Speech by Ms Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Education, at Rulang Primary School’s 80th Anniversary cum Lunar New Year Reunion Dinner on Thursday, 18 February 2010 at 7.30 pm at Rulang Primary School
Mr Steven Tan,
Chairman of the School Advisory Committee
Mr Tan Teck Yoke,
President of the School Alumni Association
Mdm Serene Chua,
Chairman of the Parents Support Group
Mrs Cheryl Lim,
Principal of Rulang Primary School
Ladies and Gentlemen
Boys and Girls
I am pleased to join you this evening to commemorate Rulang Primary School’s 80th Anniversary cum Lunar New Year Reunion Dinner. Let me first congratulate you for achieving 80 years of illustrious history and outstanding achievements.
History of Rulang Primary School
Rulang Primary School started as Joo Long Public School and was established in 1930 with the aim of providing basic education for the children in a village community. In 1934, to meet the need for bigger premises, the school moved to Kee San Estate at Jalan Bahar.
The Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945 saw the suspension of all classes. After the war, there was a great demand for the re-establishment of the school and people in the area rallied to help in its rebuilding. These close ties between the school and its stakeholders and community decades ago are still evident today.
The name “Joo Long” was changed to the hanyu pinyin version of “Rulang” when the school was converted to a Government school in 1984 and it began functioning at its present premises in 1985. From a village school with 34 pupils in 1930, Rulang has evolved over the years to become a choice primary school for more than 2,000 pupils currently.
Why do I dwell so much on the history of the school? A school like Rulang with 80 years of history has a great story to tell—it is a big plus compared with many schools in Singapore. It tells of the toil our forefathers in bringing education to their children; it tells of our humble beginning; it tell of the values of community spirit and self-sacrifices that many unnamed villages have made; it tells of the hope that parents have on their children. The story of Rulang will be a great story, a real life context, to educate future generations of Rulangnites.
Foundation for Future Learning—Enhancing Primary Education
The purpose of education is afterall not limited to transmission of content knowledge. We want our primary school education to be a holistic one, one that ensure our children are equipped not just with content knowledge, but also with the necessary skills and values to thrive in a fast-changing and globalised future.
Our children should grow up to be confident persons, ready to face a world frought with uncertainties and changes. They should be self-directed learners who view education as a life-long process. More importantly, we need citizens who are morally upright, have a strong sense of civic responsibility and who will contribute actively to society. These skills and dispositions should be inculcated in the formative years during primary education.
I am heartened to note that the development of such competencies and skills is at the heart of Rulang’s philosophy of education. Rulang has designed her school-based curriculum—Whole Brain Learning, the Rulang Way—to stretch pupils in the cognitive, physical, aesthetics, social and moral domains.
Pupils in Rulang not only attain good PSLE results, they excel in Mathematics and Science Olympiads, Wushu, robotics and rope skipping.
For the past five years, Rulang has clinched numerous awards in International Robotics competitions out-performing their peers, in Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, USA and Norway. Similarly, in rope skipping, Rulangnites have won many awardsin competitions held in Japan, USA, France and Australia. Rulangnites have indeed kept the Singapore flag flying high around the world.
While we develop a global mindset, it is vital to foster in our students a deep sense of rootedness and love for Singapore. I am told that Rulang aims to inspire a love for our nation through its character development programmes. Pupils are reminded of our shared history and told the great deeds that our forefathers had done for Singapore. They are made aware of the past and future challenges that Singapore faces and not to take our present achievements for granted.
I am glad to see that Rulang’s leadership has actively engaged the staff and the stakeholders in the school’s mission to imbue pupils with sound values, strive for academic excellence, and develop each pupil to his or her fullest potential.
The hard work and dedication of the teachers and the school leaders have reaped strong outcomes in the all-round development of pupils. Rulang is the second primary school in Singapore to attain the School Excellence Award last year. The Best Practice Awards, Sustained Achievement Awards, and Outstanding Development Award for Character Development are also clear recognition of the remarkable work done here at Rulang.
Tonight’s celebration is much more than just a commemoration of an anniversary. It is a celebration of the school’s continued commitment in providing quality education for generations of pupils. For this, we acknowledge the past and present staff of Rulang for their time and unceasing efforts in nurturing the child, both in imparting knowledge and skills, as well as in inculcating the values of integrity, discipline and resilience.
Tonight is also a recognition of the longstanding partnerships between the school and the School Advisory Committee, Alumni Association and Parents Support. With your commitment and determination, you have played an important part in shaping the history of Rulang. Your contributions have enabled the school to enrich the quality of education it offers.
On this note, it gives me great pleasure to once again extend my congratulations and best wishes to all the staff, pupils and stakeholders on Rulang’s 80th anniversary. I wish you greater success as you continue on your journey of excellence.