To celebrate our achievements in education and to recognise the contributions of our pioneers, more than 700 pioneers and guests were invited to a Pioneer Tribute Dinner organised by the Ministry of Education (MOE) on 31 July 2014, at Fairmont Singapore.
At the dinner, the pioneers were treated to a nostalgic “back to school” programme, reflecting a typical school day. These included a “school assembly” segment with a lively ballroom dance performance by Edgefield Primary School, a “principal’s address” by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education, as well as a “history lesson” showcasing the milestone contributions of our pioneers to Singapore’s journey in education. The evening ended with a “music lesson” featuring community singing of a medley of familiar and favourite tunes such as “Burung Kakak Tua”, “You Are My Sunshine” and “Munnaeru Vaalibaa”.
In his address, Minister for Education paid tribute to the pioneers’ contribution and service to Singapore and Singapore’s education system. In particular, Minister Heng attributed three legacies to the education pioneers:
The first legacy: pioneers laid the firm foundation for our success in education, and in our nation.
The second legacy: their pioneering spirit, underpinned by the values of resourcefulness, resilience and responsibility, forged a generation of young Singaporeans to become good and worthy citizens of Singapore.
The third legacy: by their example, they inspired their students to join the noble profession of teaching, to carry the torch forward and to keep its flame burning bright.
The Pioneer Tribute Dinner flagged off MOE’s year-long Educators@SG50 celebrations and tribute to pioneer educators and staff who served in education during the post-independence years.
MOE begins its year-long celebration and series of activities, under the banner of Educators@SG50, which will include school-based pioneer tribute events, key MOE-organised events and activities for pioneer, senior and current educators, staff, students and members of the public, in line with Singapore50 celebrations. More details will be announced at a later date.
From 5 September 2014, MOE Heritage Centre will hold a series of Pioneer Tribute Tea Sessions for pioneers and retired senior educators and staff every Friday until 31 October 2014. They can visit the galleries with their families and friends to relive the Singapore Education Story, reminisce their years in school and share tales with fellow retired educators. The first session on 5 September, Teachers’ Day, will feature celebratory festivities including food stalls and performances. For more information, call 6838 1614 or visit www.moeheritagecentre.sg.