28 Feb 2020
NMP Walter Theseira’s Speech in Parliament
Occasionally, an outstanding speech is made in parliament. I have encouraged my colleagues to watch on CNA Walter Theseira’s (NMP) speech as it is a good trigger for discussion on economics, social equity and how we should treat and value one another. Parents, you might want to read/watch it with your child and have a conversation thereafter.
22 Jan 2020
I participated in a science fair in Thailand last week and was unable to join all parents at the PTM. I would like to thank all parents for their feedback and suggestions. We will follow up.
The science fair held in Thailand is the 16th edition of the International Schools Science Fair. NJC held the fair twice, in 2009 and 2019. Organising the science fair has helped our students to learn more about other countries as well as develop their leadership skills. The Thai science fair showcased many interesting and exciting research projects by students. The three NJCians each won a best poster award, attesting to their ability as well as the mentorship of their teachers. More importantly, they learned that many countries are focusing their efforts to help improve socio-economic conditions through emphasis on STEM. They also learned that many countries are pushing hard on research to generate innovations and growth.
15 Jan 2020
The upcoming Parent-Teacher (PTM) will be held this Saturday. Please take this opportunity to find out more about your child’s overall development and growth.
Before meeting with teachers, do speak with your child and find out more from him/her how he/she has developed and grown. It is always good for children to be reflective and in turn be able to exercise self-leadership. Knowing and understanding personal growth and development is a critical step towards maturity. I wish all parents a fruitful and joyous Chinese New Year.
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.
24 Dec 2019
Welcome Back – 2020
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
I wrote to you in November on our planning for 2020. We have completed our review and plans to improve teaching and learning. December has been and still is a busy month for our colleagues in administration. The school grounds have been cleaned, thanks to the hardworking cleaning staff.
In addition, all classrooms have new chairs and desks. We have improved the ventilation of the classrooms in 2 blocks by replacing the concrete walls with windows. We are replacing the canteen tables and the seats in LT1, and are painting the facade of the Boarding School. Further improvements will be made in 2020.
Your children will report to school on 6 Jan 2020. The expected attire and appearance of an NJCian is spelt out in the code of conduct in the student handbook. Thank you again for your support. We look forward to seeing your children and wish all a great year ahead.
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.