SPEECH BY RADM TEO CHEE HEAN, MINISTER FOR EDUCATION & SECOND MINISTER FOR DEFENCE AT THE NANYANG PRIMARY SCHOOL 80TH PRIMARY SCHOOL
GRADUATION CEREMONY CUM PRIZE PRESENTATION ON FRIDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2002
AT 9.10 AM AT NANYANG PRIMARY SCHOOL
Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for the Environment
Mdm Wee Bee Hoon, Chairman, School Management Committee
Ms Lim Poh Suan, Principal, Nanyang Primary School
Parents, Teachers and Pupils
I am delighted to be here this morning at your Primary 6 Graduation cum Prize-Giving Day. Today's ceremony recognises not only students, and especially the graduating students who have had a fruitful and exciting six years at this school, but also all teachers and parents, who have been active and enthusiastic in contributing towards the students' experience. Together, your hard work and dedication has helped to consolidate this school's standing in terms of academics, co-curricular activities and character development. Congratulations on a job well done.
Preserving Our Values and Traditions
2 Indeed, it is this flourishing partnership between students, teachers and parents that can truly energise a school to plan and implement ever-more innovative and ambitious programmes. Our schools face a rising tide of challenges nowadays. Some of these challenges go beyond Singapore. In a fast changing world, it sometimes feels as though microchips and MNCs govern the pulse of economic and social development. And the pull of ideologies and ideas goes beyond economics into the realm of how we lead our lives. We face other challenges, too, on the domestic front, as Singapore repositions itself to manage global threats and opportunities, while holding fast to the principles on which we have built this nation.
3 I am happy to note that Nanyang Primary is well-prepared to take on these challenges. The school motto - "diligence, prudence, respectability, simplicity" - upholds timeless virtues that, unlike microchips or MNCs, never become obsolete or bankrupt. Just as the basic purpose of a compass to guide our travels has not changed since the Chinese invented it centuries ago, these values may aptly serve as an unchanging moral compass for all students of Nanyang Primary, offering steadfast guidance, no matter what lies ahead. I am confident that the school will continue to be true to its motto as it imparts relevant cultural values to its students and nurtures in them a sense of rootedness and responsibility to our society.
Parents and the Community as Partners
4 Yet in an age of globalisation, our schools do not operate in isolation, just as education must not be confined to the four walls of a classroom. In this respect, Nanyang Primary, like many of our schools, has gone beyond relying on tradition alone to fulfil its school mission. Over time, Nanyang Primary has built a strong partnership with the school management committee, parents, alumni and the community. Together, they have created roles for parents in school activities, such as the reading programme, school functions and fund-raising events. They have developed a variety of programmes, from the Safe Drive Zone (SDZ) scheme to offering community service to former samsui women living at Bandar Street.
5 I am pleased to note that with these efforts, the school has been recognized as one of the inaugural PARTNERS (PARents, Teachers and Neighbourhood Resources and Synergy) Outstanding Award winners this year. I encourage you to continue with these innovations and to share what you have learned with other schools and organisations, to further enhance the vibrance and synergy that characterises the culture of Nanyang Primary.
6 On this note, I would like to thank the school for inviting me to this joyous occasion. Congratulations to all prizewinners - you have done yourself, your parents, your teachers, and your school proud. I would also like to extend my best wishes to all pupils and their families.