Teachers' Day Message from the Director-General of Education

Published Date: 03 September 2015 12:00 AM

News Speeches

Dear Fellow Educators,

1. Teachers’ Day is a special time to show our appreciation to our teachers for our dedicated service to our students and to the nation. This is a special year for Singapore as we celebrate our golden jubilee. It is therefore timely for us to think about the 3 As: Appreciating the Past, Adapting to the Present and Anticipating the Future so that we may be centred once again on what matters most: the heart of teaching.

2. Appreciating the Past: The pioneering spirit and values of resilience, resourcefulness and responsibility have allowed our pioneer educators to turn adversity into opportunity and to make the impossible, possible. Our pioneers have set a strong, solid foundation for us. Their legacy is in the ethos, values, and principles underpinning their hard and heart work. Thus, as we thank the pioneer educators for their immense contributions, the onus is on us to carry on this legacy and live out with purpose the heart work, ethos and values of our pioneers.

3. Adapting to the Present: As we are confronted with the ever changing landscape, teaching will become more complex. As educators, we need to adapt to changing times. We are making a shift towards an emphasis on skills as opposed to pure knowledge acquisition. It is not about the amount of knowledge students can acquire but what they can do with the knowledge that matters. In the face of these new challenges, we need to learn, re-learn and renew our professional practices. All the more the mantra of ‘togetherness is strength’ holds special meaning. We cannot work alone but must come together as one fraternity. We must stand firm, anchored in our core values. We must work together, help each other grow professionally and support one another so that we can forge ahead into the future with assuredness and confidence.

4. Anticipating the Future: The future is unpredictable. So how can we prepare our students for the challenges ahead? The answer would be equipping our students, not just with strong fundamentals but also 21st century competencies (21CC). It is our professional obligation to imbue in our students this set of soft skills to nurture a generation of confident, resilient and adaptable people who will not just survive but thrive in this complex world. How can we achieve this? It all boils down to the pedagogical mastery of our teachers and how skilful we are in equipping our students with the fundamentals and infusing 21CC in and outside of the classroom. This is the challenge that I pose to all of us, as teachers, as we look towards the future.

5. Let us cast our minds to the next 50 years and ask ourselves, what kind of legacy would we want to leave behind? Every teacher has his or her own story to tell. What would your story be? I hope that you will be empowered to write your own story and create your own legacy, one that will inspire the generations to come. As we celebrate Teachers’ Day, I would like to thank you for your hard work and heart work. Let this special day be a constant reminder to us of our passion and purpose. Let us support one another as we learn, grow and endeavour to take the teaching fraternity from strength to strength, heart to heart. I wish all of us Happy Teachers’ Day!

Lead. Care. Inspire.
Wong Siew Hoong
Director-General of Education

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