Welcome to Hwa Chong Institution!

 

Welcome to Hwa Chong Institution!

Whenever I meet a Hwa Chong alumnus, each one of them never fails to speak fondly of his/her school experience and how Hwa Chong has made him/her into who he/she is today. Indeed, the Hwa Chong experience is a unique one, and every student who passes through the Hwa Chong gate has encountered episodes in school that are endearing and even life-transforming.

It is therefore most heartening to see that despite the physical barriers brought about by the new normal, the friendships and bonds that Hwa Chongians have forged through different generations remain strong. Many Hwa Chongians continue to serve the school and community long after they have left this campus, while inspiring their juniors by role modelling the value of “饮水思源” (remembering our roots and honouring our benefactors). This is a hallmark of an institution that embraces a strong family culture and a distinctive school spirit that generations of Hwa Chongians take pride in.

 

So, what constitutes the Hwa Chong Spirit? 

Firstly, it is the undaunted spirit of strength, resilience and tenacity, as espoused in the school value of “自强不息”. Guided by the continual quest for excellence and continual self-improvement, it is manifested by an innate entrepreneurial dare and the determination to persevere and never give up. Indeed, “自强不息” has its roots from the ancient Book of Changes or I-Ching, and describes a philosophy of life derived from the Qian (乾) hexagram, depicting the ceaseless evolution of nature and flow of the universe. (天行健,君子以自强不息。)

Secondly, it is the enduring spirit of community and service to others, as expressed in the school value of WIN-WIN or “己立立人,己达达人”. Guided by a deep sense of humility and gratitude to others who have nurtured or developed us (饮水思源),it is to consciously seek a virtuous and meaningful cause larger than oneself, with an innate understanding that the greatest self-worth that one can achieve is the selfless and wholehearted contribution to the greater “I” (大我), by bestowing self-worth and success to others and the community. I-Ching also offers a similar worldview as captured in the Kun (坤) hexagram which depicts how nature nurtures life and supports growth. (地势坤,君子以厚德载物。)

Together, “己立立人,己达达人” and “自强不息” complement each other and form the Yin and Yang of a balanced disposition and character. It also describes how the cultivation of one’s heart and mind should not cease at the personal mastery level, but should be extended to an active contribution towards the betterment of society and humanity, including the family, nation and the global community (修身、齐家、治国、平天下).

Indeed, these values are exemplified by the life stories and outstanding work of our forefathers, including Mr Tan Kah Kee and Mr Lee Kong Chian, whose statues stand tall in the school campus and continue to inspire generations of Hwa Chongians. As one of the earliest industrial pioneers in Southeast Asia, our founder, Mr Tan Kah Kee, made a profound impact in Singapore and China through his resilience and enterprising spirit. The commitment in devoting his life and fortune wholeheartedly to establish the school as well as many other education causes encapsulates the enduring spirit of community and service.

Likewise, Mr Lee Kong Chian spent much of his time and wealth in education and other philanthropic work to carve out a better future for the Chinese community during his time. He made significant contributions to Hwa Chong in many ways and served on the school board for a good 38 years. Even till today, generations continue to benefit from the legacy of our founders, through their selfless contributions in entrepreneurship, philanthropy, social reform and education. Their passion and courage to rise above social norms and seek out a better life for all in the face of multiple challenges continue to be an inspiration not just for Hwa Chongians, but for all Singaporeans.

Today, as Hwa Chong remains anchored on values education, we are equally committed to the quest to spearhead innovation and lead change, so that we continue to stay current and relevant in a fast-evolving world environment. Our focus on critical thinking, entrepreneurship and leadership will equip students with the skills they need to thrive in this changing landscape. Equally important is bilingual proficiency and a bicultural outlook that Hwa Chong seeks to inculcate in all of our students, so that Hwa Chongians are adept at learning the best from both the East and the West, develop a holistic worldview and navigate confidently across different cultures.

In 2021, the world faced many challenges due to the COVID-19 situation. Nevertheless, Singapore has certainly emerged stronger from the crisis with a united spirit and purpose. Likewise, as one Hwa Chong family, we adapted and innovated to ensure that teaching and learning continue uninterrupted. We worked closely with all our stakeholders and partners to provide a stimulating, enjoyable and unique Hwa Chong school experience. In nurturing a positive learning environment, we refurbished the High School library so that it brings together the best of the physical and digital, and supports blended and collaborative learning as a future-oriented learning hub.

Moving ahead, we can look forward to seeing our campus gradually being refreshed with new facilities that continue to create a conducive and enriching environment for all. These include an upgraded Tech Centre as an Innovation Hub housing new facilities such as a AI Lab, refurbished Heritage Centre, as well as technology-enabled learning spaces. All these bring us closer to our vision of creating a Smart Campus which delivers a future-ready and robust curriculum for our staff and students. 

Our founders’ firm dedication towards the betterment of Singapore inspires us daily, and urges us to put forth our utmost in each endeavour. We also acknowledge the unyielding support of MOE and the commitment of our board members, alumni, parents, school leaders, staff, educators and partners, both past and present, who have contributed generously and travelled alongside the school through the years. It is this strong family spirit, passion and belief by all members of Hwa Chong that has made us more than a school.

On this note, I wish all a fulfilling and rewarding experience with Hwa Chong!

Pang Choon How
Principal