Principal’s Musings

Showing 31 through 40 of 83 principal available.

  • 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

  • 09 Apr 2018

    A Singaporean Love Story

    This morning I spoke with all of you about a uniquely Singaporean love story of Mr Koh and Ms Meena. I briefly summarised the story and made two points.

    The first is of enduring love between two persons of different religions and race. They exemplify the best of Singaporeans.

    The second is Mr Koh adding value to the life of Ms Meena and her children. The gratitude the children have for Mr Koh is deep and palpable.

    Do read the article at

    It is a truly moving story.
















    Service with Honour

  • 21 Mar 2018

    Straits Times Articles

    Dear NJCians,

    Two articles in the Straits Times, one on treating university students as customers and the other on “what’s more difficult: humanities and maths?” raised pertinent issues confronting education. These articles were published on Monday 19 March and Tuesday 20 March respectively.

    The first article warned us about the consequences (intended on unintended) of a “customer-centric” approach to educating our young. Universities run the risk of becoming a “shopping mall” where learning is treated as secondary. The second article argues for a rounded education – one that embraces both STEM and the Humanities.

    I urge NJCians to read these articles.


    Service with Honour

  • 16 Mar 2018

    NJC’s Parents in Action

    Dear NJCians,

    On Monday 13 March, NJC staff were treated to a lunch specially prepared by our Parents in Action. Parents cooked much of the food. We are deeply appreciative of this gesture.   Together, parents and staff of NJC create strong relationships to see to the growth and development of NJCians.  We work together to see beyond test scores and to understand NJCians’ unique strengths, interests and talents. As I have said many times to NJCians – 20 years ahead you will be the persons we will all be proud of.

    Service with Honour

  • 08 Mar 2018

    Adding value to the lives of others

    Dear NJCians,

    All of you would have heard me talking frequently about the meaning of our school’s motto “Service with Honour”.  I have also said that translated to action, our school’s motto is about adding value to the lives of others.

    There are many ways NJCians could add value. For example:

    • being a good listener
    • empathizing and offering your honest opinions
    • understanding how and when to give constructive feedback
    • relating to and respecting others
    • teaching your friends something they might not have known before

    How else could you do so?

    Let me know by sharing your thoughts. Go to the library and pen your thoughts on a page in the notebook (at the borrowing counter).

    Best regards

    Service with Honour

  • 06 Mar 2018


    Dear NJCians,


    We held a small ceremony for the issuing of identity cards to JH3 students.

    The identity card adds to the birth certificate to formally recognise the students as citizens of Singapore.  Legally, citizenship is defined as the status of a person recognized under the custom or law as being a legal member of a sovereign state or belonging to a nation.

    NJCians must fully grasp not only the legal aspect of citizenship. They must understand and appreciate what it means to be a citizen, and be cognisant of their roles and responsibilities as citizens. For example, would NJCians take for granted that the Singapore passport allows them to travel visa free to 180 countries? Why would so many countries in the world recognise our passport?


    Best regards

    Service with Honour