciate the challenges faced by our children. We will always be “with” the children in our schools, caring for them and walking with them as they learn and grow. An we will do our best for all children.
May 2020 be a joyous and peaceful year for all.
20 Aug 2019
Prime Minister’s National Day Rally
This morning at assembly, I referenced PM’s National Day Rally on climate change and building on the efforts of the past to secure our future. For our students to grasp the challenges ahead and remaining optimistic, we need to engage them to have a good sense of what they will have to do and how to prepare themselves for the future.
Parents and teachers are important arbiters and influencers and your views and words matter. I encourage parents and teachers to find time to talk with NJCians about the issues which our PM has spoken on. As long as we keep sight of what has to be done, continue to understand the challenges, build our capacity to respond to and anticipate the future, we will be able to thrive.
Service with Honour
26 Jun 2019
Adolescents and Decision Making
I spent the mid-year break catching up on reading, focusing on thinking and decision making. This statement in an article on adolescent decision making caught my attention: “Some adolescents seem to take the view that I have a right to make my own decisions, but you have the responsibility to help me escape the consequences of those decisions whenever those consequences are negative.”
Parents and teachers, I am sure, can immediately identify with the statement and, perhaps, with a wry smile acknowledge that they would have experienced a situation in which they have to deal with negative consequences resulting from the decision making of their children or students.
Engaging adolescents to be responsible decision makers and to take responsibility for the outcomes of their decision making is a challenging task for parents and teachers. Adolescents in their desire to achieve independence often engage in power struggles with parents and authority figures. Therefore, adults must exercise patience and restraint and be compassionate.
Our task at NJC, together with parents, is to help our students to become responsible decision makers so that they will be able to lead themselves and be an example to others.
07 May 2019
50th College Day
We celebrated our 50th College Day on 4 May 2019. I recounted some pioneering innovations of our College:
- The ground-breaking lecture-tutorial pedagogy started 50 years ago;
- The Student Council to give students a larger voice in the College;
- The Youth Leadership Training Camp for students to develop leadership skills;
- The mountaineering expedition to the Himalayas Annapurna range;
- The latest agri-tech research facility.
These efforts are crystallized through the imagination of NJC staff. Through our staff’s effort, we have expanded the opportunities for NJCians to grow and develop. Our heartfelt thanks to our staff for their dedication and commitment.
Service with Honour
10 Apr 2019
Offensive and Hate Speech
I spoke at assembly on the need for NJCians to be cognisant of offensive and hate speech. The bill on hate speech tabled recently at Parliament should be read and discussed so that NJCians will be able to make sense of the necessity of this bill.
Hate speech, concisely defined, is speech that attacks a person or a group on the basis of attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
While we value freedom of expression as a fundamental human right, this right comes with responsibilities and social implications. Inciting and stirring hatred violates basic human values.
With the emergence of social media, multiple platforms for the production, packaging and dissemination of hate speech are available. Therefore, we must be vigilant and clear minded about how we respond to and deal with hate speech.
Service with Honour
25 Feb 2019
GCE A Levels
Every year, anxiety reigns with the release of the GCE A-level results. Inevitably, some students will be elated and some will be disappointed. My advice to students is that as long as they have made the effort, they should be proud of themselves. The results will not determine how well they do in future. What will serve them well is grit and the ability to bounce back.
To my teacher colleagues, I thank them for their concern for and dedication to their students. Like all teachers, they want their students to do well.
To this year’s SH2 NJCians, my advice is stay focused and plan well. Your teachers will be there for you.
15 Feb 2019
Total Defence Day
This morning, Joel Goh read the Total Defence Day message from Dr Ng Eng Hen, our Minister for Defence. Digital Defence was added to the current 5 pillars of Military, Civil, Economic, Social and Psychological Defence. This sixth pillar signals the threat cyber attacks and disinformation pose, and the importance of cyber security.
As young Singaporeans, NJCians must understand and appreciate the rationale and reasons for a total defence framework. We need as a small nation to stand firm on matters of importance, including our sovereignty and our autonomy to determine the future for ourselves. As I have said many times to NJCians, “We do not bully others and we will not let others bully us.”
The six pillars of defence will serve as a bulwark against others bullying us. A collective understanding of these six pillars will enable us to stand together as a nation strong and free.
Service with Honour
14 Jan 2019
Second Week of 2019
Today marks the beginning of the second week of term 1 2019. All of us were gathered at assembly this morning to start week 2. I was heartened by the warm welcome extended by senior NJCians to JH1 NJCians.
I read a letter of thanks from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) for NJC’s donation to support the work that this organisation does for adults with intellectual disability. The donation was raised from Fantasia 2018 from the effort of staff and students. Besides MINDS, donations were made to other community organisations.
As the weather has been less than conducive, I have asked NJCians to ensure that they take care of their personal well being by ensuring that they drink enough water to keep hydration levels high. In addition, NJCians are allowed to wear half-grey from Tuesdays to Fridays, so that they will be able to cope with the warm weather.
Finally, I referred NJCians to the Channel News Asia article on Singapore’s weather and the impact of air conditioners on the environment. All NJCians must therefore make the effort to reduce the generation of heat through overuse of air-conditioning.
Service with Honour