Education Minister Heng Swee Keat had some wise words for students and teachers to kick off the school year in his Facebook page. Parents also had some wise words with their kids last night.
What the Education Minister said:
It is the first day of school tomorrow. For many of us in education, there is nothing like that first-day look on the children’s faces – it is one of pure wonder and eagerness to learn.
What the Singapore parent said:
Ah Boy and Ah Girl ah, tomorrow start school again. Don’t be scared okay? Stop crying! You’ve played enough already during holidays! Tomorrow, I make you half-boiled egg and you take essence of chicken to school. I don’t care if you don’t like eggs, just swallow can already
I know it can be a day of anxiety for parents who worry if your little ones will be able to cope on their own, or if they will enjoy their lessons. But even for the most anxious parents amongst us, it is also a day of pride and hope. On my children’s first days at school, when I saw all their new schoolmates, chattering with excitement, I felt a strong sense of promise. I thought, they will learn many new things, they will discover their strengths and passions, and they can reach for their dreams.
Actually, Mommy and Daddy very worried about you two. When you cannot catch up in class or don’t understand what teacher say, must tell Mommy and Daddy. We get you tuition teacher. You make us proud of you hor and don’t let the next door neighbour see us no up. School is actually very exciting. You know our schools got very good PISA scores? PISA! PISA! Not pizza. Too late at night to call for pizza! Put down the handphone! Mommy and Daddy want to talk to you! Listen! (cools down…) You will make many new friends in school. Study together but keep away from the bad boys and girls, okay? Ah Boy, if anyone bullies you, hit back. You are strong. Ah Girl, you must go tell teacher, don’t just cry in the toilet like Mommy last time. Must have passion. P-A-S-S-I-O-N. Spell it properly! And don’t day dream in class. You hear me, Ah Boy?
Like every parent and every teacher, I want every child to succeed. All of us at MOE and in our schools are dedicated to giving our children a broad and deep educational foundation that prepares them for a lifelong journey of life and learning. We look forward to doing this with the active partnership of parents and anyone who cares about the future of our children. Let’s work together to support Every Student to be an Engaged Learner. Let’s give them the knowledge, skills and values that will help them succeed in life and be good people. And let’s remember to give them the love and encouragement to enjoy these learning years. One day, our little ones will have the same pleasure of sending their children to the first day of school. When that day comes, I hope they will remember their own first days with joy.
You know Mommy and Daddy want both of you to get good marks so when you grow up, you can become doctor or lawyer. If you don’t, we will complain to your principal and teacher. You can play but cannot play too much okay? Ah Boy, this is your PSLE year and they already change the test. So must study hard, hard. Ah Girl, no more Cartoon Network channel for you. You big girl already. Ah Boy! STOP PLAYING WITH MY IPAD! Thwack! You just wait…next time you have children, you will know how hard to be parents…
Students who are coming back to another year of school – you are older now and the younger ones will look up to you. Keep doing your best in school and at home, and remember to be helpful to your parents, your teachers and your friends in school.
Ah Boy, you already so tall and big boy already. You must look after your mei mei. Don’t let her get bullied and make sure she eat properly at recess time. This year, must try hard to get better marks. You must be polite and nice to teacher, so she won’t complain to us so much about you and also pang chan you a bit.
Teachers and school staff, hope you had a restful, refreshing break. Welcome back, I wish you a great new year of filling and shaping young minds. I look forward to working with everyone in this new school year to prepare our children for fulfilling and happy lives.
Now switch off light! Go sleep! Mommy and Daddy also got to work tomorrow!