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Schools help less advantaged Singaporeans level up: PM Lee

Schools are important platforms to help Singaporeans from less advantaged backgrounds level up said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at the 45th anniversary dinner of National Junior College.

SINGAPORE: Schools are important platforms to help Singaporeans from less advantaged backgrounds level up, so that every child can have the opportunity to fulfil his potential, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaking at the National Junior College's (NJC) 45th anniversary dinner on Friday (June 6).

Mr Lee noted that NJC has done its part, with its continued tradition of having no affiliations with any primary or secondary school. 

"Its intake of JC 1 and Secondary 1 students comes from almost 100 secondary and primary schools," he said. "NJC actively seeks out students from humble backgrounds and offers talented ones bursaries to defray their educational expenses. NJC promotes a culture of moderation and restraint, so all students and staff feel comfortable and interact on equal terms with one another."

Mr Lee is an alumnus of NJC, which was set up in 1969 and was Singapore's first junior college. He was part of some 700 alumni who attended a dinner at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, including Members of Parliament Teo Ho Pin, Hri Kumar and Chen Show Mao.

Mr Lee noted that NJC has, most importantly, helped keep paths upward open to all and has made significant contributions to Singapore's education system. For example, NJC pioneered learning methods and systems that have been adopted by other schools such as the lecture and tutorial system, that became the blueprint for other junior colleges, as well as the four-year Integrated Programme. 

He also praised NJC's boarding programme, noting that it builds character and fosters an instinct in students to lead and serve. For example, community attachments help students have a better grasp of the issues on the ground so they can identify with the aspirations and challenges of other Singaporeans.

Mr Lee added that he was confident that the school's teachers, students, and alumni, will uphold the NJC spirit and values, and take it to higher peaks in the future.

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