As we celebrate SG50, Singapore’s 50th birthday and look back in wonderment at how far our society has progressed, let us also remember what brought us here. One of the main reasons why Singapore has successfully transformed into a first-world country is through quality education.
Most of us who grew up in under Singapore’s education system can testify as to how much it has changed and shaped us – through rigorous academics and diverse opportunities to learn and grow such as projects, CCAs, field trips, and competitions.
But let us not forget the ones who made education possible – our MOE teachers.
Education starts from teachers. They are the ones who work extremely hard all year round, reporting to school as early as 7am to prepare for class and then conducting CCAs for us well into the late afternoon. In the evenings, they have to plan our lessons and mark our homework.
If you take a moment to reminisce of your good ol’ school days, you will inevitably remember fond and not-so-fond memories of your primary or secondary school teachers.
Remember that teacher who wouldn’t stop nagging at you? Or the one who would make you sit at the front of the class and threatened to call your parents because you were so mischievous? That teacher who you were so scared of that you ran as fast as you could the moment you saw them?
As much as we hated them, now that we have grown up and matured, we can finally understand why our teachers did what they did. It was all for our own good. Yet, as young kids, we hated them and kept giving them trouble. Luckily, they didn’t give up on us.
I want to personally thank my Primary 2 Chinese teacher who would personally sit beside me after class every single day to force me to do my Chinese homework before I could leave school. I thank my Secondary School disciplinary master (whom I met with on multiple occasions because of my misdeeds), who was always strict on me but never gave up on me.
I thank my Primary 5 form teacher, who believed in me and said, “I wrote beautiful poems and could be a great writer.” She believed in me, when nobody else would.
Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Teachers devote their lives to educate the younger generation. They are the ones who influenced and built the present. They are the ones who continually shape Singapore’s future.
Let us take this moment to appreciate and thank our teachers today.