Academic News

Hwa Chong’s Bicultural Studies Programme Receives National Recognition

23 Aug 2015
Academic General

3 Hwa Chong students have been awarded the Lee Hsien Loong Award for Outstanding Bicultural Students, the most number of award-winners of any school in this category. This follows up from 2014, where 2 Hwa Chong students achieved the award from 4 available.

This is further recognition of Hwa Chong’s Bicultural Studies (China) Programme, which saw a record 9 alumni admitted to the world renowned Peking University in 2014. The Bicultural Studies Programme, pioneered by Hwa Chong, seeks to allow students to appreciate their cultural inheritance, learn about China, as well as understand contemporary Chinese developments.

China’s continued and increasing involvement in the global economy means that the nurturing of bilingual leaders who can serve the nation is crucial, and we are confident that the Bicultural Studies Programme will be able to achieve this goal.

There were a total of 12 Hwa Chong students who were conferred the MOE Special Awards 2015. The award-recipients are:

Prime Minister’s Book Prize – Secondary Category
(Increase from 2014)

Matthew Ng Cheng Eng (15S6G)

Valerie Yeo (15S72)

Xu Xinyue Selina (15A14)

Prime Minister’s Book Prize – Pre-University Category
(Hwa Chong students garnered more than half the awards)

Chan Chin Kiat (13S72)

Chen Zi Ying Chloe (13S72)

Liew Ting Ting (13A12)

Lim Kar Sin Katherine (13S66)

Lim Yu Xin (13S72)

Neo Hui Yuan (13A12)

Lee Kuan Yew Award for Mathematics and Science – Secondary Category

Lor Jun Heng (15S7B)

Lee Kuan Yew Award for Mathematics and Science – Pre-University Category

Chik Cheng Yao (13S7B)

Lee Hsien Loong Award for Outstanding Bicultural Students
(3 out of 4 Award Winners from Hwa Chong)

Chan Chin Kiat (13S72)

Chen Zi Ying Chloe (13S72)

He Chen (13S6E)

Congratulations to all our award winners, and their teachers, for their outstanding achievements!

Hwa Chong’s 2015 Special Awards Prize Winners

At the Ceremony, winner of the Prime Minister’s Book Prize (Secondary) and the Lee Kuan Yew Award for All-Round Excellence, Xu Xinyue Selina (15A14), spoke about her passion to contribute to both society and nation. Her speeches, which were delivered in both English and Mandarin, are featured below.

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SPEECH BY XU XINYUE SELINA,
Winner of the Prime Minister’s Book Prize (Secondary) and
the Lee Kuan Yew Award for All-Round Excellence
at the Special Awards Presentation Ceremony 2015

A very good afternoon to our Guest-of-Honour,

Ms Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs,

Mr Wong Siew Hoong, Director-General of Education,

Distinguished guests,

Fellow students,

Ladies and gentlemen.

1. I am Selina, from Hwa Chong Institution, and also from the Nanyang Girls' High School Class of 2014. I am incredibly honoured and humbled to be standing here today. I would first like to start off by congratulating not just my fellow students who have been outstanding in various endeavours, but also the parents, teachers, family and friends who have rooted for all of us in our education journey so far. You have challenged us, nurtured us and motivated us at equal intervals — today the biggest "thank you" goes to you.

2. My education journey so far has been very blessed. I'm grateful to have been born in a family that values character, knowledge and cultural heritage. Since I was a child, there have been many visits to libraries, museums and theatres and numerous globetrotting adventures. My parents sparked off in me a curiosity about the world, a passion for languages and a capacity for imagination. They've also taught me by example the importance of being a person of integrity, courage and kindness, and very significantly, the importance of being grateful for what we have. To my parents who are seated in the audience, thank you for your unconditional love and for all the sacrifices you've made to give me a good start in life. I love you.

3. My teachers have also played irreplaceable roles in my pursuit of the languages. To Mr Tan Ying Kiat, the most inspiring English teacher I've ever had, thank you for instilling in me confidence in my English capabilities and for teaching me to discover, through literature, the common humanity that lies within all.

4. I spent my most transformative years in Nanyang Primary and Nanyang Girls' High School. To Nanyang I owe my biggest thanks. It was there where I had the most incredible opportunities and room to delve into my interests, which allowed me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Through a diverse range of opportunities, I am now more certain than ever before that my aspiration lies in international relations and in advancing Singapore's interest through her foreign policy.

5. Ten years of being in Singapore's education system have made me realise that my family, schools and Singapore have provided me far more than I give back. I believe each of us has a higher purpose that we can serve in our capacities as youths, beyond the pursuit of grades. That purpose is to use the privileges and experiences we have to help those who have had less and in that way, give back to the society that offers us so many opportunities in the first place. For me, I have always believed that words can make a difference. Since 2011, I have spent my Monday evenings at the weekly Meet-the-People sessions at the Senja-Cashew area, under Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

    The experiences I’ve had in my four years there have opened my eyes to the lives of Singaporeans who are on the fringes of society (the unemployed, the elderly, the single parent; and even the average Singaporean family crippled by unexpected hardship) and in understanding their perspectives, I learn more about their needs. I am grateful to have a platform to use my command of language to help seek solutions for them through drafting appeals to relevant ministries and statutory boards. This, to me, is the best kind of volunteer work — one which broadens your worldview, deepens your understanding, and is aligned with your talents and passions. For all of you talented individuals seated here, I encourage you to pursue or continue in your service to the community with your talents and your heart.

6. Awards are neither end-goals nor checkpoints, but small milestones in life’s journey which prompt us to pause and do a mental stocktaking of our lives — the questions on my mind at this moment continue to offer me direction in the path ahead and I hope they will for you as well:

7. What gives me purpose and meaning in life, and am I going after those things with all my heart?

     How can I give back to society with every opportunity gained?

     And am I challenging myself every day?

8. I wish all of you very meaningful lives and bright futures ahead — stay true to yourself and always challenge the ‘you’ of tomorrow to surpass the ‘you’ of today. Congratulations once again and all the best!

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尊敬的总理公署部长、环境及水资源部兼外交部第二部长傅海燕女士,

教育总司长王斯芸先生,

尊敬的嘉宾,

同学们,

在座的各位来宾:

       大家下午好。我是华侨中学(高中部)的许馨月,去年从南洋女中毕业。今天,我非常荣幸有机会在这里与大家分享我学习生涯的心得与体会。首先,我想祝贺在座的每位得奖者,所谓“一分耕耘,一分收获”,你们的努力在今天得到了应有的肯定,恭喜你们。但是,大家千万不要忘记每段成功故事的背后都凝聚着许多人的辛勤付出与默默守护。对于所有在座的父母和老师,是你们的栽培、启迪和激励才造就了今天的我们。在此,让我代表所有得奖者向你们表达最真挚的感谢!

        纵观我的学习旅程,对我影响最大的就是我的父母。我非常有幸在一个注重品德、知识和文化的家庭环境中长大。从小爸爸妈妈便以身作则,常常灌输我许多宝贵的价值观和人生道理,尤其是:做人要讲求诚信,要勇敢、要正直善良,并且要懂得感恩。通过言传身教,父母亲激发了我对探索世界的渴望、对文字的热爱,以及天马行空的想象力。爸爸妈妈,谢谢你们无条件的爱和包容。我爱你们!

         除了我刚刚已经感谢过的陈英杰老师,今天我也要特别感谢另一位恩师。她就是我南中的班主任曹敬华老师。曹老师,您如同我的人生导师,教会了我做人要谦虚谨慎,并时时提醒我要胜不骄败不馁。谢谢您!

        十年的学习生涯让我深深体会到家庭、学校和国家所付出的心血都是我无以回报的。 所谓“饮水思源”,莘莘学子都肩负着回馈社会的使命和责任感。对我而言,文字的力量是无穷的。从2011年开始,我每个周一晚上都会在凯秀区的议员接见选民活动中为社区服务,通过文字将民意传达给政府部门。那四年的无数个夜晚,让我有机会接触到各行各业的国人,倾听他们的心声,从而对民众的诉求有了更深刻的了解。面对面与一个失业的单亲妈妈谈话才能让我这个在温室里长大的女孩体会到人生的无奈和艰辛。我的世界观因此改变了,我的社会阅历也丰富了。我不再是一个闭门读书、纸上谈兵的学子。通过我们所积累的知识以及为改善社会所尽的一份绵薄之力,才能体现生存的意义与价值。

        未来的路还很长,一时的成功不代表永恒。在此,希望大家不仅要“修身”,更重要的是要齐家,进而兼济天下。让我们将今天的成就化为今后不懈的动力,通过毅力、勇气、忠诚和奋斗去实现自己的人生目标。

        祝愿大家有一个丰富、精彩、意义非凡的人生。

        谢谢大家!

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