SPEECH BY MR MASAGOS ZULKIFLI, SENIOR PARLIMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, AT BEDOK VIEW SECONDARY SCHOOL’S SPEECH DAY AND PRIZE-GIVING CEREMONY ON FRIDAY, 20 APRIL 2007, AT 4.30PM
Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim
MP for Marine Parade GRC
Mrs Gan Lai Chui
E2 Cluster Superintendent
Mr Chin Lai Fook
Vice Chairman, School Advisory Committee
Mr Mohd Khairunan Bin Ali
Principal, Bedok View Secondary School
Teachers and Students
1. I am pleased to be here at Bedok View Secondary School’s 28th Speech and Prize Giving Day. It is indeed heartening to see so many parents and students here this afternoon as we celebrate this important and happy occasion.
2. Bedok View Secondary School has come a long way since it first started in 1977. On the first year of its inception, it was housed in a holding school called Siglap Malay School. Now Bedok View is a modern school with excellent infrastructure and facilities. I heard that many organizations such as PERTAPIS, SIA and even the nearby private Residents’ Committees have used Bedok View’s facilities to conduct their programmes and activities. I was also told that former students have used the school premises to take their wedding photographs. I am glad to see that the school continues to hold a special place in the hearts of Bedok View students past and present.
3. This goes to show that it is not the building that makes the school. It is the relationships forged within the school portals, and the memories you hold dear that have a special meaning for you many years down the road. While up-to-date facilities provide a conducive environment for our students’ learning, what matters most are the people who make up the school community. I am happy to see that Bedok View has provided opportunities for members to deepen links with one another through various programmes committed to the holistic education of our students.
Making a difference to the community
4. I note that the theme for this year’s Speech Day is “Making A Difference”. The theme aptly sums up Bedok View’s commitment to provide opportunities to make a difference not just in the lives of its students, but also in the lives of others outside of the school community. As such, Bedok View has constantly embarked on initiatives and programmes that go beyond academic achievements. These programmes encourage students to care for the environment and reach out to the community.
5. Some of these programmes include partnerships with Residents’ Committees, self help groups like Mendaki, voluntary welfare organizations like Food from the Heart, as well as other educational institutions. Moving beyond our shores, I am glad to know that a group of NCC students and officers embarked on a goodwill mission to an orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia last December, to participate in a community programme there. They helped to paint classrooms, build pavements, teach basic English Language and assisted in other activities that helped to improve the living conditions there. Their actions certainly made a huge difference to the lives of the occupants there, not only in terms of material comfort but also in bringing happiness and joy.
6. Community Involvement Projects like these expose students to the needs of the less advantaged in society, both at home and abroad. We want our students to develop empathy, and also a sense of responsibility towards the less fortunate, and those at the fringes of society. I am heartened to see that Bedok View has been providing students with opportunities to effect positive changes in the larger community, and see beyond their own immediate needs. I am sure that for the students who went on the overseas CIP trip to Cambodia, their experience has broadened their perspectives and made them more aware of the needs of others.
Holistic education: Participation in sports and games
7. Another aspect that is integral to holistic education is participation in sports and games. To further support a broad-based education, MOE will provide all schools with an indoor sports hall starting from this year. Bedok View has been earmarked for the initial phase of this project. By the end of this year, staff and students can look forward to having a brand new indoor sports hall. With an indoor sports hall, you would be able to schedule Physical Education (PE) lessons at any time of the day. Inclement weather will no longer be an issue and the school will thus be able to provide more opportunities for its students to participate in sports, games and the performing arts.
School Staff Developer
8. While excellent facilities are necessary to enable pupils to learn better, it is the dedicated teachers that make the difference in providing the guidance and impetus to help each child realise his potential. That is why MOE recognises the need to ensure that the training and professional development needs of our teachers are well taken care of.
9. As part of the GROW package unveiled in September last year, every school will eventually have a School Staff Developer (SSD), to help to look at the professional development of teachers proactively. The School Staff Developer is a coach, a designer and facilitator of training, and a resource person for good teaching practices. He helps to ensure that training and professional development programmes are customised to staff needs and support the school’s goals. He also works collaboratively with the senior teachers and Heads of Departments to mentor teachers and guide them in developing their careers.
10. As the School-based Staff Developer is a new role, it is prototyped in 25 schools this year, and Bedok View is one of the schools selected. The school will receive training, consultancy support and funds for school-based professional development initiatives.
11. I am pleased to note that Mr Syed Alwi Alattas, the School Staff Developer-designate, together with his team from the People Development and Staff Mentoring Committees, has set comprehensive goals for the school’s staff development plan. The team has a lot on its plate, for it has committed to creating a culture that encourages reflection and innovation, supporting teachers in developing learner-centred instruction and assessment, promoting staff wellbeing, and, creating and driving systems and processes that enhance staff development practices. They will also work with the Training and Development Division of MOE to streamline and optimize the role of the School Staff Developer by giving their feedback as a prototype school.
12. The achievements and progress of the school today can only be possible with dedication and efforts of the school’s staff and pupils together with your stakeholders, such as the School Advisory Committee, the Parent Support Group and various community partners. I urge Bedok View Secondary to continue to forge ahead, charting its own path towards excellence but holding true to its core values and principles.
13. I would also like to congratulate all prize winners and award recipients for your excellent academic achievements and contributions. You have done your school and parents proud.
14. On this note, I offer my very best wishes to Bedok View Secondary School on your 28th Speech and Prize Giving Day.
15. Thank you.