Infosheet on Racial Harmony Day
Racial Harmony Day Celebrations
As part of National Education, schools commemorate Racial Harmony Day on 21 July every year to mark the anniversary of the 1964 racial riots. This is a day for students to reflect on and celebrate our success as a harmonious nation built on a rich diversity of cultures. Since its inception, this commemorative event has helped to promote inter-racial understanding among our students.
Among the schools celebrating RHD on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 this year are New Town Secondary School, Rosyth School and Bedok South Secondary School. Gracing the respective schools’ RHD celebrations this year are Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence, Ms Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Education, and Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Home Affairs.
The theme for this year’s RHD is “Embracing Diversity, Building Community”. It reminds us of the different races, cultures and languages in Singapore, especially with the transformation of Singaporean society over the years. The RHD celebrations are a reminder that promoting social cohesion and racial harmony requires constant effort from our educators, students and stakeholders, such as parents.
RHD Activities at New Town Secondary School
Launch of Community Engagement Programme Training Package
Minister will launch the Community Engagement Programme (CEP) Training Package for schools at New Town Secondary School’s (NTSS) RHD celebrations on 21 Jul.
The CEP Training Package is a resource package to help teachers to infuse the CEP messages in their lessons. The package seeks to provide teachers with specific and effective ways to build resilience in their students, as well as strengthen racial and religious harmony in the school and the surrounding community. The training package consists of materials designed for the conduct of CEP-related workshops, training and lessons. These include facilitation guides, lesson plans, presentation slides, videos and worksheets. Teachers can also tap into a repository of CEP-related materials and resources listed in the resource package. A copy of the training package will be distributed to all schools across Singapore. All resources will also be made available on Edumall, MOE’s online repository for teachers.
The development of the CEP Training Package was led by teachers of NTSS, and supported by teachers from other schools in the cluster. The project is also supported by the Community Engagement Secretariat of the Ministry of Home Affairs and other community partners. As the CEP Training Package is an on-going project, all schools are invited to contribute lessons and activities to the package via Edumall.
Living Classroom Lesson at NTSS NE Gallery
Minister and guests will be invited to observe a sample lesson based on the CEP Training Package. An English lesson, which is part of the NE curriculum developed by NTSS, will be conducted for a class of Secondary Two students at the NE Gallery. The Gallery, which has a combination of static and mobile displays, facilitates experiential learning. Students will explore the topic “Founding Fathers of Singapore”, including prominent individuals like Mr David Marshall and Dr Goh Keng Swee. Students will be tasked to seek out information found in the Gallery to answer questions in their worksheets.
Ready Bag Challenge
The Ready Bag is a collection of essential items that will come in handy in an emergency. Through this activity, students learn how to prepare a Ready Bag and better understand why certain items are more important than others in an emergency. The activity also encourages members of the community to have a “Ready Bag” on hand at all times. The Ready Bag Challenge is sponsored by one of NTSS’ key CEP partners, the Community Engagement Secretariat of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Ethnic Food Demonstration
This activity is an annual programme organised by members of the NTSS Parent Support Group (PSG). It aims to promote greater awareness of our cultural diversity and encourage greater fellowship and cohesion between the various races. Parents are important role models and the PSG members provide an excellent example of inter-racial friendship and respect, as well as community spirit, to their children.
RHD Activities at Rosyth School
Based on the 2010 Racial Harmony Day theme, “Embracing Diversity, Building Community”, students and staff used photographs, drawings or words to reflect on and celebrate Singapore’s success as a harmonious nation and society built on a rich diversity of cultures and heritage. The reflections, which form the four words of the Racial Harmony theme, are displayed on a specially created banner which will be unveiled by guest-of-honour Ms Grace Fu. The banner creates a visual display of Rosyth’s commitment towards RHD through an appreciation of our multiracial society, and recognition of each individual’s part in building a united community. This project involved 2,300 members of the Rosyth family, and is the culmination of eight weeks of hard work.
Manga Drawing: Primary 5 Pupils’ Depiction of Singapore’s Leaders
As part of their curriculum, students learn about Singapore’s history and its leaders through art-infused lessons. During these lessons, students research on and locate relevant information from various online and print sources to find out more about how Singapore’s leaders of different races worked together to achieve social, economic and political progress. Students are encouraged to be highly creative as they visualise, compose and translate the personalities of the leaders through Manga Art drawing techniques.
Romance, Hopes and Dreams’ Weddings Travelling Exhibition
This exhibition, specially brought in by the National Heritage Board, showcases the wedding ceremonies of the Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians. Through the exhibition, pupils at Rosyth School learn that while the wedding ceremonies of different races are different, there are commonalities amongst them, such as family values and the strong presence of symbolism.
RHD Activities at Bedok South Secondary School
Hands-up for Racial Harmony Wall Collage
The “Hands-up for Racial Harmony Wall Collage” represents a pictorial image of how the different races add to the vibrancy and colour of Singapore. It features the coloured handprints of students, staff, parents and the school advisory committee members of Bedok South Secondary School (BDS). Each hand print bears the person’s name, race and a short reflection on what racial harmony means to him or her. Guest-of-honour Mr Masagos Zulkifli will be invited to leave his hand print on the wall and sign his name.
The Ethnic-Fusion Dance will be performed by 100 Secondary Two girls. The dance allows students of different races to come together in common artistic expression. Through simple ethnic dance movements, students gain a deeper understanding of the differences in culture and dance among the different races. The dance performance is part of the school’s Dance Education Programme, which was introduced last year for all lower secondary students as part of their aesthetics and ethnic appreciation development. Students undergo the dance training during their PE curriculum where they learn basic body flexibility and dance movements.
Official Opening of the Indoor Sports Hall
Mr Masagos Zulkifli will be invited to officially open the school’s newly built Indoor Sports Hall. The school recognises that sports provide students with opportunities to interact with classmates from different races and cultures, and to interact in a ‘common space’. Students also pick up important values such as teamwork and respect through sports.