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Singapore Government

Speech by Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development & Culture, Community and Youth at Ai Tong School’s 110th Anniversary Celebrations on 6 October 2022

Speech by Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development & Culture, Community and Youth at Ai Tong School’s 110th Anniversary Celebrations on 6 October 2022

新加坡福建会馆  蔡其生会长

教育部南区第七校群督导  许崇茂先生

爱同学校  吴玲玲校长

各位福建会馆属校董事、会馆理事

各位爱同校友,老师、家长和同学们

大家早上好!


1. 非常高兴今天回到母校,和大家一起欢庆爱同建校110周年。今天回返母校,心情十分激动,感触良多。打从今年一月份收到邀请函的时候,到现在,一直非常的兴奋。在爱同的六个年头,或许是我在学生生涯中,最难忘,也是最宝贵的几年。当年在宏茂桥的校舍,我还记得,同学们常常到大牌252 的邻里商店买零食。我和同学们约在下课后,一同步行到大牌244公共车站搭巴士。那从小学三年级那年开始参加了铜乐队,学习吹奏小喇叭。回忆起这些儿时的情景,让人觉得岁月不留人。虽然有些许的伤感,但是呢,更大的部分还是感恩。感谢历届在爱同献身于教育事业的校长们,老师们以及行政人员们,还有我们的福建会馆校友团、家长团、家长机构、社区伙伴们,有你们的付出,才有今天的爱同,感恩。

2. 刚才校长提到今年爱同110周年庆,主题是:“爱育桃李百十载,同创辉煌千秋业”。爱同学校在110年的教育岁月当中,既有辉煌,也经历了不少磨难,爱同学校不平凡的发展过程,为身为爱同学生的我们,提供了许多借鉴和学习的地方。


3. “爱同”是“博爱大同”的意思,这一点,我从离校以来,一直牢记在心,也尽量在以这个理念为本,对待生活中的人、事、物。1912年,由汪嘉谟牧师创办。1929年,面临全球经济大衰退,爱同也碰上了经济困难,无法维持下去,为了避免当时家境贫困的学生失学,福建会馆决定接办爱同,成为会馆的第三所属校。


4. 有了福建会馆强有力的支持,学校无论是在师资或是基础设施方面,都得到很大的改善。第二次世界大战后,许多学校无法复办,部分学生转到爱同学校上课,1961年,爱同的收生率达到2360位学生,是爱同历史上最多学生的一年。


5. 1980 年,爱同从市区搬迁到宏茂桥第三道新校舍,当时的校长是丁明正校长,也是我敬爱的校长。


6. 当时爱同有着丁校长英明的领导,福建会馆理事会的大力支持,全体师生的努力,于是爱同以完善的基础设施,以及学生的优良品德和成绩,再次获得家长的信赖和欢迎,宏茂桥的26间课室很快不够用了,才因此搬到现在的地点。听吴校长说,现在的校舍也不够用了!可见爱同十分受到家长的信任。作为校友,我也感到十分欣慰、荣幸!

7. 爱同110年的辉煌和坎坷,教导我们坚持和变通的重要。爱同对教育质量的坚持,以及在面对抉择时候的勇于变通,让学校在面对种种外部挑战的时候,能够站稳我们的脚步,继续为新加坡培育坚强,积极为社会作出贡献的下一代。

1. As I mentioned in my mandarin speech, Ai Tong School has not only nurtured generations of students and contributed to the development of Singapore, but has also continued to inspire students to have a heart for the community and be better citizens.

2. I am very heartened that our students are encouraged to give back to the community as they celebrate the school’s long and illustrious history. In line with Ai Tong’s mission to nurture students of good character, I understand P4 students have designed canvas tote bags for long-term community service partner organisations; P5 students have organised a school-wide book donation drive for the Salvation Army. And I understand that the P6 students, who have just completed an important milestone in their studies, will be raising funds for a charity through the sale of items that they will be making from recycled items. Now, these kind acts remind us that education does not and cannot exist in a vacuum. Without a heart for the community and sound moral values, good results have little value. 

3. Ai Tong has faced its fair share of challenges over the last 110 years. There may be more challenges in future, but with perseverance and the strong support of the Ministry of Education, Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan, the alumni association, parent support groups and parent volunteers, and our community partners, I’m fully confident that Ai Tong will continue to thrive, and drive better progress and success for future generations of resilient Singaporeans. 

4. In the spirit of nurturing future generations, I would also like to encourage students and teachers, and of course principals alike to set aside and prioritise time for your families, especially in the end of year holiday period. Strong families nurture resilient individuals, who in turn make important contributions to society. 

5. Once again, congratulations and may my beloved alma mater have many more 110th anniversary celebrations! Thank you!

 
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