Principal’s Musings

Showing 1 through 10 of 58 principal available.

  • 20 Aug 2019

    Prime Minister’s National Day Rally

    National Day Rally 2019

    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

    Adolescent 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.                Personal Development

  • 07 May 2019

    50th College Day

    50th College Day

    We celebrated our 50th College Day on 4 May 2019.  I recounted some pioneering innovations of our College:

    1. The ground-breaking lecture-tutorial pedagogy started 50 years ago;
    2. The Student Council to give students a larger voice in the College;
    3. The Youth Leadership Training Camp for students to develop leadership skills;
    4. The mountaineering expedition to the Himalayas Annapurna range;
    5. 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

    NJCians must be aware that offensive and hate speech can stir unbridled negative emotions. NJCians must know how to respond to 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

    GCE A-level

    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

    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

    Week 2 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

  • 12 Nov 2018

    2018 Reflections


    2018 passed us by rather quickly. When I speak with NJCians, many felt the same – that 2018 seemed to have disappeared rapidly.

    Before the year end break, I spoke with many NJCians about how they can make best use of the time that they have.  NJCians must invest time to spend with family and friends. Engage in deep conversations and strengthen relationships.

    Another piece of advice I have given to NJCians is for them to walk around old HDB estates with their families. Be keen observers of the sights and sounds of these estates and ask questions about what community means. It is through observations and conversations that we know and understand more about fellow Singaporeans and how they live their lives. More importantly, every NJCian must think about how they can contribute to serving the community, following their observations and conversations.


    What observations could you make?

    Service with Honour


  • 08 Aug 2018

    National Day

    Dear NJCians,

    This morning we had our National Day celebrations. The parade, mass dance and singing of National Day Songs were highlights.  I commend all NJCians who participated in the marching contingents, particularly the students of the various uniformed groups. The Parade Commander and Sargeant Major were excellent.

    In the hall, NJCians sang robustly and enthusiastically the National Day songs.  This was heartwarming.

    On National Day, I encourage NJCians to watch this video and reflect on how to improve our lives as well as the lives of our fellow Singaporeans.

    Service with Honour

  • 15 May 2018

    Mid-Year Reflections

    Dear NJCians,

    The mid-year break is approaching. Many of us would feel that time has passed by rapidly and that we have little time to reflect on the happenings of the last few months. These months were especially busy for staff and students. I attended 6 evening events – Musique, Piano Ensemble, Aristal, cantabile, Etude, Aurora and Jenga. Each event showcased the multitude of talents of NJCians. I missed events held in the day, including various sports and CCA competitions. Nevertheless, I am glad to hear, at morning assembly,  from NJCians including the table tennis team, the climbing team, the research team and many others their stories of endurance and resilience at these competitions. Kudos to all of them.

    I am proud that NJCians have raised funds for charity from Summerice and Funtasia, to mark the start of our 50th Anniversary celebrations. NJCians are living out our College’s motto of “Service with Honour”. We will continue with this endeavour.

    To all NJCians, rest well during the mid-year break. Be with your family and friends. And have good conversations.


    Service with Honour