Celebrating Singapore’s golden jubilee and the 10th successful year of the Group Endeavours in Service Learning (GESL for short) programme, a commemorative book was compiled for these momentous occasions and to acknowledge the unwavering spirit of teaching fostered in each student teacher at NIE.
The theme and title of the publication, “Honouring Our Pioneers, Building Our Future”, brought together 21 inspiring stories from the 2014/2015 cohort of student teachers and compiled by the Office of Teacher Education (OTE). It tells of their journeys of learning to serve while serving to learn through empowering others, fostering inclusion and bridging communities to build a better Singapore for generations to come.
The stories differ in depth, reach and content but focus on service learning experiences. The tome recounts student teachers’ personal encounters with their beneficiaries through each GESL project. These have brought great depth in understanding on how values are better honed in a community of diverse needs. It better prepares them as well to be 21st century teaching professionals who are articulate in varying literacies and identifying how to create new learning outcomes accordingly.
NIE will send a copy of the commemorative book to all primary, secondary and tertiary schools as well as institutes of higher learning. NIE hopes that through the GESL testimonies, more education institutes would consider encouraging similar service learning programmes; such as, promoting the Values In Action projects further so that it continues beyond the SG50 year of celebrations.
In his Foreword, NIE Director, Professor Tan Oon Seng, reminisces that the past sets great lessons for the future. “We are all beneficiaries of our pioneers who have overcome challenges unfathomable in the Singapore we see today,” he adds, “let us continue to take on the baton and run the race with faith to create an even better future for Singaporeans.”
Please visit here to view the online version of the commemorative book.
More about GESL: It provides hands-on opportunities for student teachers to engage a partner of their choice and contribute towards furthering a cause for the community. It has been an integral part of nurturing the teaching passion at NIE as they dedicate their efforts to a project that can further enrich the lives of beneficiaries.
This article first appeared in NIE's quarterly publication NIE News in December 2015.