Speech by Ms Indranee Rajah, Second Minister for Education, at the Launch of Fairprice's 'Share-A-Textbook' Project

Published Date: 29 October 2019 12:00 AM

News Speeches

1. It is a great pleasure to be here today at the launch of the annual 'Share-A-Textbook' project by FairPrice.

2. For more than 46 years, FairPrice has established itself as a household name and an integral part of the community. They stay committed to their social mission of making lives better for all.

3. Beyond providing affordable and accessible daily necessities, FairPrice leads various initiatives throughout the year to help the less fortunate.

4. This year marks the 37th year that FairPrice is having this Share-A-Textbook project. Used textbooks that are collected at various stores, are in turn donated to the disadvantaged students in our community. This is much-needed support for their families in financing their education.

5. The goals of this Share-A-Textbook project align closely with the inter-agency taskforce, which I lead – UPLIFT. UPLIFT seeks to strengthen support for students from disadvantaged families; understand, identify and address gaps to enable these students to meet their full potential. Providing them with textbooks does just that.

6. We cannot achieve UPLIFT's goals alone. We need the collective efforts of government agencies, community partners and, of course, our corporates, to build an ecosystem of care around our students.

7. Corporates like FairPrice are key leaders of change. Besides funding support, companies can organise initiatives to support the community through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. The collective impact of individual CSR efforts will make a big difference to Singapore and Singaporeans. As we have seen, FairPrice has been doing a wonderful job with the Share-A-Textbook project in helping to uplift (pun intended) disadvantaged families. In fact, as the project approaches its 40th anniversary, I would suggest that FairPrice scales it up even more to make an even bigger impact. For example, you could expand it to Share-A-Book, any good book and not just textbooks, or how about other school or classroom amenities - Share-A-Schoolbag, Share-A-Pencil Case, Share-A-Calculator! I will leave it to your ingenuity. It is also part of this whole idea of a sharing economy, zero waste and efforts to be sustainable. This project ties in with that and I have no doubt that FairPrice will have the ideas to come up with this.

8. It is certainly heartening to see FairPrice inspiring our community to give back to society. Simple acts like collecting and redistributing used textbooks, reading to children or befriending seniors can go a long way to strengthen the social fabric of Singapore.

9. I would also like to applaud the volunteers from Saint Hilda's Secondary School, Gan Eng Seng School, Mediacorp and Our Tampines Hub, as well as the public. They will be putting in time and effort to assist with the sorting and collection of textbooks, raise awareness of this project, as well as provide logistical support.

10. So let us continue to work together to build a society where our students have ample opportunities and resources to reach their fullest potential.

11. Thank you.

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