THE SELF HELP GROUPS STUDENT CARE LIMITED (SHGSCL) FAMILY DAY WELCOME ADDRESS
BY MS LOW YEN LING, PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR MINISTRY OF EDUCATION & MINISTRY OF TRADE & INDUSTRY, AND CHAIRPERSON, SHGSCL
4 JUNE 2016
Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health and Chairman of CDAC Board, Mr Ng Chee Meng, Acting Minister for Education (Schools), representatives of the Self Help Groups, school leaders, parents, students, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
1. On behalf of Self Help Groups Student Care Limited, I would like to express my utmost gratitude to all the parents, students, and the four Self Help Groups for taking time off this Saturday morning to join us for our Family Day. A very warm welcome to everyone and thank you for your support!
Objective of SHGSCL & Family Day
2. The Self Help Groups Student Care Limited was set up in November 2015 by the four Self Help Groups, namely the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Yayasan MENDAKI, Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) and the Eurasian Association (EA). It aims to have 30 school-based Student Care Centres catering to students of all races by year 2020.
3. After-school care is no after-thought. It is integral to the future and growth of our children. Where and how children spend their time after school has important implications for their development. After-school care is a golden opportunity to enhance and enrich our children’s growth and learning beyond academics. That’s why our student care service is called “Big Heart Student Care”. As the name suggests, this student care service welcomes students of all backgrounds, and aims to inspire these young minds to realise their strengths and contribute back to society.
4. Big Heart Student Care aims to provide quality and affordable after-school care services to all students and their parents. Parents can work and have peace of mind when they know that their children being nurtured and guided in a safe environment. Big Heart’s student care services complements the education in schools with its commitment to holistic development of the students. Its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the MOE ensures that those from less-advantaged backgrounds will also be able to gain from the support and holistic development offered at all Big Heart centres. To date, Big Heart has six centres with close to 400 students. Another four centres with over 200 students will be up and running by July this year.
Unique Value Proposition of BHSCCs by SHGSCL people
5. To ensure every student is able to develop to his or her full potential, we will put in place a professional, committed and passionate team to partner parents and schools Big Heart Student Care is committed to hiring and deploying centre officers with the right attributes, skills and knowledge to inculcate good values and habits in our students.
Programmes & Partnership
6. Big Heart Student Care’s key mission is to provide quality and affordable after-school care services to support the holistic development of our students. To do this, we will put in place a professional, committed and compassionate team to partner parents, schools and the community in shaping our young generation. We believe every student is unique, with great learning potential. They come with a rich pool of knowledge and experience. Besides providing a safe and nurturing environment for them after school, we will provide our students with the support and facilities they need to discover their strengths, pursue their aspirations and realise their potential.
7. Beyond academic knowledge, we will also instill and inculcate the right values in our students. Our focus on value-based learning is aligned with the values taught at schools. All Big Heart centres and students will be guided by our I.CARE core values. I stands for Integrity, C for Compassion, A for Adaptability, R for Responsibility and E for Excellence.
8. As part of their holistic development, students will enjoy access to existing programmes offered by the Self Help Groups and supporting agencies such as those involving Music and Dance, Speech and Drama, Art and Craft. Examples include CDAC’s “Math through Arts” programme and Mendaki’s “CM-Tech, a robotics and coding programme. These programmes will start in the second half of 2016. NAC’s arts programme for positive youth development, which is already running at Mayflower Primary (Visual Arts), Blangah Rise and Xingnan Primary (Music and Dance Percussion) will also be offered to students at Big Heart. The programmes are designed to meet the students’ social, emotional, recreational, physical, intellectual and creative needs. Their interactive quality promotes thinking and reflection, and encourages cooperation amongst students.
9. We hope to create an environment that is homely and conducive for studying. After school, students can also look forward to a piping hot meal, have a hot shower, relax and engage in art and craft, play games and sports.
Partnership with Primary Schools, Parents, Teachers, Supporting Agencies & Community
10. Xingnan Primary School is our latest dedicated Big Heart centre. The school has worked in close collaboration with SHG Student Care Centre to develop a comprehensive learning and development programme that reflects the school’s core values. For example, they have embarked on an art and craft project where students create works of art with recyclable materials. Through this, they gain a better understanding and respect for making the environment sustainable. This is an excellent example of our partnerships with schools.
11. Such partnerships – be it with parents, students, schools and the community, or the respective Self Help Groups, MOE and MSF – all point to the edge we have when we work together to make a difference to the lives our students.
12. Today, we also see the spirit of partnership in the many bonding activities taking place at this event. I trust you had a rewarding time at the parent and student workshops earlier, and I am sure that you will enjoy the students’ exhibition booths. Look out for the Kampong Spirit Kampong Fun booth sponsored by the National Heritage Board (NHB), as well as the multi-cultural games at the game stations manned by our student volunteers and teachers from Jurong Junior College.
13. Once again, I would like to express my utmost appreciation to Xingnan Primary School for supporting this event, and all our volunteers from the Self Help Groups, and not forgetting the teachers, students and family members from the Student Care Centres for taking time off this weekend to join us today. I wish everyone a great day ahead