Hi 5 : 14th August 2015 by Mr Koh Soon Liang Title
Good morning Mdm Tan, Mr Lee, Mr Tan, colleagues and dear Gessians.
In today’s Hi 5, I would like to share some thoughts with you.
The National Day Parade 2015 is indeed a celebration befitting Singapore’s 50-year journey. Fifty years after Singapore gained independence, our nation threw its biggest party to celebrate its journey, but not without paying a touching tribute to our late founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
Silence fell over the Padang, with spectators’ and performers’ eyes glued to four LED screens showing a moving tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Faces in the audience were solemn, some teary-eyed, as the film played, to the tune of this year’s NDP theme song, Our Singapore.
This touching moment of truth is certainly a mark of respect to Singapore’s First Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew and our nation. It serves to reinforce one of the core values, Respect, which we constantly inculcate in you.
One of the many contributions made by Mr Lee was his unrelenting commitment to transform Singapore from a former British colony to a united multi-racial nation where everyone, knows English and at least one other language, his own mother tongue.
We are heartened that Gessians generally take the learning of both the English language and mother tongue language seriously. I have observed that Gessians sitting for the ‘O’ level Mother Tongue Oral Examination and ‘N’ level English Oral Examination this year put in much effort to prepare for these examinations. So are those students who are taking the ‘O’ level English oral examination now. Such good effort is commendable.
As a Mother Tongue teacher, I strongly believe that the Mother Tongue Language is an important tool for the transmission of culture and teaching of traditional values. Our former Principal, Mrs Carolin Tan, has said that mother tongue is what defines our cultural identity. This is so true! Mother tongue is indeed our anchor in a rapidly changing world.
I am delighted to share that some of our students are learning another mother tongue language besides his or her own. Some non-Malay students are learning the Malay language while some non-Chinese students are learning the Chinese language. This is indeed encouraging.
I urge all Gessians to enhance your knowledge of both languages and deepen your understanding of both Asian and Western cultures and values. This would enable you to form your unique cultural identity and acquire a comprehensive worldview. You would then find the learning process more meaningful, enriching and enjoyable!
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce a good book–My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore’s Bilingual Journey, written by Mr Lee Kuan Yew. This book offers insight into the journey of bilingualism. Mr Lee highlighted that the bilingual policy is the best strategy for us to compete on the global stage as well as being a pillar in nation building. It comes at an opportune moment, as Singapore celebrates SG 50 and seeks to find a new role in a world in which the centre of gravity is shifting from a largely English-speaking West to a multi-linguistic East.
Since it is Hi Five, I shall share five tips with those students sitting for the ‘O’ level oral examination. For the other level students, do take note of these 5 tips and practise during the school oral examination, for practice makes perfect.
The five tips are:
Firstly, be punctual or even arrive at the location earlier, so that you have time to settle down and stay calm. Secondly, create a good impression. Be properly attired and look presentable. Smile and greet the examiners. Thirdly, stay focus and be an active listener and speaker, understand the questions and answer correctly. Fourthly, be clear and do not ramble. Lastly, believe in yourself, maintain your self-confidence and composure.
Before I end, all the best to those students who are sitting for the ‘O’ level English oral examination.