SAJC 37th College Day
Speech by Mrs Lee Bee Yann, Principal, St Andrew’s Junior College on the occasion of the 37th College Day, 25th July 2014.
Our Guest of Honour, Mr Ching Wei Hong, Chief Operating Officer of OCBC;
Chairman of the SAJC Board of Governors, Mr Tan Soo Kiang;
Members of the Board of Governors;
Chairman of SAJC Parent Support Group, Mr Daniel Ho;
Principals and School Representatives;
Distinguished guests, parents, teachers and saints.
Welcome to SAJC and our 37th College Day. We are happy that you are able to join us on this joyous occasion and it is such a pleasure to meet you again. It is now my privilege to deliver the College Report highlighting the development and fine achievements of the College in the past year.
Truly, God has been gracious to us as we recognise with gratitude the abundance of blessings that He has conferred on the Saints. The release of the 2013 A-level Examination results saw our graduates performing well against the Ministry of Education’s national indicator of ‘at least 3H2 passes and a pass in General Paper’. Our College achieved 94.8% which surpasses the national percentage of 91.1%. The 2013 cohort of Saints has also achieved various peaks of excellence.
The strong foundation for academic learning and the equipping of every Saint with 21st century leadership competencies have served them well in getting into courses of their choice at both local and overseas universities. As you can see in the programme
booklet, this year, we see our Saints garnering an array of prestigious scholarships from the Singapore Armed Forces, the Public Service Commission, A*STAR, the Jardine Foundation, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health Holdings etc. Not all the
scholarship recipients have been listed as some of the information came in after the College Day booklet was printed. In addition to the scholarships, the 2013 cohort of Saints have distinguished themselves by clinching places at several top universities in the world including Harvard and Brown in US, and Cambridge, Oxford, and the London School of Economics in UK.
Congratulations to the 2013 cohort of Saints and teachers on your success and for setting a new benchmark of excellence for your juniors. We are very happy for the Saints in their success. But what makes us even happier is when we see our Saints using their gifts and talents to serve others now and in the coming days. The President of the 36th Student Council, Regina Pang Shi Yin, exemplifies qualities of servant leadership outstandingly in leading the Councilors at many College events, making clear that foremost in minds of the Council is to keep the SA Family together 2 and soaring high. She is a leader who has impacted others through her genuine heart to serve and see their lives improve. As such, she was able to forge strong ties with many of the CCA leaders in the College.
In line with the College vision of nurturing Saints to be servant leaders, various training opportunities and platforms have been created. One such platform was the formation of the Student Government which comprises the Student Council, Saints Advocate,
House Council and Saints-for-Christ. Our Saints in the Student Government have shown themselves capable of listening to the voices of the students they represent. Being the voice of the student body, they are empowered in the decision-making processes to review some of the College’s rules and regulations. One such review entailed the proposal to extend the eating area beyond the cafeteria to more places. The proposal was accepted to be trialled for 4 months, and the condition for its continuation was that the College must be kept clean without the need for additional helpers employed to clean up after them. I am proud to say that it has been 7 months into its implementation and our Saints have not disappointed us. Their proposal is still in effect today.
In the area of sports achievements, Saints beat Raffles Institution to keep the Kiwi Cup and maintain their 8 year winning streak. At the A Division competitions, 11 of our sports were in top 4 positions at the National Sports Championships. All the games were highly contested, and two of our sports entered the finals - rugby and football boys. Although we didn't win the championship titles, we were extremely proud of the school spirit displayed by our Saints. At the rugby match, despite our loss, the entire cohort of JC2 supporters ran down to the field and formed a circle around the players. All of them stood with their arms over their neighbours’ shoulders, and sang the College hymn spontaneously as a show of support and comfort to our players. The scene was a sight to behold and it touched the hearts of many present. To quote Mr Yee Teck Peng, "In my 60 odd years of rugby, this was the first time that I saw such great bonding between players and supporters... Really very, very, heart warming.... If one is weak, one would be moved to tears... This is SAJC."
This is a non-SYF year for all the performing arts CCAs, except English Drama. We congratulate English Drama for obtaining a Certificate of Accomplishment at the SYF and for staging their play over 3 shows for us to enjoy their talents. For our Saints in
Chinese Drama, Chinese Orchestra, Choir, Concert Band, Dance and Guitar, they took to the stage in public venues such as the Esplanade, University Cultural Centre and in College, and played to almost full houses at every event.
The College is also proud of the students’ participation in environmental activities. In recognition of their environmental initiatives, the Singapore Environment Council has awarded the Lotus Award (Sustained Achievement) to the College for the 7th year running. Saints also faithfully serve the local and overseas communities. Some 3 examples include blood donation drive in SAJC, cleaning 160 1-room flats in MacPherson and making trips to Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia to support the NGOs in their work with the poverty-stricken communities.
In this past year, SAJC has brought our signature leadership programmes beyond the Village to benefit students from other schools. For example, the St Andrew's Student Leadership Summit, ChrySAlis, organised by the teachers from the 3 St Andrew's schools has seen participation from 292 student leaders from the Village, our affiliated Anglican schools and south 5 cluster of schools. This Summit provided interesting breadth and depth of learning and experiences for our students to be developed as leaders with a heart to serve in public service. Feedback from the students was highly positive.
We are thankful for the Wong Tim Wah Fund which supported these programmes for the past two years which has given us a firm grounding in running them. Today, I am pleased to announce that we shall be able to take ChrySAlis forward with a new source of funding - the Ching Foo Kun Fund – which is to be launched today. We thank Mr Ching Wei Hong for the very generous Ching Foo Kun Fund which is set up for the student leadership programmes in the Village in memory of his father.
To enable our students to lead confidently in a globalised context, every year, the College sends a team of delegates to the Netherlands to participate in the Model United Nations (also known as MUN). The same opportunity to discuss and find peaceful
solutions to global issues was set up in our very own Saints MUN in SAJC. A highlight of Saints MUN this year was the participation of students from our twinning school, Romain-Rolland Gymnasium in Germany, who joined in the proceedings and gave it an international flavour. This batch of MUNNers also took up the challenge to train our younger Saints in St Andrew's Secondary School so that they too could experience MUN. It was a joy watching them debate so seriously on world issues, and I can
foresee our Saints taking on roles as leaders of their nations in their future endeavours. We are also proud to be in the Anglican Character, Thinking, Service (ACTS) Leadership Academy together with Anglican High School, St Andrew’s Sec School and
St Margaret’s Sec School. Together, we are committed to designing a total curriculum that will stretch students’ potential to be 21st century servant leaders with exemplary character and who are equipped with holistic thinking, effective communication and
community building skills. The ACTS leadership curriculum has been trialled in Sec 1 to 3 as well as in JC1 and JC2 in some subjects and an online repository has been created to allow teachers in the 4 schools to access lesson plans. Our teachers have
been trained by experts in the field of critical thinking. In fact, a team of 8 staff from our schools are in San Francisco attending the 34th International Critical Thinking Skills conference to learn from thought leaders in this field with the sponsorship from the
Diocese of Singapore and the Board of Governors. Indeed, we are blessed to have a 4 strong community of like-minded schools with the single purpose of giving our students an excellent quality Christian education.
The growth as an outstanding Saint and leader amongst our students would not be possible without the collective efforts of the people in our Saints Family, especially our dedicated staff who are steadfast in their effort and commitment to making a difference
in the lives of their students. Colleagues, you have worked so hard, and as we celebrate the success of our students, we are also celebrating your success, not just in the academics but also in the fine young men and ladies of good character whom you have raised. Thank you, colleagues for the opportunities to know you and work alongside with you. I am inspired by your zeal in continually honing your pedagogical knowledge and skills in your quest to deliver an excellent education for the students.
Please join me in honouring our teachers and support staff.
First of all, I want to congratulate our former Deputy Principal, Mr Arene Koh, on his appointment as the Principal of Anglo-Chinese Primary School. Mr Arene Koh has contributed outstandingly during his stint in our College and we wish him well in his new responsibilities. I also want to congratulate 31 of our staff members who were promoted to a higher educational grade this year, and Mr Derrick Hoi who was awarded the National Day Commendation Medal last year.
SAJC is grateful for the unstinting support of the parents under the leadership of Mr James Lim who was the chairman of the 2nd Parent Support Group EXCO. We are pleased to welcome the parents of our 3rd EXCO led by Mr Daniel Ho. Besides serving the College in promoting the welfare of staff and students by providing food during the non-Night Study nights and Sports Carnival, they have extended their scope of work beyond the College and taken the lead in forging strong ties with the PSGs from other JCs to share experiences and ideas to better their support for the teenagers across the JCs.
Another exciting development in St Andrew's Village is the construction of a mega indoor sports hall to be sited over Kallang River. This hall will be twice the size of a standard indoor sports hall and will be used for sports and student leadership development, serving the three schools in the Village. We are privileged to have this opportunity to play a role in the educational development of the schools and we would like to invite you to join us in this project. You will find an envelope in your programme booklet which contains more information about the project and an invitation to join us in making the vision of the Village a reality. The mega hall will be seen from both inside and outside of our campus, and I'm sure it will give us a great sense of satisfaction in seeing the hall in the heart of the Village, knowing that we had helped in some ways in making it happen.
Indeed, this is a day of thanksgiving when we look at how far we have grown from 5 strength to strength, and every year, my appreciation of the strong sense of family in St Andrew's Village and our heritage grows and deepens. The many awards given out
today came from the generous donations of our alumni and well-wishers. I would like to highlight the inaugural Dr Wong Poi Kwong Book Prizes given to the best student in each subject in the JC1 Final Examinations. The prizes are donated by Dr Wong Hee Ong, in memory of her brother who was an old boy of St Andrew’s who exemplified academic excellence and servant leadership.
We are grateful for the unwavering support of the Board of Governors, Alumni, parents, and friends of St Andrew’s without whom, we would not have come so far. Led by Mr Tan Soo Kiang, the Board of Governors has been inspirational in exemplifying the Saints spirit. For his outstanding service, Mr Tan received the National Day Public Service Star (PBM) last year. The Board has believed in us and has provided us with all the support that we need to bring about a relevant and cutting-edge education for our
Most of all, we thank God for His abundant blessings and grace. It is God who has made it possible. As we continue to look to Him for wisdom and guidance, we know that He shall lead us Up and On!
Now, it’s my pleasure to introduce our Guest of Honour, Mr Ching Wei Hong. Mr Ching Wei Hong was a student of Ascension Kindergarten to St Andrew's School from 1965 to 1977, and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the National University of Singapore. Appointed as the Chief Operating Officer of OCBC on 15 April 2012, Mr Ching oversees many key functions of the bank and has held many senior management positions responsible across various roles. Mr Ching has more than 28 years of experience in regional finance, corporate banking and cash management. Besides being a financial giant, Mr Ching is the new Chairman of Families for Life, dedicating himself to the family cause in our society. He is married with two children. His daughter is also a Saint of the College and is currently in JC2. As Mr Ching will be using multi-media presentation in his address, may I invite the Board of Governors to take your seat with the audience.
Without further ado, may I invite Mr Ching to give his address.
Mr Ching, please.
2014 College Day Prize Winners
Click here to view the list of Prize Winners
2014 Valedictorian Speech by Nathaniel Loh
Click here to read the Valedictorian Speech.