Speeches/Interviews

August 24, 2018

Speech by Ms Indranee Rajah, Second Minister for Education at the 15th National Camp Opening Ceremony

A very good afternoon to all. I am very pleased to join you for the Opening Ceremony of the 15th National Camp. The National Camp is an important platform for cadets of the nine Uniformed Groups (UGs), from different schools and backgrounds, to come together – to share ideas and forge greater camaraderie by undergoing a common, shared experience.

Uniformed Groups and Nation Building

2. The Uniformed Groups (UGs) movement has a long history and many of our UGs pre-date the founding of independent Singapore, with some having started here back in the early 1900s. Over the years, our UGs have played a significant role in bringing communities together and shaping the Singapore that we have today.

3. Our UGs serve as important platforms through which students build character and leadership skills, and deepen their passion to serve and care for others at home, in schools and the community. This is a powerful movement that helps to strengthen resilience and builds bonds in our society.

4. The UG movement also provides unique opportunities for communities to come together to engage our youths. These efforts foster positive relationships and social integration, enabling our students to develop mutual appreciation and greater sensitivity to those around them.

5. Pravin, a Scout troop leader from Jurong Secondary School, is someone who has benefitted from the UG movement. Through leading his troop in various activities like the annual Job Week, where the Scouts provide service to the community, he has learnt how to work better with peers from different backgrounds. At the same time, through these experiences, he has developed a deeper appreciation of the diverse communities in society and the need to help the less fortunate.

6. Our students’ UG experience would not be possible without the unstinting support of a significant number of volunteers who have demonstrated steadfast commitment towards the goal of nurturing our youths and fostering strong bonds within our community.

7. Our students’ UG experience would not be possible without the unstinting support of a significant number of volunteers who have demonstrated steadfast commitment towards the goal of nurturing our youths and fostering strong bonds within our community.

Staying Relevant Today

8. I am heartened that our UGs are also providing more varied experiences in their programmes to provide students with authentic learning experiences to develop 21st century competencies such as critical and inventive thinking. For instance, members of the Girls’ Brigade are equipped with coding and programming skills, and have designed devices which help the needy. One example is the incorporation of a digital assistant into a proposed device that can tap on artificial intelligence to remind the elderly to take their medication on time.

9. I am heartened that our UGs are also providing more varied experiences in their programmes to provide students with authentic learning experiences to develop 21st century competencies such as critical and inventive thinking. For instance, members of the Girls’ Brigade are equipped with coding and programming skills, and have designed devices which help the needy. One example is the incorporation of a digital assistant into a proposed device that can tap on artificial intelligence to remind the elderly to take their medication on time.

Readiness and Resilience

10. In line with the national SGSecure movement, this year’s National Camp – themed Readiness and Resilience – aims to inspire cadets to play their part as key SGSecure advocates in the larger community. Through learning basic life-saving and first responder skills, cadets will demonstrate their collective resolve to foster and strengthen social cohesion, resilience and vigilance in safeguarding Singapore.

11. In fact, the Improvised First Aid Skills (IFAS) demonstration that we just witnessed and took part in - was testimony to this and I would like to commend all of you for your enthusiastic and earnest participation. I too learnt something useful today.

12. In fact, the Improvised First Aid Skills (IFAS) demonstration that we just witnessed and took part in - was testimony to this and I would like to commend all of you for your enthusiastic and earnest participation. I too learnt something useful today.

Conclusion

13. I wish all of you a successful start to the camp and hope that you glean many valuable lessons from one another. After this camp, do continue to be an advocate to help make Singapore a better place for all.