Teachers make a difference – by MP Lawrence Wong




Lawrence Wong


As students prepare to go back to school in a few day’s time, let’s also remember and recognise the tremendous efforts that our teachers put in to touch the life of every child.


I just read the biography of Steve Jobs over the X’mas break.  As a young boy, he was always playing pranks and getting into trouble.  He was a misfit in school until he met a teacher whom he called “one of the saints of (his) life”.  


This teacher saw something special in Jobs and motivated him to study.  As he put it, “I learned more from her than any other teacher, and if it hadn’t been for her I’m sure I would have gone to jail”


The story reminded me of a young Singaporean scientist I met recently.  She wasn’t doing so well in primary school, until she had a teacher who sparked off her interest in science.  That was when somehow everything clicked for her – with the new-found passion for science, she was motivated to study hard, and went on to get a A-STAR scholarship to do a degree-cum-PhD.  


Ultimately, the single most decisive factor in student achievement and progress is excellent teaching.  The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers.  


And our teachers are doing so much more these days, not just focussing on content and knowledge, but also getting our students to think independently, to explore with confidence, to imbibe sound values, and to pursue their passions.


So if you have school-going children getting ready for the start of school, do take some time to encourage and recognise their teachers.  


All our teachers play such crucial roles in educating the next generation of Singaporeans.  We should be grateful for their many contributions to the lives of our children, and the future of our country. 




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