The pioneers of SG100 will be raised through the “collective hands” of today’s teachers, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, at the National Institute of Education (NIE) Teachers’ Investiture Ceremony on Monday (Jul 6).
A total of 1,216 new and returning teachers will be joining the education service upon their graduation. Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Heng urged the graduates not only to teach students traditional subjects, but also to instil important life skills. He also encouraged them to “learn throughout life” and “learn for life”.
“To teach well, strive to be the best learner you can be. You are what you teach, and you teach what you are. You are a leader in learning, but you must first lead yourself in learning,” added Mr Heng.
Certificates were handed out to more than 300 recipients. Among them were 15 graduates, who also received awards for their outstanding performances in various fields.
One of them is 25-year-old Justin Ng, who is now teaching Biology and English at Springfield Secondary School. Not only was he elected valedictorian for his cohort, he has also bagged five awards, becoming the only graduate to do so over the past four years. Mr Ng attributed his achievement to his chemistry teacher, Mrs Vivien Low, who coaxed him out of his shell in secondary school.
“Mrs Vivien Low saw the potential in me even when I couldn’t see it for myself … I was at the lowest ebbs of my life … She helped me find my confidence and understand my purpose in life,” said Mr Ng.
He added: “I do hope to be an aspiration to my students, and especially in the ways that Mrs Low has done. She has believed in me despite me being one of the weakest students in class and being extremely reserved. So I hope to emulate her, be an inspiration, be a role model and hope to contribute to society as much as she has done.”
The inaugural Tan Poey Quee Practicum Book Prize was also handed out at the ceremony, to honour excellent performances in the teaching practicum. Ms Nurulhuda Mustafa was one of the recipients. The 24-year-old, who is at her alma mater Mayflower Secondary School to teach English Literature and Art, said her biggest victory would be how her students will turn out in the future.
Ms Nurulhuda said it was her negative experience with her former teachers that drives her: “They did not really understand students’ points of view, so I take it as a priority to understand the background of my students in order to better help them. As a teacher, I want to be better than those before me and hopefully make better changes.”
The Investiture Ceremony will continue on Tuesday, where the rest of the certificates and awards will be given out.
news source & image credits: channelnewsasia.com