From October 16 to 22, 2011, the 8th batch of students of the DLSU PhD in Education major in Educational Leadership and Management (Executive) program were in Singapore, visiting a variety of world-class educational institutions to learn how they address the challenges of 21st century education.
- Singapore’s top universities (the National University of Singapore [NUS] and the Nanyang Technological University [NTU]);
- Two Lasallian schools (St. Joseph’s Institution [SJI], which is the oldest Lasallian school in Asia; and St. Joseph’s Institution International [SJII]);
- Several schools implementing the International Baccalaureate [IB] program (SJII; the Anglo-Chinese School [ACS] (International), which is a Methodist school; and Overseas Family School [OFS], a non-sectarian school 90% of the 3,500 students of which are non-Singaporean); and
- A special school (NorthLight School), which caters to students who did not pass the primary school leaving exam (PSLE) and could therefore not immediately enter high school.
What I found most enjoyable about the study trip was interacting with students (especially of SJII) and appreciating their stories, products (e.g., the paintings of NorthLight students) or performances (e.g., OFS kindergarten students learning to dance). In the photo below, on my right, is Paolo Aquino, a former La Salle Greenhills student who applied for and got a scholarship to study at SJII, and who hopes to study chemical engineering at the NUS soon. Behind Paolo is student council president Ivor Tan, future lawyer, and on my left is student council officer Maria Arulraj, future artist. Left of Maria is future world-changer Vincent Tanutama from Indonesia, who received this year’s Josephian of the Year award for his exemplary academic and co-curricular performance. When I asked Vincent what the greatest problem of the world is today, he replied that people think only of themselves and the fulfilment of their own desires without caring about the consequences of their actions, whether to others or to the environment. He called this “morality in jeopardy.” Kudos to Principal Brian Christian and all the leaders and staff of SJII!
The photo below is of a painting simply titled Tiger, by NorthLight School student Muhd Zulfaqar B Mohd Nor. I didn’t get to meet the painter, but I’m glad that NorthLight has given students like Muhd the chance to regain self-esteem and develop and use God-given talents to bring joy to others. Kudos to Principal Chua Yen Ching and all the leaders and staff of NorthLight!
Of course I also enjoyed the company of elder, but not yet elderly, students. 🙂 From the photo below, I’m sure the reader will never guess who the eldest among us is. 🙂
I also enjoyed the company of CCS faculty members doing their PhDs at NUS — Cons Ruiz and Sol See — who took Rachel and me to the SkyPark atop Marina Bay Sands (see below).
I also enjoyed browsing at Kinokuniya for new fantasy trilogies to read. (I always make it a point to visit Kinokuniya whenever I visit Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.) I ended up getting Janny Wurts’ The Wars of Light and Shadow trilogy (I liked her Cycle of Fire trilogy) and Ed Greenwood’s first three books about Elminster Aumar, one of my favorite wizards, in one omnibus edition titled Elminster Ascending.
Thank God who kept us all safe and strong despite the gruelling schedule!
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