Published: 18 December 2021
Mr Philip Tan, Chairman of the Industrial & Services Co-operative Society Ltd (ISCOS),
Board of Trustees,
Mr Daniel Teo, Chairman of the ISCOS Board of Directors,
Mr Alex Yeo, Chairman of the ISCOS ReGen Fund Management Board,
Award recipients, Parents, and Children,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. A very good morning. I'm very happy to be able to see you again, and I am honoured to join you today to recognise and celebrate the achievements of this year’s ISCOS Bursary Award recipients.
Living with COVID-19
2. Last year, when I attended this ceremony, I shared that we needed to adapt to the new norm brought about by the pandemic. And like what Jabez shared, in fact, I attended the physical ceremony at Bishan CC. I remember meeting some of you and I could see the joy on the faces of the children and families, as well as our ISCOS members. I thank ISCOS for continuing this effort despite the COVID-19 situation.
3. Last year, those of you who were here, especially students, would know that I shared on the need to adapt to this new norm, and you have done so very well. You had to get used to virtual lessons. Home-based learning, or HBL, became a new catchphrase. You caught up with friends over Zoom and stayed home more often. Despite these challenges, you adapted and persevered with your studies.
4. I am very proud of each and every one of you. Congratulations! You deserve a big congratulations and a big round of applause today. Well done!
ISCOS ReGen Fund Bursary Award
5. The ISCOS ReGen Fund Bursary Award was launched in 2011, under the Fairy Godparent Programme. The Fairy Godparent Programme supports children and families through workshops, home improvement projects, and sponsorships – such as today’s Bursary Awards. These efforts help children bring out the best in themselves, regardless of their circumstances.
6. In fact, since 2011, close to $795,000 have been given out to support over 2,500 students. Today, I understand another 420 students will be receiving the Bursary Awards due to their commendable results. Well done!
7. I would like to share about “Danial” (not his real name), who one of this year’s award recipients. Danial is a 14-year-old boy and he loves science. He is always eager to learn and did well such that he was given the opportunity to take up the subject at the Express standard. Despite having to adapt to HBL, Danial persevered and coped well. He also understood the importance of being active and keeping fit. Danial made time to play football when measures permitted, under the ActiveSG Football Academy. This was sponsored by the Fairy Godparent Programme. When asked about his aspirations, Danial hopes of becoming a virologist or marine biologist in pursuit of his love for science.
8. Well done, Danial. Continue to work hard, and all of us wish that you will fulfill your aspirations!
9. Today’s event would not be possible without the support of Fairy Godparent Programme’s community partners. As with last year, my appreciation goes to Lee Foundation, Sheng Siong Group and Catholic High School Class of 69/71, and the rest of the sponsors that have been supporting ISCOS. Your generous contributions have kept the Bursary Awards going since 2011. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for making this day a memorable one for the award recipients and their families.
10. As many of you know, education is something close to my heart. Learning never ends and is a lifelong journey. I hope that all of you here today will continue your pursuit and thirst for education. Let me quote Mahatma Gandhi, who said, “Learn as if you were to live forever.”
11. Wise and inspiring words. To all award recipients, continue in your education journey with marvel and awe, lead meaningful, productive lives, and pay it forward.
12. And I also want to thank all our friends from ISCOS, all our Board of Trustees, Board Members, and staff from ISCOS, as well as all the volunteers. And I want to specially thank the parents for persevering. I know it’s not easy to take care of your children and your family, but you have persevered. You have done it, as have many before you. They have achieved it, despite the challenges they faced. So, I’m very confident that you can do it. With the support of ISCOS and many other partners, you will be able to achieve the best for you, your lives, your family, your children in particular, and those around you. We want you to do well. Please work with us – we will journey with you, not only to support you, but to make your lives better.
13. So, once again, congratulations. I wish all Christians who are celebrating Christmas a Merry Christmas, and for all of us, a happy new year. Thank you.