Principal’s Musings

Showing 41 through 50 of 83 principal available.

  • 05 Mar 2018

    Straits Times Articles

    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.

    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

  • 01 Mar 2018

    After the A-Levels

    Dear NJCians,

    The A-Level results were released last Friday (23 Feb). NJCians who have recently left school returned to collect their results and other documents. Most were joyful and a handful were sad.  Almost everyone will apply for a university course.

    As teachers, we always wish the best for everyone who passes through our hands. Our concern will always be the kind of person each of them will be in future.  Some questions we ask ourselves: Have we imbued in them a deep sense of responsibility for their fellow citizens? Have we provided them foundational skills that will serve them well in future? Would they have compassion and humility?

    NJCians have been repeatedly challenged to become persons who will serve with honour and add value to the lives of others. They must do so.

    We wish all of them well.

    Service with Honour


    Best regards

    Service with Honour

  • 12 Feb 2018

    National Anthem, Pledge and School Anthem

    Dear NJCians,

    This morning was the first time this year we gathered as a whole school community for assembly. We sang the National Anthem, recite the Pledge and sang our College Anthem.

    Our National Anthem and Pledge emphasize unity. Our Pledge exhorts us to appreciate our multi-racial society and to work towards social and economic justice. Our College Anthem reinforces the focus on unity and our multi-racial and multi-cultural society.

    NJCians must always keep in their hearts the meanings of the words in our National Anthem, Pledge and College Anthem. All of us must answer the calling of our nation to serve and lead with a common vision and aspiration.


    Best regards

    Service with Honour

  • 29 Jan 2018


    Dear NJCians,

    At assembly this morning, I spoke with all of you about the #SGDiversity event held in our school last Friday and Saturday.  I am proud of all our teachers and SH1 students who have worked hard for this event. They have also experienced and learned much in the run up to the event, by participating in activities focused on inclusion and diversity.

    NJCians must embrace our motto of “Service with Honour” and be at the forefront of social innovations to improve and add value to the lives of fellow Singaporeans and those beyond our shores. There is still much that we could do as our society matures and our population ages.


    Best regards

    Service with Honour

  • 15 Jan 2018

    JAE 2018

    Last Saturday, many students who recently received their O level results would probably have visited JCs and Schools which held “Open Houses”.

    I had the opportunity to talk with some parents and students.  I made the point that all schools and JCs will do the best for students. Once a child receives the posting, he/she should look ahead and be positive, even if the child is not posted to the first choice JC or school. Our attitude determines our behaviour and how we respond to the environment and circumstances. Two years in a JC is not a long time and the quicker a child adjusts, the more he/she will be able to thrive and grow.

    I am glad to note that NJCians have been very welcoming of the students and parents who visited our school last Saturday. All staff and students have worked hard together to provide our visitors an enjoyable experience and, most importantly, the NJC spirit of service. Kudos to all.

    Best regards

    Service with Honour

  • 05 Jan 2018

    Welcome Back

    Dear NJCians,

    Today is Friday, 5 Jan 2018. The time now is 4 pm.

    Your teachers have been in school for the past 2 days for meetings and preparing for the beginning of year 2018. Besides administrative and curricular matters, your teachers have attended a workshop on “Restorative Practice” (RP).  RP focuses on building caring and healthy communities. The workshop went well and this is attributable to your teachers wanting to learn more about becoming better in the work that they do, in particular how to help all of you learn and grow. The commitment of your teachers to you is commendable.

    On your part, you must return ready to learn. You must assure your teachers that you are committed to begin the year with clear and achievable learning goals. Learning goals are holistic, not just about academic achievements.

    I wish you all the best and a joyful year ahead.

    Best regards

    Service with Honour

  • 21 Dec 2017

    Welcome 2018 JH1 NJCians

    This year’s PSLE pupils would have received their secondary school postings early this morning. On behalf of all colleagues and NJCians, I would like to welcome the 2018 JH1 students to our school. For pupils who have applied to join NJC and were not successful, I wish them the best in the schools that they have been posted to. I am certain you will thrive in any school as long as you adopt a positive attitude and do your best.

    I would like 2018 JH1 NJCians to immediately embrace our motto “Service with Honour”.  NJC was created in 1969 with the belief that NJCians will serve the community and wider humanity. “Service with Honour” binds all NJCians and must be the motto that all NJCians live by even after leaving school.

    You will spend the next 6 years here. You will experience the warmth of your fellow students, teachers, administrative staff, canteen stallholders, and all who work in NJC to provide a conducive learning environment for you.


    Best regards

    Service with Honour

  • 26 Oct 2017

    Road to Character

    “The Road to Character” written by David Brooks discusses a current affliction he calls the “Big Me” which emphasises external success. Brooks argues for a need to rebalance “résumé virtues” achieving wealth, fame, and status with “eulogy virtues” of kindness, bravery, honesty, or faithfulness. He warned against “merit love” where rewards are dished out or withdrawn according to a child’s achievements (or underachievement) in academics or in other areas.

    An article in a local social media website highlighted the practice of a tuition agency. This agency dishes out rewards to “achieving tutees”. This is an egregious marketing tactic masked as a motivational tool. It places a psychological burden on those students who have paid a large sum of money to the agency.

    NJCians must not be lured by such marketing tactics. Always remember that learning is hard and consistent work.


    Best regards

    Service with Honour

  • 29 Sep 2017

    Ye Old Raintree

    NJCians would have noticed that less and less of the Raintree could be seen. Over the last few Saturdays, I witnessed a team working co-operatively to gradually slice off parts of the tree. It was tough work. I videoed the moment a branched was felled. It showed teamwork, skill and process.

    I wouldlike to declare that the poem penned by Shannon Or Shao Ning of JH403 has been selected to best capture the passing of the raintree. I would like to thank Meng DaKe (17SH07), Vanessa Chan (17SH09), Ho Yin Kiat (JH403), Chen Ke Yuan (17SH12) for their contributions. Ke Yuan wrote a rap piece.

    Here is Shannons’s poem :

    Change is coming,

    a new phase of life beginning.

    A sense of wonder,

    ominous as the clap of thunder.


    A sea of new faces,

    all of them leaving different traces.

    An occasional glance is all it receives,

    not many stop long enough to perceive,

    to wallow in its great magnificence,

    a silent but overarching presence.


    Time passes, leaves fall,

    generation after generation answering a nation’s call.

    A place to grow, a place to nurture,

    all amidst the beauty of nature.


    Collections of memories,

    will live on for centuries,

    Passed on from year to year,

    stories we will continue to hear.

    Even when the old rain tree is gone,

    its NJ legacy will still live on.


    Best regards

    Service with Honour

  • 15 Sep 2017


    I am reading this book titled “Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality” by Dr Henry Cloud. 

    Cloud suggested that character building involves the following:

    • Ability to connect (which leads to trust)
    • Ability to be oriented toward the truth (which leads to finding and operating in reality)
    • Ability to work in a way that gets results and finishes well (which leads to reaching goals and mission)
    • Ability to embrace, engage and deal with the negative (which leads to ending problems, resolving them or transforming them)
    • Ability to be oriented towards growth ( leads to increase)
    • Ability to be transcendent (which leads to enlargement of the bigger picture and oneself)

    I have yet to finish reading the book. What I find meaningful is Cloud’s attempt to unpack “character”. He challenges the reader to reflect on the core of leadership, which is much much more than just getting things done.  As a steward of a school, I read to grow and to be better in what I do. Books like this challenge our beliefs and thinking, and make us reflect on how I could be a better steward of NJC.


    Best regards

    Service with Honour