Speeches

Speech by Mr S Iswaran, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Ministry of Education, at the 109th National Cadet Corps Day Dinner and Awards Ceremony on 17 September 2010 at the Singapore Orchid Club Ballroom

Dr Arthur Beng,
Chairman NCC Council

NCC Council Members,

Principals,

Distinguished Guests,

Officers from MOE and MINDEF,

Officers and Cadets,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Introduction

A very good evening to all. I am pleased to join you this evening to commemorate the 109th year of establishment of the National Cadet Corps. It is also apposite that we recognise on this occasion the efforts of all in the NCC fraternity who have contributed to make NCC a distinctive, meaningful and stimulating educational experience for our cadets.

Holistic Development Through the Uniformed Groups

In Singapore, we accord high priority to the nurturing of our human capital and the grooming of a new generation of leaders and citizens.

In our schools, the CCAs are an essential part of this effort as they cater to the total learning experience of students. In particular, the Uniformed Groups, like NCC, place great emphasis on developing the character and leadership qualities of the cadets. They are also excellent platforms for promoting social integration and cohesion. The NCC’s membership base of 18 000, for example, is an embodiment of wider Singapore society with cadets coming from all walks of life and diverse ethnic backgrounds. NCC’s myriad of activities, such as expeditions, military-related programmes and community-involvement projects, allow cadets to build unique shared experiences and develop deep bonds of friendship.

Enhancing the NCC Programme through Strengthening Partnership

The holistic programme in NCC has indeed gone a long way in imbuing the cadets with critical life skills and qualities such as leadership, discipline, commitment and responsibility. NCC is also constantly building and strengthening its partnership with key stakeholders so as to enrich the learning experiences of its cadets.

Internationally, the NCC has developed close partnerships with its counterparts. I understand that this year, 15 overseas exchange programmes have been organised for cadets and officers to travel to 9 countries to learn about different traditions and cultures, and, in the process, gain a broader global perspective and a keener appreciation of Singapore.

Leveraging on NCC’s unique partnership with the SAF, cadets participate in SAF camp visits, World War Two battlefield experience trails, live-firing observations, and overseas SAF Exercise attachments. These military-related experiences will certainly enhance the cadets’ commitment to the defence of our nation.

The NCC continues to collaborate on other educational activities through partnerships with other agencies. For example, this year, for the first time, the NCC Command Band was integrated into the National Day Parade Combined Band, performing alongside the SAF and Police Band. The NCC also participated actively in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games with cadets participating as flag bearers for the Opening Ceremony and the Victory Ceremonies. These would have been memorable and enriching experiences for cadets.

I commend the NCC on its efforts to forge strong partnerships with its key stakeholders. These efforts have enlarged the possibilities and opportunities for the cadets to acquire life skills, imbibe sound values, and develop a sense of belonging, camaraderie and loyalty to the corps and to our nation.

Conclusion

This evening is also an occasion to celebrate the accomplishments of the various NCC units. I am happy to congratulate all NCC Units for your achievements over the last year. In particular, I would like to make special mention of Fuhua Secondary School and Yusof Ishak Secondary School for attaining the title of the Best Land Boys and Girls unit respectively. For the Sea and Air units, Tanjong Katong Secondary and Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) came in tops respectively. My heartiest congratulations to all the award winners.

Finally, I would like to commend all the Principals, officers, and cadet officers for their efforts in shaping the learning experiences of our students through the NCC. I would also like to thank the parents for their partnership and support. With this broadbased support from its stakeholders, I am confident that the NCC will continue to thrive in the pursuit of its noble cause — to “Serve with Pride and Dedication”. I wish you continued success in your mission to nurture caring and responsible citizens for Singapore.

Thank you.