Reported by Tan Zheng Yu, Luke and Sim Yan Ling, 14B5
2014, a new year, new start and new beginning for everyone in Millennia Institute. Every year to kick start the new Pre U 1s journey in MI, our school prepares an orientation to help ease them into the school as well as help them get used to the vigor of the A levels. Of course, this year is no exception.
On the first day of the orientation, the hall was filled with uniforms of all colors and designs. Some students looked around anxiously hoping to find someone that they know. After the morning assembly, the orientation officially started with a welcome speech from our school principal, Mrs Tan. Like last year, this year’s orientation also had the MMF (Map MI Future) lecture, one that is very important to all Year 1s as this will help them decide what they will study for the next 3 years. After all the boring but important talks, it’s finally time for the icebreaker games! The OGLs and Councilors startedwith the exciting bombing game. At first, only the OGLs and Councilors participated but a few minutes later, the Pre U 1s started participating too. Yo allow everyone to get to know each other, the OGs also played the name game. It was a struggle for some to remember so many names all at once, however, with this activity, friendships were made.
What’s an orientation without cheers? So, to inculcate a sense of belonging, the Pre U 1s were taught both the MI song, dance and cheers. Here it goes:
Hey people what’s that school it’s so cool and it’s so blue. What do you see? I see an M, I spot an I. We got the might we’re ready to fight! We got the drive, we’re ready to strive! Wooosh! Don’t mess with us!
At the end of the first day, everyone was tired but excited and looking forward to the Orientation the next day.
If I were to choose, the second day of the orientation was the best. There were fewer talks and the highlights of the day were the CCA open house and the Night activity. It was a really exciting day not only for the Pre U 1s, but also for their seniors. The seniors were busy preparing for their CCA performers as well as their CCA booths. The performance started with the band playing the theme song from the movie Ponyo, Gake no Ue no Ponyo. When the performance ended, the CCA open house officially started. The OGLs brought their groups to the many different CCAs booths so that the Pre U 1s could learn more about the different CCAs in MI.
Dinner was after the CCA open house and this year, our school organized a Lou Hei session with the parents. Here are the thoughts of some participants:
Mr Azman (VP): It was a good bonding session for the parents and the teachers. It is a rarity for the orientation to fall in CNY period, and this is an auspicious sign for the start of the New Year.
Mdm Rai (Teacher): It was good for bonding, however there’s too little food and the space was too constrained.
Barry (Pre U 1): It’s a bit wasteful, but it was fun and messy. It was also a good time for parents to see orientation at work, and to see the teachers too.
With dinner over, it’s time for what everyone had been waiting for, the night activity! The parents went to attend the parents night and with the parents gone… it was time to let loose! Everyone was brought to the hall. Suddenly, the lights began to dim and our favorite Emcees appeared in costumes. This year, the theme for MI’s orientation was Greek Gods. Rules and regulations for the game were explained as everyone waited anxiously in the dark for their turn. What a scare they got when they moved past the corridor to their venues - ghosts wailing, a man with two heads, two mummies and so much more. At each station, a mission was given to the group and solving it would give them a hint to solve the mystery of where Athena had gone. It was a really fun and fruitful day for everyone.
“What am I doing…” questioned Muhammad Hadri from Hermes 3, as he watched in confusion while trying to replicate the complicated dance moves the Councillors were performing on stage to a remix of Flo Rida’s Good Feeling. His look of confusion was then replaced with a look of complete shock and disbelief as the Councillors moved their arms in rapid succession. This was the notorious MI Dance that every single Pre U 1 had to participate in before the end of their orientation, and has already become something of a rite of passage in MI. It was actually quite enjoyable to see different students and teachers stumbling and laughing as they tried to mimic the dance moves while thoroughly enjoying themselves.
It was hot. The merciless sun just continued to beat down upon the Pre U 1s as they fruitlessly and desperately tried to shield themselves from the direct rays of the sun. They had a choice. One was to continue to get roasted in the blazing heat. The other was to crawl through a series of wet mats in order to cool themselves down. But here’s the catch. Liquid and powdered soap littered the mats, giving off a sweet yet sickly scent. Councillors and Orientation Group Leaders (OGLs) stood guard by the sides of the mats, armed with huge buckets of soapy water mixed with who-knows-what. A photographer stalked around the end of the paths, waiting to take embarrassing photos. This was one of the two Mass Games that occurred in the Third Day. And yet, most of the Pre U 1s actually enthusiastically jumped through the mats, sliding about and screaming "NO!!!" when photos were taken. Yet this was peaceful compared to the warzone at the other end of the field. Huge “bangs!” comparable to gunshots rang across it. Figures of people attempting to stomp on each other could be seen from a distance. This was the second Mass Game. The main objective was to eradicate your opponent. By stepping on the balloons tied around their ankles, you’ll force your opposing team players to retire from the game, and the team that pops more of the opponents balloons win. Someone from Hermes shouted: “THIS IS SPARTA” as she mercilessly crushed her opponent’s balloon. Cruel.
The next and final segment of Day 3 was the Amazing Race. In the Amazing Race, the four OGs competed in games to be the first to go back to the hall. The games played in the Amazing races required all the members to participate. This helps to promote teamwork among the Pre U 1s, a skill that would come in handy in their Year 2 PW.
What do Sang Ni La Utama, the Merlion, and Changi Airport have in common? I have no idea either. Oh wait, they are all things that can represent Singapore. That was the first main activity of Day 4, NE games. Pre U 1s were supposed to use paper, tape, newspapers, and more to create costumes for victims, I mean volunteers, in their OGs. The volunteers were then to perform a skit or a dance in front of everyone. Notable characters include a Changi Airport Control Tower with 3 Paper Airplanes, a very shy Vanda Miss Joaquim (our national flower) and a shirtless Sang Ni LA Utama who was regrettably stopped by our emcees due to censorship. It was a fun and enjoyable experience where huge bursts of laughter filled the entire hall due to the hilarity of the costumes and the performances put up by the mascots along with the OGLs. Eventually, it was decided that Apollo the winner due to their overwhelming enthusiasm and amazing performance.
The finale was here! Much effort had been put into the practicing of the performance for the finale in order to be the top group! The hall shook with the loud roars of the Pre U 1s as they cheered their team mates on. Tributes from each clan were sent out to compete in the 11th Orientation Best Boy and Girl award! Each tribute fought hard, giving inspiring and entertaining speeches. They thanked the support of their OG members, the Councillors, and the photographer for making this orientation such an amazing one. Finally after much contemplation, and battles, the final Victors of the 11th Clan, Annual MI Orientation was Oscar from Hermes and Fera from Artemis! They both walked away, as the Best Boy and Best Girl of MI.
The last part of the orientation was a Battle Royale between the 4 major clans. Each Clan tried their best to impressthe judges, as they danced, acted out or just screamed out songs and cheers. Hera was particularly impressive, utilising the Theme for this Orientation for their skit. Apollo incorporated the 4 MI values to create 4 different skits. Hermes and Artemis led the school on a dance fest.
Overall, we all had much fun during the orientation, and that is without any doubt thanks to the Councillors, the OGLs and the many people who have worked hard behind the scenes. Now the harsh A Level Journey starts. We wish the Pre U 1s all the best in their years in MI.
Reported by Jeremy Cheng Jun Wei, 14A1
The origins of chocolate can be traced back to as far as 1100 BC in the American tropical rainforest, where cocoa plantations were first discovered. Though chocolate is widely seen today as a luxury to the taste, it held the significance of being a cure for illnesses such as seizures, fevers, dysentery, diarrhea, and skin infections for the ancient Mayu and Aztec people of Central America and Mexico.
Today, research tells us that eating chocolate triggers the release of the endorphin “Phenylethylamine” in our brains, which links to those parts of our mind that make us fall in love, thus making this delicacy an ideal gift on Valentine’s Day! Having said that, chocolate on Valentine’s day carries a totally different meaning for me! Rather than seeing it as a means for courtship, I feel that unity and bonds are strengthened by the simple gesture of exchanging chocolate.
14 Feb is usually just like any other day to me. However, this year I made the effort to buy chocolates for all the people I have come to know in Millennia Institute since the Pre U 1 Orientation programme. I am very thankful to know each and every one of them and wish for them to know that “I’ve got their back, and we will all definitely overcome our adversity – proceeding to the A levels together.”
So this year’s Valentines’ Day began like this: I quickly settled behind Hermes 4(My Orientation Group) in the hall where a briefing about Physical Education had already commenced. In my bag I stashed three boxes of “Ferrero Rocher”, on standby to be opened to serve their duties on this special day. Just when the Head of Department was about to make her closing statement for the briefing, a transparent plastic box was uncovered stealthily from my bag. Swiftly, I began to distribute out the first batch of chocolate to the people seated closest to me. They responded in delight with simple but warm "thank yous". Apart from just being in the spirit of giving, an extremely pleasant feeling melted my heart. This continued until I finally cleared half of my final box. There was tremendous joy in witnessing my extra effort going a long way to making someone else's day!
Thus, I hope my sharing inspires you to always remember to have a willing heart to share good things with the people around you. Take joy in giving, for
“Giving is Loving and Loving is Euphoria!”
Reported by Lim Yi Jia, 13A2
On 30th January, Millennia Institute held its Chinese New Year celebration to usher in the year of the Horse.
To get the ball rolling, a video was shown to explain the significance of the horse year. It introduced the origins of the Chinese word for "horse" and showed how the word transformed over the years. The attributes of the horse were also mentioned and it is hoped that from the video, we can learn from the horse and display determination and courage in our daily lives.
There was also a performance of Chinese New Year festive songs sung by the Pre U 3s. The performance really stood out because the students involved were non-Chinese. They had put in a lot of effort into learning the Chinese words and their hard work did pay off in the end. They successfully delivered a brilliant performance and gave us a pleasantly-sung piece. It was a feast for the ears and the performance served as a reinforcement of the unity between the different races in multi-cultural Singapore.
The Indian dancers from our neighbouring Princess Elizabeth Primary School served up a spectacular performance. Their catchy beats and synchronized movements grabbed the attention of the students and at the end, the dancers were showered with warm applause.
This year, two skilled diabolo players from NTU were also invited over to perform. They presented to us with an impressive performance of this traditional Chinese toy. The students were awed by the various difficult tricks the performers were able to pull off with the unique instrument, and their ability to handle it so precisely reflected the immense practice that they put in to master the diabolo. To liven up things, students and teachers were given a chance to go up on stage and experiment with the diabolo. The volunteers were unfamiliar with the handling of the toy at first, but eventually got the hang of it. Meanwhile, everyone was amused and entertained by their antics.
The results of the Chinese New Year e-card design competition was revealed towards the end of the celebration, with 12A2 attaining the first prize. Nevertheless, the other e-cards were amazing too. All of the twenty e-cards submitted were beautifully designed, adorned with well wishes for the teachers and schoolmates. They are a perfect reflection of the talent MI students have.
The joyous occasion finally came to a close with the usual sing-along session. The exuberant atmosphere was buoyed by the joyous tunes and the teachers joining in.
All in all, the celebration was a huge success. We are grateful for the efforts put in by the various groups into delivering such a wonderful show. It was truly an unforgettable celebration. We hope for every student to have a fulfilling and meaningful year ahead!
Reported by Jasmine Lim, 13S5
The morning of the eve of Lunar New Year was a meaningful time for all students as we worked as a class to make hampers filled with food items for the needy. Prior to this activity, we had to gather all the food items to be placed in each hamper, as well as the wrapping materials. There were bought items, as well as those brought from home. I was looking forward to the activity but when it was time to get started, I realised the difficulty of wrapping a presentable hamper. Since it was to be donated, it had to look appealing on the outside.
As time passed, step by step we were able to wrap up the 2 hamper baskets nicely! The activity was successfully completed. I felt a great sense of satisfaction. By then it was time to go and watch the Chinese New Year celebrations in the school hall.
In my opinion, the most important thing was not the hampers we made; instead it was the process, especially the time I spent bonding with my classmates. Sessions like this do not come by often so I treasure these bits of interaction I have with my peers a lot. I am glad that we took part in a meaningful activity – wrapping hampers for a good cause!
Reported by Lim Yi Jia, 13A2
On 14th February, Millennia Institute commemorated Total Defence Day. Total Defence Day is an important day for us all. It teaches us to cherish the peace and stability Singapore is enjoying now, and also serves as a reinforcement of the importance of protecting our homeland.
This year's Total Defence Day theme is "Because You Played A Part". To start off, there was a presentation about the MacDonald House bombing that happened in Singapore in 1965, when a bomb planted by two Indonesian saboteurs killed three people. Students gained a deeper insight into the causes and consequences of this tragedy. We could see how vulnerable Singapore can be in the face of foreign attacks. Hence it is crucial for every individual to play a significant role in guarding Singapore from such threats. It was indeed a meaningful presentation.
This year, there was also a week-long event titled "In Search of the Defenders", where students and teachers were encouraged to hunt for sixty toy defenders scattered around the school. As part of the day's celebration, the NE Council distributed prizes for those who have successfully found the defenders. These lucky winners definitely have a keen eye for observation!
The main highlight of the day was when four of our teachers - Mr Chua, Mr Idris, Mr Pow and Mr Hairul- were invited up on stage to share the valuable experiences that they went through during their NS days. They revealed that although the training was tough, it was exciting at the same time and that they gained a lot of skills and knowledge. Their experiences had allowed them to understand how vital it is to defend Singapore and also made them realise that the security of Singapore should never be taken for granted. These four teachers and generally every Singaporean in the defence forces are all our superheroes as they have contributed immensely in safeguarding Singapore from external threats.
The celebration ended with a re-enactment of a terrorist attack. A few "terrorists" invaded and just as they were advancing with deadly weapons, the teachers as the superheroes came to the rescue and shot them all, injuring them and saving Singapore once again. All the students were very amused, and this entertaining segment was met with warm applause.
This year's Total Defence Day was a memorable one, and it is hoped that every citizen will play a part in protecting Singapore. No one is too insignificant to help. Each and every one of us can make a huge difference indeed.
Reported by Ng Gek Lian Elean and Shafiqah Bte Mohamed Kamali, 12S2
On the morning of 21 January 2014, a pair of Pre U 3 students from each class attended the Millennia Institute Alumni Association (MIAA) dialogue. The dialogue aimed to reach out to current students who may need other forms of support which they might not be able to get from the school. Thus the Alumni Association steps in to do all they can to help the current students studying in Millennia Institute now.
The MIAA has helped the current students by raising funds through events, such as Bowl to Bond, which helps students who have financial difficulties, and bond the current students and the alumni through organizing homecoming games which has been held since 2012.
The chairman of MIAA came down to MI to have a dialogue with the Pre U 3 students - Mr Desmond Koh and Mr Ser were present. Through the dialogue, suggestions of ways to improve the school’s academic and non-academic experience surfaced, such as having more job shadowing opportunities and motivational courses by past students.
The dialogue is another way through which former and current MI students can bond, through the association.
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According to anti-poverty charity Oxfam, the richest 85 people in the world own as much wealth as the bottom half of the population. The income gap is measured by the Gini coefficient - a standard international measure of income inequality. This article presents 蓝心's (12S1) view on Singapore’s Gini index.
By 蓝心, 12S1
2012年，南洋理工大学的林崇椰教授便提出令人震撼的第二次经济重组说，呼吁政府以逐年提高收入在后20% 的低收入者的工资，甚至向高收入者开刀，提出逐年减薪等各项被人认为偏向极端的政策建议。当时的基尼指数为0 .457, 位于危险指数的边缘地带。虽然林崇椰教授关于高薪冻结的意见未受响应，却也提醒人们更加关注贫富落差悬殊的问题。
By Dhiya Bisyarah Bte Fadzal, 13A4
One thing that I learnt, based on the culture here, is that Koreans emphasise family orientation more than other countries that I have recently been to. This particularly has impacted me quite a bit and interests me because of the heart-warming and humble action of always prioritizing family and making sure everyone sits down to have meals together. I think this act should be inculcated into other families and other countries as well so that the emotional connection and bond between one another will be strengthened and healthy. Hence, this simple doing of family oriented activities has impacted me positively to a large extent.
This trip has helped me understand Korea better from a political point of view. I have learnt that the relationship between the North Korea and South Korea has been extremely strained since the war that happened in 1950 and any possible act of reconciliation is in fact slim due to the fact that both parties cannot agree with one another. Despite not having the means and opportunity to visit North Korea, I found out and learnt that both countries are metaphorically two worlds apart because both have extremely different lifestyles and beliefs. Therefore both parties, despite being in the Korean peninsula, are unable to unify. Politically, this is one thing that I have learnt from this trip.
By Tharshini D/O Ganesan, 13A2
The MI.World trip to United Kingdom was a very enriching experience. In this trip, we had an opportunity to visit Birmingham. At Birmingham, we visited the Warwick Castle that shows more about the English history. There were elaborate displays of the many rooms in the castle. Each room has been kept and restored with many details that show visitors like me about every generation of English history. There was also an elaborate display of weaponry and wax figurines that were displayed to show how people dressed in the various centuries. Moreover, we manage to look at the way people lived and how they trained and prepared for battle. As such these detailed displays enabled me a deeper understanding of the English history.
As a Literature student, I looked forward to visiting William Shakespeare's birthplace. During the talk on William Shakespeare, I learnt how he contributed to the English language as he influenced many phrases and many writers. He has also created a legacy as his plays and other works are still appreciated till today. It taught me to appreciate his works more as he has contributed a lot to the English language and English literature too.
London has always been fascinating to me with its rich history and architecture. The architecture is amazing as most buildings are intricately carved with many influences. Unlike in Singapore where space is limited and buildings are built with a modern and contemporary mindset. London has many iconic places such as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. At the Tower of London, I was able to look at the Crown Jewels. It was very intriguing and eerie as the fortune chambers and its methods of torture were extremely cruel. It gave an insight of how people were treated in the past and how Kings or people in authority ruled in the past.
At Westminster Abbey, we discovered many facts about the many Kings and Queens such as the Virgin Queen and gazed upon the tombs of many leaders, writers and legends. Notable writers like Charles Dickens, Jane Austen were located at the poets' corner where writers and also famous musicians were given recognition for their contribution. Seeing these places that were intricately carved and artistically designed was very awe-inspiring. It was truly a memorable moment for me to catch a glimpse of such a place.
Poeple have a different perspective of Art and the Arts in London compared to Singapore. Visiting the Tate Modern museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum shows me this. The Tate Modern museum has various artworks of artists around the world that gives many views that are unusual. Moreover it showed me a different way of approaching things in an unexpected way. At the Victoria and Albert museum I was able to look at various European art that was indeed amazing. As compared to Singapore where Arts and the Arts are not entirely focused on, Art is greatly appreciated in London and many careers are in the Arts can be pursued, which I learnt during the poetry workshop.
Going on a tour to University College, London was very helpful as it gave me a chance to gain a better understanding of an overseas education. It has definitely inspired me to do better for my 'A' Levels. Touring Shakespeare's Globe Theater and participating in an acting workshop has made me more interested in wanting to act in drama and plays. This interest was further heightened when we went to watch Charlie and the Chocolate factory, the musical.
Being in London has been very exciting as we were exposed to a very different culture. Art is more vividly seen in London and there are many famous iconic figures compared to Singapore which has a more scientific and business approach in terms of its education. Though progress has been made to ensure the Arts and our local history is still valued, there is a lot that we can learn from London. Yet, our culture is also very diverse as compared to London. As such this trip has allowed me to see the differences between London and Singapore and has taught me many things that I can learn and appreciate.
By Jillian Leong Wei Ying, 12B2
Given that our destination was situated outside of Asia, coupled with the fact that this was my first time outside of Asia, in Europe, this has truly been an enriching experience for me. The stark difference in culture was at first a shock, but we were well- prepared by our teachers to be open-minded and to embrace their culture. Hence, we adjusted quickly to their lifestyle despite the jet lag that lasted for about two days.
The Dutch were so warm and welcoming; each family embraced us like their own and the Dutch students were beyond friendly. That really helped ease the awkwardness and removed all our uncertainties. The chance to be able to connect and interact with our Dutch buddies beforehand also allowed us get along with them and their families.
One of the highlights of the trip was the ice-skating activity at the open-air rink in town, in front of the historic Rijksmuseum. That session really broke the ice among all of us! It was a great time of fun, laughter, and bonding.
The Dutch food was very different as Asia's staple food - rice - was not common there. Instead, potatoes, cheese and lots of meat was mainly what filled our plates at every meal time, and it was equally scrumptious. My Dutch family in particular are heavy-eaters; I would go for 1 round at dinner while as they went for 3! Ironically, you don't see any obese people in Amsterdam! My 'Dutch father' told me that they have health programmes that actively help their people control their weight (similar to the ones we have back home in our schools).
Each lesson that we attended at Het Amsterdams Lyceum was captivating as we learnt more about Amsterdam and its heritage. The practical sessions were even more engaging!
Touring the city and visiting the museums gave us a fresh perspective of the city, outside of what we have learnt in the classrooms. Despite the cold weather, I loved it as it was entirely opposite from hot and humid Singapore. The old city was full of amazing architecture and just walking the streets and soaking in the atmosphere was something that I thoroughly enjoyed!
We also went to places outside the city such as to visit the windmills and we were blown away by the scenery (pun intended). It was perfect, picturesque at every corner we turned, and every angle we viewed it from. It was stunningly beautiful, like walking through a painting.
We were also privileged to have our trip fall during the festive period of their "Sinterklaas" celebration. This festival celebrates the figure of a person who is similar to that of our "Santa Claus" but instead of elves as his helpers, they have black Piets (Zwarte Piets) - black skins due to the soot from the chimneys. Also, their "Santa Claus" rides on a horse instead of a sleigh pulled by reindeers. On the 5th Dec and after, we saw many dressed up as Sinterklaas and Piets; the festive spirit was indeed in the air, making our trip even more interesting.
Overall, I leave this trip with no regrets, but a deeper longing to return to that beautiful and breath-taking city. I have learnt that there is indeed more out there waiting to be seen, to be learnt and to be experienced, outside of Singapore and even outside of Asia.
Geraldine Teo, 12B4
Chong Mei Juan, 12S1
Everybody has a time in their life when they hit a crossroads. A chapter in your life is closed and with it the tears, joys, laughter, good and bad memories. It is a start of something new and you know your life will never be the same.
One of these crossroads for some, if not many, would be during the collection of the “O” levels results, and choosing the next route of education to travel on. Millennia Institute is definitely a school many prospective students have contemplated as they decide to take on the “A” Level challenge. This can be attested to by the responsive crowd that visited Millennia during the MI Open House 2014.
In this sea of potential students, many of them seem to be deeply interested in the business subjects offered by the institute. The business teachers have indeed captured the imagination and hearts of these prospective students by incorporating more props and using well-organised slides to showcase the business spirit and culture in MI. Many students and parents have expressed that they are captivated by the holistic business education provided, such as beyond syllabus activities like the MI mart and the MI.World. These adolescents have also emphasized that after attending the open house, they have a well-informed insight with regards to Economics, Management of Business and Principles of Accounts - the two distinguished subjects offered only in MI - which has filled their hearts with a fervent desire to join the big MI family.
Meanwhile, the Arts room is packed. There is a fantastic exhibition of not only Historical and Geographical readings, articles, but also masterpiece assignments done by students. A good number of prospective students and parents were awed by these displays. Some are impressed by the academic resources that are so ardently prepared by the teachers to prepare the students for the study of these subjects. Through the in-depth explanation by the teachers about the syllabus, potential students gain better insight of the purpose of the syllabus and in learning the subjects. For example, to truly comprehend the contents in History for A levels would require an empathetic understanding rather than just an emotional understanding.
Likewise for the English and English Literature department, the teachers have also done well in preparing for the open house. General Paper skills packages, Broader Perspectives(magazines), Time magazines, posters, literature texts and novels were neatly and orderly placed on the tables. There is also a presentation of the various MI.World trips to South Korea, India and the U.K. which show prospective students the wonderful opportunities of being to learn and experience about different cultures beyond geographical boundaries.
To conclude, the Open House has been successful in introducing all that MI has to offer to potential students. The institute looks forward to warmly welcoming the PU1s into the big MI family. Our new freshmen will become witnesses and participants to the great legacy being written.
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TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MR TAN CHOR PANG
Every year, we celebrate the hard work and dedication of our teachers. They spend their time preparing us for the future and even sacrificing family time in order to prepare lessons for us. Despite all the nagging that we students have to endure, deep down we know that it is for our benefit and for our future.
For this Teachers’ Day, we are honoured have our principal, Mr Tan Chor Pang, share with us his experiences as a teacher.
Who inspired you to be a teacher?
“I knew that I wanted to be a teacher from the time I finished my O levels. Many people like my A level teacher inspired me to love a subject. From there, I majored in that subject, Economics, and started teaching.”
What were some of your memorable moments you had?
“The other day I was packing some stuff when I found a letter from a family member of my student thanking me for changing his attitude for Maths. That letter dated 20 years ago, so it definitely was heart-warming re-reading the letter.”
What do you find most rewarding as a teacher?
“Imparting your knowledge to students is one of the rewarding things. But being able to change students’ life, helping them through their difficult moments in life and preparing them for the future is what I find most rewarding.”
What are some of the ups and downs as a teacher?
“Teachers are happy with small things. Seeing students succeed and changing their life for the better are definitely some of the ups as a teacher. The down side of being a teacher is that some students need different methods to tackle them. Sometimes this easily burns a teacher out. Everything would then be so heavy and overwhelming.”
“A good teacher would find ways to get around, take breaks in order to find energy to carry out their daily life.”
With that, MI Wired would like to thank Mr Tan for taking time off his busy schedule to speak to us and we wish him a Happy Teachers’ Day!
Feera Syaqirah Bte Saadudin, 13A1
Chong Mei Juan, 12S1
Feera Syaqirah Bte Saadudin, 13A1
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MRS KOH CAIYU
Students may describe Mrs Koh Cai Yu as a stern Vice Principal (VP) as students amongst us would have either been lectured or yelled by her for our wrong doings or not performing up to expectations. My deepest impression of her yelling would be at the PU2s for not taking our target setting for Common Test seriously, after the March Holidays this year.
However, for those who have interacted with her, they will describe her as someone who would oversee personally during preparation of events and care for her students. Some might also say that she is good with her choice of words and confident when speaking to the student population.
MI Wired is honoured to be able to know more and share about Mrs Koh’s life as a student.
What school were you from and what was your subject combination?
“I was from Methodist Girls School (MGS) from Primary school to Secondary school, taking double sciences, double math and double humanities during my O level days. I studied in Anglo-Chinese Junior College ACJC during my Pre-University days, graduating from the Commence faculty.”
What was your most memorable experience as a student?
“When I was in secondary school, it would be planning for specific events are a class together. One of which is being involved in an independent play for English Week. We selected a story as a class, edit it and rehearse on our own, to be showcased during one of the recess periods. It is memorable due to the amount of work and effort put in, not knowing if anyone would watch the play.”
“In ACJC, it would be a biennial fun fair held by the school called Fun-o-rama which involves our class to set up our own stalls. It is memorable as it involves selling of tickets to the public, preparing of our own food (it was allowed back then), coming out with our own capital and designing of our own games”
What obstacles did you face during your student life? How did you overcome it?
“I hated science when I was studying. I have been failing every physics test since I took the subject. However, it’s a subject that we have to sit for an exam so I had to work harder throughout the year and obtained A2 for both my prelims and O levels. I may not say that it is an obstacle, as it is a need for us to do the subject while studying”
“I had family issues and financial difficulties when I was studying. As MGS was an independent school, school fees became a concern. I had to be pro-active in searching for financial assistance and to do well academically in order to be eligible for EDUSAVE awards to help in the funding of my school fees.”
Were there any teachers who inspired or encouraged you during your student life? Please elaborate.
“My PU1 form teacher, Mrs Jeanette Lee,who also taught us accounting in year 1 and 2.” As ACJC and MGS students are quite well off, Mrs Lee was aware of my family situation. One day, she gave me a cheque of S$1800 saying that it comes from a church friend who is a CEO of a company after mentioning about me during church session. Mrs Lee did not elaborate further with the purpose of the cheque. I wondered that Mrs Lee might have a reason for mentioning me to her church friend, especially during life event; this may be because, even during her own free time, Mrs Lee would be looking for ways to help every single student.”
If you can travel back in time, which part of school life would you like to experience? Why?
“I would like to experience life as a PAE (Provision Admission exercise - first three months JC, the interim exercise which graduating Sec 4 students could choose to join a JC / CI for term 1 in the following academic year before release of O level results, using their prelim scores. Abolished in 2009, last batch was 2008) student. With my prelim scores, I am qualified for ACJC or a better JC. However, because of financial situation, it was used as a possible holiday to work part time to earn extra pocket money, thus I did not attend PAE.
Another event would be university orientation. In order to fund the hefty university fees, I worked during orientation period which I thus skipped orientation for my university. I would like to experience it as it seemed to be an important ritual that students would go through. I am sure my first couple of weeks in school would be different after attending the orientation.”
We thank Mrs Koh for taking her time off her busy schedule for our interview session.
I remember Mrs Koh once told me, “It’s not embarrassing to work many times harder than other people in order to get something done. The process does not really matter. What matters is whether you manage to achieve your goal.”
Mrs Koh’s resilience during her school days has gained loads of respect from most of us. We wish Mrs Koh and all teachers a Happy Teachers’ Day!
“The most beautiful people I have known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Ng Gek Lian Elean, 12S2
Chong Mei Juan, 12S1
Ng Gek Lian Elean, 12S2
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL – INTERVIEW WITH MR AZMAN MOHD SIDEK
Some of us may have already set our minds on what we want to be and what areas we want to pursue. Some of us however, are still clueless about what we want in life. We plan for something to happen but then it does not happen and things take a turn down another path. Just like our Vice-Principal, Mr Azman, he did not plan to become a teacher in the first place. Through this interview, we get to see who inspired him to be who he is today and what are some of his most memorable events.
Who inspired you to be a teacher?
“Funny thing , I did not want to be a teacher initially. However, when I began coaching my new team mates, it allowed me to be exposed another form of teaching. From there, I decided that I would enjoy teaching PE.”
What were some of the memorable moments that you had?
“One moment stood out among many during my 26 years of teaching. I was a cross country coach for a school. They had never participated at the national level before. In my 4th year of coaching them , we achieved four national titles in one event!”
What do you find most rewarding as a teacher?
“One of them is to see your students succeed and catch up with you as the years goes by. It is definately rewarding when they appreciate your hard work as you guide them to be better people”
What are some of the ups and downs as a teacher?
“Seeing students succeed is definitely an obvious joy. Overcoming challenges as a teacher is also something to be excited about. Of course, the down side would be seeing some students who are unable to make it. It saddens me and makes me reflect on myself and my teaching methods.”
Therefore, it is safe to say that you may not be who you want to be. Things may change in the future and you may do a job that you least expected to be. The most important thing is to have passion for what you do in order to enjoy it and that is what our teachers have. HAPPY TEACHERS DAY TO ALL TEACHERS !
Feera Syaqirah Bte Saadudin, 13A1
Chong Mei Juan, 12S1
Ng Gek Lian Elean, 12S2
Feera Syaqirah Bte Saadudin, 13A1
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MISS CHAN PUI SAN
Miss Chan Pui San, as most of you would know, is a teacher from the Science Department who teaches Biology in our school. Graduating from Cambridge University after obtaining a scholarship from MOE, she started her career in Millennia Institute. She is a teacher who is able to get along well with many students easily due to her friendly and cheerful nature and is often a pillar of strength for her students when they face setbacks.
In a recent interview with MI Wired, Miss Chan shared with us her school life as a student; some of her most memorable incidents, the obstacles that she faced and how she managed to overcome them, teachers who had inspired her and what she would like to experience again if she could be a student again.
As a student in Raffles Institution, one of her most memorable recollections happened on April Fools’ Day when her classmates played a prank on their teacher. Two of her classmates had hidden themselves behind a board that could move sideways and moved the board while the teacher was teaching and writing on it. Her teacher was totally clueless what was happening as her writing started shifting places on the board and the whole class was laughing about it! The two students were eventually caught red-handed but as it was April Fool’s Day, her teacher let them off lightly.
While she had many of these fun days in school, she also faced setbacks. One of which happened when she was in Secondary Two when she failed her Math. It was a major setback as it was her first time failing the subject and the fact that she was studying in an elite school, the competitiveness and high expectations made it even worse. It was so unbearable for her that she cried in her room when she reached home. The failure pushed her to put in more effort for the subject andbe more disciplined. She managed her time better by drawing up a revision plan and following strictly to it. From that incident, she learnt that success does not come without determination and hard work.
Miss Chan drew inspiration from her Geography teacher who cared about how the students did in their studies and would encourage them. When the students need help in Geography, she would sacrifice her own time to help them. This is something that Miss Chan holds dear in her heart and would do the same for her students now.
We would like to thank Miss Chan for taking time to answer our questions and we wish Miss Chan and all the teachers in MI a Happy Teachers’ Day!
Thio Zhuang Mei Valerie, 12S2
Thio Zhuang Mei Valerie, 12S2
NG Gek Lian Elean, 12S2
Shafiqah Bte Mohamed Kamali, 12S2
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MISS JAMALIAH OTHMAN
Miss Jamaliah Othman has kindly agree to share with MI Wired on why she took the decision to become a teacher.
Who inspired you to be a teacher? What did he/she do?
“My primary school teacher, Mrs Teoh, made me understand and appreciate a teacher’s job. I like the way she conducted her lessons. It was from her that I understood the importance of the teacher’s profession. I also enjoyed drawing at that time and Mrs. Teoh was one of the teachers who motivated me to keep on drawing. In fact, she even sent me to a drawing competition. Though I did not win anything in the end, I was still very thankful to her. I appreciate how she would try to discover the talent in students and how she would encourage them to pursue their interests. The effort and dedication she put in to nurture her students’ potential made me realize the powerful influence teachers have. Although it was not specifically because of her that I become a teacher, she helped to sparked something in me.”
Please share your most memorable moment in your teaching career.
“There was this time when my Project Work class from the previous year wrote little thank-you notes for me and combined them into a little booklet, which they put into my pigeonhole. I had a rather bad day then, and finding this little gift in my pigeonhole made me realize how much I meant to them. That totally cheered me up and it was a good end to the bad day.
Similarly, two years ago, some of my home class kids from 09B1 made a really meaningful Teachers’ Day gift for me and my Co-HT. They actually created a video with two of them acting as us when we were younger. It was very memorable as they actually incorporated into the script some of the random stories I said in GP class. For example, there was once when I told them that I would never sit down in the MRT during my university days as I would rather stand and save the hassle, and there was another time when I mentioned to them how I would like to hear local songs from the band, Lizards’ Convention. They actually remembered all these small details and included all of that into the video. I felt very touched because from there, I could see that they were always paying full attention to my lessons and respecting me as a teacher. Those were really fond memories for me.”
What do you find most rewarding as a teacher?
“Seeing my students getting good results and seeing them being able to pursue their dreams and aspirations would be something I find to be very rewarding. Even though some of my students have already graduated for quite a few years, they still remember me and are up till now still keep in touch with me. They send me thank-you messages and that is very rewarding for me because from these messages, I know that I have helped them succeed in life, and that I have helped them to achieve what they really want after leaving MI. Even though they have only been in MI for a short while, it is rewarding to think about how I had made them realize what they actually want in life.”
What were some of the sad moments as a teacher?
“A huge ‘down’ happened to me when I was teaching a Year Two class in the 07 batch. It happened at the end of the year when the students received their final-year exam results. Although they did not know their promotional status yet, some of them were able to figure out whether they made it or not just by looking at their Promo 2 marks (since it made up such a significant portion of their overall grades). Those who calculated and realized they were retained were very upset and they started crying. Some of them like their classmates a lot and they did not want to be separated from each other. That was a depressing moment for me. The day was made worsen as one of the student’s parents came over and questioned us regarding the poor performance. The long talk resulted in me being late for my next class, and along with other work, the whole day turned out to be really bad.
Another ‘down’ I experienced was CCA-related. When I was doing my first SYF with my CCA, we had quite a rocky start as I was not very experienced with it. The only other experienced teacher had left for another school. Thus, we were quite lost as of what to do, but despite that setback, we worked hard nevertheless and put in all of our effort into preparing for the SYF. At last, we managed to put up a very satisfying and outstanding final product. We had high hopes in doing well for the competition, but in the end we only clinched a bronze. It was very painful to announce this disappointing result to the members as they were all very confident with their performance and had high expectations. Hence, when we finally told them about it, they were very sad. Though we ultimately saw a positive light in it, it was still quite a significant ‘down’ in my life as a teacher.
Having to scold disobedient students who were unwilling to adhere to instructions was a ‘down’ for me too. For example, as the teacher-in-charge of the Drama Club, I had to scold some of the members who were not serious about their tasks. There was this time where they were doing really ridiculous things. I got very furious and I ended up shouting at them. It was so loud that even though I was on the first floor and them on the third, they could still hear it. It was only towards the end that they were willing to buck up. Scolding students was considered a ‘down’ for me as I usually do not like to scold my students and I will always try to avoid telling them off. Normally I will get disappointed with them first before getting angry. It is only in extreme cases where things get really bad that I resort to scolding them, and I find that to be really unpleasant for the both of us.”
Interviewed and Written By:
Lim Yi Jia, 13A3
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MR ADRIAN TAN JIAN ZHONG
Mr. Adrian Tan is an inspiring teacher who is passionate about sharing his knowledge of Biology with his students. In this interview we learn more about him as he shares with us about his life as a student as well as how it has affected and inspired him.
How did you do for your A levels?
“My L1R5 was 7 and my A Level result was ABC. I achieved B for Biology and A for Mathematics.”
Who inspired you to be a teacher?
“The inspiration that I draw from will be my primary school Mother Tongue teacher. He was very patient and I would say, motivational for me. He modelled all the positive traits that a teacher should have. He is my mentor, because he has really given me a lot of valuable feedback. And I still keep in contact with him and visit him during Teachers’ Day and Chinese New Year. Initially, I had wanted to be a doctor, however after considering my results, I decided to explore teaching as my career.
I am glad that I can follow the footsteps of my mentor. The things that he had done and the way he taught me had really shaped my thinking as well as the way I carry out my lessons and nurture my students. I have really learnt a lot from him. As my family was not financially well-off when I was young, at times I did not have pocket money. My teacher would pass me a bun when he was aware of my situation.”
Your teacher is very nice!
“Yes, so until today when I look back, I am still very touched that he care-d for me not just as a student but also as a friend. He is always concerned and even now when I am working, he would call me and ask me how I am doing. He is someone who has truly inspired me and also the main reason why I took up teaching. When I was contemplating whether to go into teaching he encouraged me to go for it so I took up the award and invited him over to the ceremony. He was very happy that I followed in his footsteps to continue impacting the younger generation. Thus, I really draw a great deal of my inspiration from him.”
Were you a prefect and student councillor?
“Yes I was a prefect, student councillor and house captain. I had this kind of exposure and I think it was really important as it shaped me in the way I do things. It changed the way I did my projects, carried out my duties as a teacher and how I treated the student councillors when I was the council teacher for two years here.”
Why are you not in-charge of the student council anymore?
“I thought it was time for me to have greater exposure in other areas so that I could do other things. I could then do and learn different things. That is why I stepped down to move to another committee. I believed that the leadership opportunities I had when I was schooling was really impactful as it really made me more resilient and helped in my character building . When I was in University I was very happy and fortunate to have the support and advice of the professors who had a lot of faith in me. They gave me a lot of opportunities to do research and in my four years there I was basically doing research besides studying.”
Why did you choose to be a teacher?
“In another job, I only influence the people I interact with. However, being a teacher allows me to get in touch with not only young adults but also younger students that we come across. It allows me to inculcate the correct values and attitude that people should have in life. People keep complaining that Singaporeans, especially the younger generation these days are weaker and less resilient. I think that with the correct kind of examples that we adults set, they will be able to model the right way. Generally I think that the younger generation nowadays is smarter and more street wise compared to my time. Having said that, some things also need fine tuning such as the value system. I joined the teaching force because I think I make a difference. If I can teach the correct values and my students can in turn be teachers, they carry on the legacy that my teachers and university professors have taught me.”
Thank you Mr. Tan for accepting our interview. We have learnt a lot about you and we hope you have a happy Teachers’ Day!
Interviewed and written By:
Kaitlyn Shi Jia Li, 13S5
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MR WEE CHONG LIN
The Economanificient Teacher
Education is a very vital aspect for every child in today’s society. And the unsung heroes and heroines who are responsible, capable and devoted, spend their lives in developing these children holistically, are non-other than our beloved teachers.
A good teacher must be patient, kind, caring, honest, understanding and sensitive to the student’s academic and social well-being. In MI, students are definitely blessed with many teachers of such qualities. And among these supermen and super women, I would like to introduce you to the extraordinary and marvellous, Mr Wee Chong Lin.
Mr Wee Chong Lin is an Economics teacher for 3 years. And if you have ever sat in his classes, you would have thought he have been in the teaching field for 10 years. He exhibits great expertise in Economics and presents lessons in a fun, clear and enjoyable way that what sparks his student’s burning desire for knowledge and wisdom in Economics.
Besides being an amazing classroom teacher, Mr Wee constantly care for his students. For example, there were times when I was really stressed out and he would come forward to show his concern and give sound advice. These kind acts really help me in my emotional development and in establishing a clearer and analytical mind to deal with immediate and future challenges.
The reason that Mr Wee chose to undertake such a noble role of being a teacher is because he believes that his contribution in teaching is more rewarding as compared to his previous job as a sales person. He also thinks that he is able to spend more quality time with his family.
To Mr Wee, he feels that teaching in MI is a blessing in disguise. MI students let him see the hope in the future generation. What make MI students outstanding as compared to other schools is that they have many non-academic traits and they are more process rather than result focused. This certainly makes the development of our students more enriching and fulfilling. It is an extreme joy for him to help his students realise their potential.
Last but not least, Mr Wee has this message for all his beloved colleagues, “See the positive aspects of our students and help them to succeed. Happy Teachers’ Day to all”!
Interviewed and Written By:
Geraldine Teo Yu Ying, 12B4
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MISS AZRA SHAZEAA BINTE HARUDDIN
Millennia Institute is a school with business focus. Miss Azra Shazeaa Binte Hairuddin from the economics department would like to share her take on her life from then, being a student, now, a teacher.
“I was inspired to join the teaching industry since I have always enjoyed going to school and learning new things. I have always felt that the school is an awesome environment for learning and interacting as well.
My passion for teaching ignited when I was in Junior College. I had a great Economics lecturer who made me see how fascinating Economics is through her thorough explanations. I began “teaching” in a subtle way like explaining the economics concepts to my mother and siblings and found this really enthralling.
Not just that, my decision to make a career out of teaching is always affirmed when my students are eager to learn and have an excellent attitude towards lessons. I feel really satisfied when my students pay attention during lessons and put in their best efforts towards their tutorials and class work. It is really rewarding when students are able to take home a piece of me, no matter how small or large, after every lesson I have with them.
I see teaching as a way of giving back to my student. Through teaching, I want to pass on my passion for Economics to other students and hope they would see this subject as an extremely interesting one, the same way as I do.
While growing up, I had a lot of memories, especially being a student and a teacher. I was from Bukit Panjang Government High and Anderson Junior College respectively and as a student; I really enjoyed my schooling days as I had great friends and teachers in school.
One of the best memories I had when I was a student was when our class got punished for not handing up our homework. Although we were scolded badly, our class had stood united by staying back together to complete our work without isolating one another and this made me see how great the friendship and camaraderie between our classmates were. I feel really glad to have experienced such strong team spirit.
Also, during my schooling years, a friend of mine had given me a bookmark with the caption “I can’t do everything but I can do something. But just because I can’t do everything, that doesn’t stop me from doing that one thing I can do.” Those words really motivated me to be the best that I could and I carried them with me in everything I do.
As a teacher, one of my best memories occurred on one of my teaching trainings when I was posted to Millennia Institute as a trainee teacher in Economics. My class at that time, 09B1, was extremely attentive from the minute I stepped into class; they stood up and greeted me and were really eager to learn, paying attention to everything I had to say. Before I departed for further training at the NIE, they also gave me a scrapbook filled with student’s well wishes, which was an act that really touched my heart. Their actions really had me swayed and further enunciated the reason why I am glad to have become a teacher.”
Written and interviewed By:
Agatha Oei Xing Yin, 13B5
TEACHERS DAY SPECIAL - INTERVIEW WITH MS MIN YUE & MDM RAJESHWARI RAI
Who inspired you to be a teacher?
“There are many people who had inspired me to become a teacher. I think that the people who had inspired me the most are my sister and grandfather. They are both Chinese language teachers, and this influenced me to become a teacher. At the same time, I learn from them. My grandfather was also my Chinese teacher in Secondary Three. It was an interesting but awkward experience for me.”
“I am not sure if anyone inspired me to be a teacher but what fascinates me about teaching is that year in and year out, I deal with different batches of students and every batch is different in their own way.”
What do you find most memorable in your teaching career?
“This is probably when I return to China, my students still remember me even though I did not really manage to finish teaching them. I was told that my teaching have influenced their lives. This also made me feel guilty towards them since I feel that I am supposed to be there for them till the end... It was really regretful that I had to leave halfway.”
What do you find most rewarding as a teacher?
“What I find most rewarding as a teacher is when I see that I had helped my students become all-rounded individuals such that they not only excel academically but also improve their characters. There was also once when the whole class wrote little cards with messages and combined all of them to give to me as a teacher's day present. When I read these cards, I know how each of them had felt about me and the significance of the various roles I have played in their lives. It was a really meaningful gift to me.”
“One of the things I find most rewarding in teaching is that there is a lot of gratification in it. While I work very hard and it can be tiring at times (I do not have time for other commitments), there is much gratification in this job and I think that this is what makes me wake up and come to school every day.”
What are the ups and downs of being a teacher?
“The ups would be whenthe students write little notes to me like "Today's lesson was interesting" at the bottom of their homework or when I see the look of understanding on their faces. This would give me great satisfaction. However, the downs would be when I recalled some students who looked 'blank' at the end of the lesson. This made me feel dissatisfied and leaves me thinking if I have not done a good job.”
How has teaching made you a better person?
“I was not a really sociable person. However, since becoming a teacher, teaching has pushed me to become more sociable. It helped me gain better social skills since I have to be able to open up when I teach. Teaching has given me the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. I have also managed to accumulate experience from these people whom I meet and become a better person in the long run.”
Interviewed and Written By:
Sim Yan Ling, 13S5
Jasmine Lim Jia Hui, 13S5
SAMBUTAN DUA DALAM SATU
(A 2-IN-1 CELEBRATION, A ONE-OF-A-KIND EXPERIENCE)
Both Noraisah and Nurul Aini reminisced the double celebrations that they witnessed in Millennia Institute recently and documented their experiences in a simple reflection that captured the essence of the colourful celebration they experienced.
Siti Noraisah Bte Amran (12B6)
7 haribulan Ogos 2013 merupakan tarikh yang amat bermakna untuk para pelajar Institut Millennia. Berbeza daripada tahun-tahun yang lalu, tahun ini, para pelajar dapat menyambut Hari Kebangsaan dan Hari Raya pada hari yang sama di sekolah. Kawasan sekolah pada pagi itu riuh-rendah dengan suara-suara ceria para pelajar yang tidak sabar-sabar menantikan bermulanya sambutan tersebut.
Memandangkan kedua-dua perayaan akan disambut pada hari dan masa yang sama, pelbagai acara telah dirangcang untuk menghiburkan para pelajar yang hadir. Acara pada hari tersebut bermula dengan acara perbarisan. Para pelajar yang tidak berpeluang menyaksikan acara perbarisan di Pentas Terapung Marina Bay telah diberikan kesempatan yang sama. Perbarisan yang telah diadakan dan dijayakan oleh pelajar-pelajar Institut Millennia cukup unik.
Selepas acara perbarisan, para pelajar telah diajak untuk mengenali perayaan Aidilfitri. Yang menjadikan progam ini begitu istimewa sekali ialah kami bukan sahaja dapat mengetahui bagaimana perayaan hari raya disambut oleh masyarakat Melayu di Singapura, malah, kami juga telah mempelajari bagaimana perayaan itu disambut oleh masyarakat bukan Melayu yang sama-sama menyambut kehadiran bulan Syawal.
Sesi nyanyian lagu-lagu yang dicipata khas untuk sambutan Hari Kebangsaan negara menjadi penutup tirai sambutan pada hari itu. Sudah tentu sekali, suara-suara para pelajar Millennia berjaya menggegarkan dewan sekolah. Kegembiraan jelas terpancar di setiap wajah pelajar, menandakan berakhirnya acara ini.
Rumusannya, kedua-dua perayaan yang disambut pada hari itu begitu menghiburkan hati semua yang hadir. Kami didedahkan kepada pelbagai maklumat telah dapat diraih tanpa disedari. Para pelajar juga telah dapat merehatkan minda mereka daripada tekanan pelajaran melalui aktiviti-aktiviti yang telah dilakarkan. Tentu sekali, pelbagai nilai moral telah dapat diterapkan dalam setiap acara yang dirancangkan supaya kita dapat mempelajari sesuatu sambil berhibur. Bak kata pepatah, sambil menyelam, minum air.
SAMBUTAN DUA DALAM SATU
(A 2-IN-1 CELEBRATION, A ONE-OF-A-KIND EXPERIENCE)
Nurul Aini Bte Zainol (12B6)
Tidak boleh dinafikan semangat sifat patriotik dalam kalangan remaja semakin pudar. Generasi kita pada hari ini, rata-rata kurang mempunyai semangat patriotik yang tinggi terhadap tanah air. Hal itu sudah pasti mendorong usaha Institut Millennia untuk mengembalikan rasa patriotik dalam kalangan pelajarnya. Pada 7 Ogos 2013, institut ini telah mengadakan perayaan Hari Kebangsaan yang begitu bermakna sekali. Pada pagi itu, kumpulan pasukan seragam membuka tirai sambutan dengan berbaris di stadium sekolah. Walaupun kami hanya menonton perarakan itu dari tempat duduk yang agak jauh daripada kawasan perbarisan, namun kami dapat merasakan bahang patriotik hanya dengan menyaksikan acara perbarisan itu selain menyanyikan lagu kebangsaan Singapura.
Kemudian, pelajar-pelajar telah bergerak ke dewan sekolah untuk menonton persembahan-persembahan yang telah disediakan oleh pelajar-pelajar dan guru-guru. Antara lain, kami telah dihiburkan dengan segmen permainan seperti ''The Price Is Right'' yang menguji pengetahuan penonton tentang hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan kehidupan di Singapura. Sudah tentu kami rasa terhibur dengan gelagat rakan-rakan kami apabila mereka di pentas dan bermain permainan itu. Namun, perkara yang paling seronok sekali ialah apabila lagu-lagu yang dicipta khas untuk perayaan Hari Kebangsaan dimainkan dengan kuatnya. Semua pelajar berdiri, berpelukan dengan rakan-rakan sambil menyanyikan lagu-lagu yang dimainkan. Secara tiba-tiba, kami terasa cinta dan sayang yang teramat terhadap negara kami. Di saat akhir persembahan, belon-belon merah putih dilepaskan ke bawah! Kami semua terpekik dan sama-sama mengambil belon-belon sambil tertawa riang. “Saya sayang teman-teman saya dan juga tanah air saya!”
Institute day is an annual event that is held to recognise students who excel in leadership, academic achievements and service to the school. This year, in lieu of the school’s10th anniversary, Millennia Institute organised both Awards Day and Institute Day to give recognise more students and allow the rest of the school population to witness the presentation of awards, with the hope that it motivate them to strive for awards the next year.
24th April 2013 marks Awards Day in Millennia Institute. Awards Day gives recognition to a number of students who excel in academia, leadership and service.
Awards given out include EAGLES Award, Edusave Merit Bursary and Good Progress Award. Students who have scored an average of C grades for their three H2 subjects in their pervious year examinations were also given the Silver Wings Award.
Our Valedictorian, Rajeleetha D/O Rajanthiran, Class of 2012 had an inspiring story to tell. ,Rajeleetha came from a family where her siblings did academically well . She was the only one in her family who was not enrolled into a Junior College (JC). In the first year, Rajeleetha was not diligent and ended up being retained. When her younger sister entered a JC, it meant that her younger sibling would finish A Level before her. That motivated her to push herself and to excel in her studies .The four years in MI were less stressful and competitive than the other Junior Colleges according to her. She also enjoyed the support provided by her peers and teachers. Just like the theme Treasures Journeys of the school’s 10th anniversary celebration, Rajeleetha treasured the time she had spent in MI and the friends she has made. Rajeleetha has gained admission into NUS.
11 May 2013 marked an important day of celebration of our school’s 10th Institute Day (IDay), an annual event held to celebrate our school’s achievements. The event was held at the hall and attended by a large majority of our school’s population - PU2 and PU3 cohorts of students, our Principal, Mr Tan Chor Pang, our Vice-Principals, Mr Mohd Azman and Mrs Koh Caiyu, our school staff, parents and not forgetting, our school’s alumni board. Furthermore, many very important guests such as our guest of honour, Dr Amy Khor Lean Suan, Minister of State, Health and Manpower and Mayor of South West District, Mrs Priscillia Chan, Superintendent of Cluster West 7, Dr Stephen Lee, IAC Chairman and members of IAC were also invited our school to grace the occasion, making the event a grand and memorable one to be remembered.
Before the guest of honour arrived, our MCs, Alex and Lena, entertained the crowd with a quiz and fun facts about MI, followed by video that took everyone down memory lane with entertaining snippets about historical, current MI events and present and past students’ fond memories of the school. All these were prepared to bring out the theme of our celebration, Treasured Journeys. Next up was our very own beloved MI Symphonic Band which performed a light-hearted piece, Gavotte.
Upon the arrival of our distinguishable guests, Dr Amy Khor, Dr Stephanie Lee, Miss Priscilla Chan, our principal, Mr Tan, vice principals, Mr Azman and Mrs Koh, everyone rose to warmly welcome them. The event started with two art performances, a breath-taking violin and piano duet and a dance titled Dance of the Globin, to signify the school’s support and nurturing of talents.
After which, Mr Tan went on stage to deliver the Institute report which is a vital segment during IDay. He outlined the strategies MI had adopted over the years to meet the evolving needs of MI students. He stressed on the increasing number of Millennians gaining entries into local universities as a testament of the success of the institute’s programmes. Other than the academic achievements, he also emphasised on how the institute had helped students developed in the sports, arts and business. Furthermore, MI’s Overseas Community Involvement Projects (OCIP) trips, to Batam and Chiangmai, also developed students’ greater appetite for compassion. This had made our students more sensitive to the needs of the community at large which helped to cultivate all-rounded citizens. Mr Tan also shared on the glaring results of MI.World exchange trips with other schools globally that enabled our students to experience multiculturalism and opportunities to work with peers from around the world.
Mr Tan expressed his sincere gratitude to the staff, parents support group and all stakeholders, for their dedicated commitment and contribution to MI. He also sincerely congratulated the award winning students. Last but not least, he stressed that the journey was not over but the decade only marked a new beginning for MI, which would strive for greater achievements in the many years to come.
Overall, the event was an inspiring and a memorable one as it was amazing to see many of our fellow students went on stage to receive their awards. They were truly role models for us to learn from.
Geraldine Teo, 12B5, Thio Zhuang Mei Valerie, 12S2,
NG Gek Lian Elean, 12S2 & Kaitlyn Shi Jia Li, 13S5
Student leaders’ Investiture is a day where the PU3 students leaders handover the leadership to their PU2 juniors to continue the running of the three councils. This year’s investiture theme is Valour which signified boldness or determination in facing difficulties.
The ceremony was simple but memorable as it symbolized the passing of stewardship of the student body to help make the school a better place. It was an important step for the new councillors as they had to fill the shoes that would be the voice of the student population and in inspiring them to achieve greater height. As for the leaders, it would be an opportunity to nurture their leadership skills and be role models to their peers.
The three newly elected Presidents, Yi Shan, Maureen and Haidhar from Student Council, Sports Council and National Education Council respectively, spoke about their dreams and aspirations for the student body in Millennia Institute. They would be the beacon in transforming the school’s environment to best suit the majority of the student body. They understood that it would be over ambitious to want to bring change to every aspect of the school as change takes time. However, they promised to take on the challenge of striving to help meet the needs of the student body in whatever ways possible. With the support and cheers from the student body, teachers and proud parents, the PU2 councillors were sworn in.
We admire their zest in undertaking the amount of responsibilities that come with their leadership positions and we wish them the best in their efforts to lead their respective councils and the student body to greater heights and unison!
Iris Wee Sin Hui , 12A1 & Fong Zhi Cong, 11B2
On 4th May 2012 at @SCAPE*, Somerset, the area was busier than ever, bustling with many people, adults and youths alike. Freckled with plenty of booths selling myriad of products and performers dressed to the nines from the school's performing groups, it was a special day, as the day marked Millennia Institute's annual MI Mart.
MI Mart is an annual bazar organized by the school, featuring businesses set up by the PU1 Arts and Business students to provide them an avenue for them to learn entrepreneurial spirit and to apply business skills through running of their own business. In celebration of the school’s 10th anniversary, teachers and CCAs are also invited to set up booths.
In line with the theme, Treasured Journeys, stall owners sold items that helped their customers to recall their precious memories. As a result, students came up with innovative products such as dream catchers, customised rings, personalised tote bags and even handmade soaps. Under the humid weather and blazing sun, students, teachers and CCA groups battled it out and competed on their entrepreneurship skills. Yet all were in good fun and sales were good!
Weaving through the human traffic, one would be able to spot students enthusiastically marketing their products in an attempt to generate more sales. Students participated actively by shouting sales for their products in a bid to increase awareness for their booths. Others tried marketing tactics such as offering promotions and large discounts for their products.
In conjunction with MI Mart, our school’s yearly performing arts showcase, Transcendence, was held to entertain shoppers and pull in the crowd. It was also an opportunity for Millennians to showcase their talents. Performances took place at 2pm and 6pm respectively and lasted for an hour per session. Hugh crowds were spotted surrounding the stage waiting in anticipation for the stars to perform and each performance was received with tremendous applause! Each singer had their own talent and specialty that outshined the rest. Hit songs like The Climb by Miley Cyrus and Diamonds by Rihanna were covered by the students and they really charmed the audience!
1pm was the opening of MI Mart and it got busier as customers flooded into @SCAPE*, attracted by the interesting and beautiful advertisements made by the stall owners. New friends were made as many bonded with the foreign exchange students through the activities planned by the MCs for MI mart and Transcendence. New experience like managing the stalls and getting rejected by those they approached had definitely enriched the students’ short but fruitful business experience.
At around 6:30pm, the atmosphere was heightened as sellers made their final attempts to offload their products to drive up sales while buyers would heckle for even lower prices and then swarmed in to snap up the goods! MI Mart ended on a happy tone as everyone celebrated their success and congratulated each other for their hard work. It was a very meaningful and exciting day for everyone at MI mart. All in all, MI Mart was another unique learning experience for students of the institute, most importantly, the true value of hard work allow our Millennians to take home useful life lessons.
“Being a science student, I learnt that being an entrepreneur is not an easy job. It is interesting to sell stuff and earn profit out of it and I really enjoy the experience. It created stronger bonds in my CCA. I hope that more CCAs will be able to participate in MI mart again.”
- Koh Wei Jun, 12S2, Students’ Council, Member.
“The event was organised by the school in order to equip students with entrepreneurship skills, such as innovation and enterprise, as well as to allow students to have a taste in starting their own businesses. This is especially beneficial for the arts and business students in the institute. Students also learnt how to work under pressure trying to deal with customer's demands and working against time to deliver quality goods to their customers.”
“It was not easy for the entrepreneurship club members to decide on what to sell as there is a need to stand out due to the fact that we are from the entrepreneurship club. Through it all, although the process was tiring for my PU2 juniors, but to them it was a great experience coordinating all the members for different roles and ensuring the event was a success from helping with the registration of stalls to the preparation at @SCAPE*.”
- Seah Celina, 11B3, Entrepreneurship Club, Vice President
Tou Si Ying (Natelli), 12A1, Feera Syaqirah Bte Saadudin, 13A1,
Agatha Oei Xing Yin, 13B5 & Sim Yan Ling, 13S5
On the 19thof April, in lieu of International Friendship Day (IFD), our school conducted a Model United Conference in the school hall, with delegates from various countries represented by some of our school students, while the rest of the school population played the role of audience and citizens.
Each delegate represented their respective countries such as Singapore, North Korea, Syria, USA, Russia, Mali and other members of United Nations. In a nutshell, Model United Nations (also Model UN or MUN) is an academic simulation of what takes place at United Nation which aims to educate participants about what actually takes place during UN meetings, to better understand some teething issues, international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations’ roles.
Delegates were required to assert their stand on an issue and justify their stand during an assembly which would be rebutted or supported by the other delegates. The discussion on that day was about the intervention of armed conflict in a country by other countries. The delegates representing the individual countries did a great job tabling their propositions and oppositions, at times making rousing and emotionally charged speeches that render strong rebuttals from all around. The audience was apparently enjoying the exchanges, throwing their weight behind their delegates whenever a rebuttal was put forward by their delegate. Being an audience amongst the crowd that day, I was absolutely thrilled to see my peers engaging themselves enthusiastically to support to the student delegates who were firm in their arguments fighting for their rights of their country. Ben from 12A1 who represented North Korea, was especially eye-catching with his theatrical and passionate stance in putting forward his countries arguments despite countless forceful rebuttals thrown at him by opposing countries such as USA.
Through such an activity, Millennians are able to learn about relevant current affairs that are on-going in the world which will improve their general knowledge and help students with their critical thinking skills, encourage them to form and support their own views. It also emphasises the importance of fostering a closer interconnectedness of different countries that contributes to maintaining peace in the world.
In conclusion, the MUN conference was a great success in commemorating INF 2013 as it had allowed our students to understand the importance of maintaining peace and good relations with countries around the world.
Maverlyn Low, 12B5 & Shanel Tan, 12A1
23th of May was an eventful one for us, it was the official launch of Citi-YMCA Youth for Causes 2013. As my team, Sea of Hope, won the Public Outreach Award and Millennia Institute won the Most Supportive School Award last year, my team was invited to make a speech during the Official Launch. The Guest of Honour was Minister Tan Chuan Jin, Acting Minster of Manpower and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of National Development. Besides him, there were guests such as Ms Evangeline Chua, Head of Human Resources, Citi Singapore, Mr Stephen Loh the President of YMCA Singapore, Mr Leslie Wong, Chairman of the Citi-YMCA Youth For Causes Committee and other participants. We spent the days leading up to the event rehearsing our speech.
On the day itself, we felt nervous as we were afraid that we would make mistakes. It was nerve-wrecking to do a speech in front of a huge crowd. Thankfully, our speech was delivered fluently. We felt proud that we could represent the school in making the speech after all the support we had received during the various phases of the Fold a Fish event. It was a meaningful experience for us as it is an opportunity to generate some publicity for our school and improve our public speaking skills. We were happy to receive a number of compliments from the audience after our speech.
We strongly believe that volunteering work should not simply be for CIP hours or for VIA hours as if it is not done from the heart, it is not worth doing. We hope that more youths would be inspired to give back to society and not be self-centred.
Shaun Ko & Wei Ruolan (12B5)
Earth Hour is an international event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and is held towards the end of March annually to encourage households, schools and corporations to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour. The purpose is to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change in order to save the environment. Earth Hour 2013 was celebrated on March 23. Likewise, the Arts and Geography departments in Millennia Institute planned the commemoration of Earth Week from 22nd April to 26th April 2013 to encourage all students to participate in a mini green contest within the school campus.
As an Environmental Representative for my class, along with representative from other classes, we were tasked to be part of the facilitating group for Earth Week 2013. We had to encourage 5 of our classmates to take part in an conservation-themed game called “Scan it, Find it, Design it” which required us to make use of QR codes to find the mysterious plants in the campus. The enthusiasm and excitement of my peers demonstrated their conviction in doing their part for earth. To make the game more interesting, a mysterious gift awaited the winning team!
For our Interactive Reading Period, we were given articles regarding Earth Week and environment issues that the earth faces. In addition, we had a chance to showcase our creativity by decorating tote bags with recyclable materials and paint. Students are also encouraged to send in their pledges and ideas to save earth. We were also encouraged to pen down our thoughts and reflections about Earth Day. The commemoration ended with a drama skit performed by South West CDC to educate students on the methods in which we can do our part to conserve and protect our environment.
Teoh Ying Ying Nancy, 11B3
Two MI teams (Cricpers & Security Wrist Alarm) were the finalists for the SMU’s inaugural Youth Innovation Challenge Finals which was held on 22nd April 2013. There were 12 finalists and Cricpers (Oh Jia Ling Joeann - 11S4) won the 3rd Prize of $2000 and Security Wrist Alarm (Alina-12S2, Nur Shadrina-11S2 and Leng Hock Hong- 11S2) won the consolation prize of $500.
“I started my journey, with the innovation workshop when I was in year one, I remembered the trainers were saying "think of a problem in your life that you want to solve, then think of a solution, a simple solution to alleviate this problem". At that point of time, I was thinking that it was a waste of time, But I still went on doing it and came in 1st in the Innovative Product Challenge. I was given MI Seed Fund to develop my product, made the prototype and even presented my idea to Director-General of Education, Ms Ho Peng when she came to MI for its official opening during the 8th Institution Day in 2011.
With the encouragement from my teacher IC, Ms Mada, I sent in my product idea for two competitions, Start-Up Singapore & SMU Innovation Challenge. I was dumbfounded when I got into the finals for the SMU Innovation Challenge, I was not confident with my product idea, and never did I expect to emerge as second runner up. During this challenge, I was assigned to a mentor, Ms Denise, and I learnt a lot from business pitching to drafting my business plan from her. It was a tiring journey, but it was worthwhile as I learnt a lot of life skills such as writing, communication, critical thinking and creative problem solving skills which I could not learn from textbooks.”
- Oh Jia Ling Joeann, 11S4
Security Wrist Alarm
“We came up with our product, the Security Wrist Alarm as part of our Project Work because we felt that there was a need to create a device that would be able to save the lives of many elderly with just a press of a button and its ability to save the lives of elderly who are unconscious with the use of a pulse rate reader was an added feature of our product. We were excited when we found out that we were one of the 12 teams that were given the chance to present our idea during the final judging.
We were pleasantly surprised that our product was good enough and could not wait to start preparing for the competition. At the same time, we were also worried. We knew that the preparation for this competition would be long and time consuming thus we feared that it would affect our studies. The first two months after school reopened proved our fears were right. It got increasingly difficult for us to do research to improve our product and to do our homework and revision at the same time. We became a little stressed. However, our workload was significantly lessened with continual support from my teacher and mentor.
Through this SMU competition, we had gained new experience on invention and entrepreneurship. Teamwork was as it enabled us to complete our project with quality work. This competition preparation helped us to improve our oral presentation skills too.
All in all it was a journey filled with memorable learning experiences and whatever we had learnt would remain with us and be useful for the rest of our lives. We would like to thank the school for giving us this opportunity to participate in this competition.”
- Alina, 12S2, Nur Shadrina, 11S2 & Leng Hock Hong, 11S2
On 19th of October 2012, PU1 students from Millennia Institute had the opportunity to visit the Basic Military Training facilities at Pulau Tekong, where the Singapore Armed Forces trains their recruits. Basic Military Training (BMT) marks the beginning of military life for all Singaporean males at the age of 18. It is the transition from fresh-faced teenagers to combat-ready soldiers.
The recruits will learn the basic soldiering skills which include weapon handling, individual field craft and bayonet fighting to ensure their survivability in the battlefield and the defence of Singapore.
Besides training in basic military skills, we also learnt that Physical Training (PT) lessons are also conducted to build the soldiers' physique and stamina. Equally important, foot drills is a staple to instill discipline and teamwork amongst the soldiers. The boys in our group were able to have a first-hand experience on how their life in the near future will be like when they are enlisted and the visit allowed them to clear their doubts with the commanders and officers. Some of soldiers also share their experience in camp and gave some advice on how to prepare for National Service.
As for the girls, even though it is not compulsory for them to serve in the army, the visit made them appreciate more of their fathers, brothers and boyfriends had to go through.
The overall experience of the trip was enriching and enjoyable as it was well organized by the facilitators. It also reinforces the importance of National Service in Singapore.
Shanel Tan, 12A1
After months of preparation for the promotional examination, the PU1s are rewarded with two fulfilling days of post examination activities held in school by external vendors. This is in line with the institute’s goal of providing a holistic education.
The following are three PU1 MI Wired writers’ reflection on the activities.
“On 12th October, all PU1 students are given a briefing on how to sign up for their Post Promotional Activities. Some of the available programmes were Photography, Ceramics molding, Dance and Calligraphy. We were required to sign up for the programmes of our choice on the name lists provided at the Foyer.
I chose Ceramics Molding over the rest of the options because I had attended a Photography course before during my secondary school years and I have always wanted to make something using clay. Hence, I did not hesitate to make my decision.
On the day itself, the instructor, Ms Nisa, started the lesson by telling us more about ceramics including how ceramics came about in the past and of its useful purposes in daily life. She also showed us the different methods of making our own masterpieces. After which, we started on our pieces after we had decided on our designs. First, we had to pinch and roll the clay to avoid having air bubbles in it, failing to execute this step carefully and the clay will crack when it is fired. We also used other shaping tools to improve on our work and to make it more artistically pleasing. Ms Nisa also taught us that in order to make the clay look shinier and not be out of shape, we should apply water those areas.
On the 2nd day, another instructor, Shahid, taught us more methods on how to further enhance our work. We were very motivated and aimed to do each step correctly as we were informed that some of the best works would be selected to be displayed at our school Art corner! After we were done, all of our works were put in the oven and fired.
Overall, I found the programme very useful for me as I had gained one more skill. Through this program I also worked with new friends and gained new friendships.”
“In MI, the institute emphasizes not just on the academic result of the students but also in developing character and moulding passion. PU1 students were offered various programmes such as videography, photography, ceramics moulding, dance (hip hop and jazz) and calligraphy after their promotional examination.
I chose videography because I have always admired the works of filmmakers and producers. The videography workshop was conducted over three days, though short it might be, the lessons and skills learnt were valuable and priceless. We learnt about using of different camera angles and various techniques on how to create effects in a video that connects with the audience.
We also had to direct one video all by ourselves. Before we could even put our ideas into recording, meticulous and intense planning was required at the pre-production. Group members then decided on roles, crafted out scripts and visual plan (something like a comic strip) so that the whole team was aware of their different roles and jobs. The preparation work would allow the team to have a common goal.
Through this elective, I saw videography in a whole different light. An insight I gained for the three days was, a good production does not only rely on a good idea but on the cooperation of the whole production team.”
“For the post promotional activities, I chose Photography because of its 'hip' image amongst the youngsters and the growing interest to take beautiful pictures nowadays.
The programme successfully captured the attention of the participants as we were brought into a makeshift studio and taught the basic skills of a photographer, such as lighting, choosing good angles, framing of subjects and use of our equipment. The second day of the course was even more exhilarating because the students had to complete a project at the end of the session. All of us had the opportunity utilize our newly acquired skills and apply our creative ideas. Everyone went around the school enthusiastically to take the shots they desire. It was such fun!
The programme certainly fuelled my interest in photography and I would be looking forward to more opportunities to improve my knowledge and skills in this area.”
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to help with my seniors’ Appreciation Tea on 17 Oct 2012. Seeing them dressed up formally and with excitement filling their faces makes me look forward to my own graduation day as well!
There were a total of four speeches made that afternoon and the one left me with the deepest impression was the speech made by Khan, the representative of Science course and the president of the 8th Sports Council. His was not only charismatic but the message he delivered struck a chord with his peers. He is a senior whom I look up to as he has overcome challenges that he faced and emerged stronger. Khan’s speech has inspired and motivated me to stay focused on my goals.
In addition, the PU3 home tutors conveyed their best wishes to their students through songs with meaningful lyrics and videos with heartfelt messages. These touching moments moved me.
The event ended on a high note as students hug each other and their teachers with “The Graduation Song” by Vitamin C as the backdrop.
I would like to wish my seniors all the best for the A level examination!”
- Shirmaine Ng, President, 9th National Education Council
“Dear PU3 students,you have come a long way and fought many battles to be where you are right now - this is the time for you to shine. Make your years in MI count and give your very best so you will leave with no regrets. Keep fighting!”
- Love, Ms Mariya, English Department
“You will never walk alone!”
- Mr Idris, English Department
“I wish all of you will find your place in life and be contented and happy always!”
- Ms Nur Illian, Mother Tongue Department
“PU3 Tamil Language and Literature students, I know you prepared very well for the A level examination. You must stay calm and focused during the paper and give it your best shot!”
- Mr Sengu, Mother Tongue Department
“Everything is possible if you believe in yourselves!”
- Ms Sathia, Business Department
“To all PU3 students, I hope you will remain calm when you sitting for your papers and believe in your ability. Do your best and do not let one paper affect your preparation for the rest of them.
Enjoy yourselves after the A level examination before you embark on the next stage of your journey.”
- Ms Zhou Ping, Mother Tongue Department