While I Live, I Learn
Tuesday, 01 December 2015
NIE News, December 2015, http://www.nie.edu.sg/nienews/dec15/?q=contents/nie-alumnus-reflection
By NIE Alumnus, Mr Omar Basri, Bachelor of Arts (Education), 2012
Mr Omar Basri (second from right) with Prof Lee Sing Kong (second from left) and friends at the Teachers’ Investiture Ceremony July 2012
The school motto of Pioneer Junior College ‘While I live, I learn’, are words that resonate greatly with me. I am a firm believer of how one should strive to develop to be a better person. In line with the Ministry of Education’s calls for lifelong learning for our students, the same too could be applied to teachers. What better way to improve ourselves than to realise that as teachers, we too need to continuously hone our craft?
With that in mind, I started on my Master of Arts (Southeast Asian Studies) in the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2012. Spurred on by an interest to sharpen my content knowledge in the subject matter, I pursued my graduate degree on a part-time basis. Furthermore, being awarded the Rotary 75th Anniversary Gold Medal and the Jurong Shipyard Book Prize when I graduated from National Institute of Education, Singapore, in 2012 definitely put pressure on me, as I felt that I was representing the institute against the best and the brightest in the graduate programme. Indeed, juggling teaching and graduate studies was no easy task, but the education I received in NIE prepared me for the academic rigour of a Master degree.
To a large extent, this was due to the fact that I was blessed to have had excellent lecturers in the Humanities and Social Studies Education Academic Group and the English Language and Literature Academic Group. Their dedication to teaching and giving their best to the undergraduates inspired me and made me realise that a teacher should always have belief in their students, and to motivate them to perform towards greater heights. As such, I dedicate the Dr Benjamin Batson Gold Medal, which is awarded to the best candidate in the Masters of Arts (Southeast Asian Studies) Programme, to them.
At the same time, I would also like to thank Dr Hang and Ms Chua Bann from the NUS High School of Math and Science for supporting me in my pursuit of graduate degree during my time in the school.
Most importantly, I would like to thank Mrs Tan, Principal of Pioneer Junior College, for believing in my abilities and in developing me as an education officer. Joining the college has allowed me to apply the research skills I have learnt through my graduate degree for the A-Levels Project Work subject.
“Indeed, teachers should always seek to improve ourselves and be engaged in lifelong learning as well, if only for it to serve as an example for our students.”
This article first appeared in NIE's quarterly publication NIE News in December 2015.