Speech by Minister of State for Education, Ms Sun Xueling, at the 10th National Secondary Schools Bilingual Debate Finals

Published Date: 19 April 2021 03:00 PM

News Speeches

立化中学李惠棣校长,

圣尼各拉女校杨淑伶校长,

新传媒中文新闻与时事助理副总裁黄循通先生,

各位嘉宾、老师、同学们:

大家下午好!

1. 今天,我很高兴受邀出席第十届全国中学双语辩论赛的大决赛。

2. 全国中学双语辩论赛在过去十年为许多学生提供了平台,让他们能用中英文双语进行有深度的思考和表达。

3. 今年参赛的学生共有206名,分别来自24所学校,是历年来最多学校和学生参赛的一年。这是令人鼓舞的。首先,这说明了许多老师和学生都对辩论这种有助于提升思维能力的活动感兴趣,而且也体现了大家对双语活动的大力支持,为提升双语学习水平付出的不懈努力。其次,虽然今年的比赛因为疫情的关系必须改在线上举行,但无论是主办方或是参赛学校,大家都克服了种种挑战,在确保大家安全的情况下,以新的形式进行这场有意思的比赛,展现了"穷则变,变则通"的创新精神,这是难能可贵的。

4. 在全球化的进程中,国际交流越来越频密,学习超过一门语言和了解不同文化变得越来越重要。新加坡自建国以来,双语教育始终是我国教育制度的基石。培养国人的双语能力和双文化视角,有助于新加坡人参与世界各地的交流及发展,把握区域乃至全球的经济机遇。同等重要的是,学好母语能巩固我们对本土文化的认识,加强社会和家庭的凝聚力,因为母语是我们文化的一部分,是新加坡人的身份认同和新加坡特色不可或缺的一部分。

5. In the spirit of this bilingual event, let me say a few words in English.

6. The learning of our mother tongue language is a lifelong endeavour. To be effectively bilingual, one needs to invest time and effort with both languages. I am heartened to see many teachers and students who are passionate about bilingualism and debate, coming together to make this annual event a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

7. I am glad that there is an effort to constantly sustain and rejuvenate this competition. For instance, many of the JC-level student organisers were also debaters themselves during their secondary school days, and they are now giving back by sustaining the momentum of this competition. This year, five of the judges in the preliminary round and semi-finals had also taken part in this competition when they were in secondary school. They are now outstanding debaters in top universities around the world, namely Cambridge University, Fudan University, National University of Singapore, and Oxford University. This is testament to our schools' work in nurturing the torchbearers of bilingualism, cohort by cohort.

8. Lastly, I wish to extend my appreciation to the organisers River Valley High School and St Nicholas Girls' School for their commitment in ensuring this competition continues despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. I would also like to thank MediaCorp, for being an avid supporter of this competition over the years, helping to publicise and generate interest among students in the event.

9. I wish everyone an enriching afternoon ahead. Thank you.

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