Speech Day 2018
14 April 2018 was a joyous day for Dunman High School as we celebrated our 62nd Speech Day. It was our honour to invite Mr Lai Chung Han, 2nd Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Home Affairs, as the Guest-of-Honour. The event was also graced by Mr Sam Goi, Honorary Chairman of the School Advisory Committee (SAC), Mr Justin Arul Pierre, Cluster Superintendent, former principals, Mr Tan Thiam Hock and Mr Sng Chern Wei, members of the SAC, parents and the Parent Support Group, Alumni and guests.
The theme for this year’s Speech Day was “Home”（家）. Dunman High School is akin to a second home for many staff members and students who have devoted a huge amount of time, energy, effort and love to the school. Amidst the hectic school life, the event served as a platform for Dunmanians and our stakeholders to catch up and spend time together, and to celebrate the school’s holistic achievements and successes as one big Dunman High family. For the alumni and retired staff who were back, the event evoked a sense of home-coming, as they shared happy memories while rejoicing in their reunion with the Dunmanian family.
This year’s Speech Day continued with several crowd favourites of 2017, such as the live-streaming of the Parade Inspection held outside the Media Resource Library for the audience in the Performing Arts Centre, usage of the Speech Day Logo and ceremony slides, and display of our students’ artwork in the Speech Day booklet. During the presentation, the familiar Dunmanian saying,“一日德明人，一生德明情”was yet another reminder that Dunman High will always be a home away from home. To enable students, parents and staff to capture fond memories of this special occasion, a special photo-taking backdrop was provided on stage after the end of the ceremony. An instant photo booth with 正心园as the backdrop was also set up outside the Auditorium.
The ceremony started off with our Principal, Mr Tony Low, delivering the opening address, where he touched on developing hard and soft skills in order to grow the Dunmanian DNA – always putting our best foot forward and being a positive influence. He also emphasised the need for Dunmanians to be future-proof and characterised by qualities that make us meaningful and valued contributors to the community both now and in the future, qualities that can never be replaced by machines and technology. He rounded off his speech in Mandarin, reminding Dunmanians to be future-ready and not be contented with the knowledge we already possess. In his words,“如果你们用昨天的知识面对今天的挑战，你们可能会失去明天的机会。”He also drove home the importance of remaining anchored in our school motto of honesty, trustworthiness, moral courage and loyalty, despite the ever changing times, and that Dunman High will always be our second home.
Tan Zhao Yuan, Executive President of the student body, and Cheryl Poh Jingting, President of the Student Council, then proceeded to share about the overall achievements of 2017. They highlighted the overseas service learning journey to Chiang Mai, Thailand, by the Outdoor Adventure Club, as a testimony of the Dunmanian spirit of giving back and serving the community. They also described the holistic achievements of five recent graduates, Zhang Tianyi, Selina Ang Sze Han, Ian Goh Yiheng, Tay Yi Xuan and Chng Zhe Ming, encouraging Dunmanians to strive for excellence in various domains.
Next, our Guest-of-Honour, Mr Lai Chung Han underscored three imperatives which would prepare Singaporeans for the future: becoming a nation of lifelong learners, becoming digital natives in the future economy, and becoming global citizens in a multipolar world. He applauded Dunman High for her various initiatives to equip Dunmanians in these areas, such as the Work Experience Programme (WEP) which provides our students with authentic experiences in the industry, which will help them to clarify their career aspirations. He also affirmed the school’s efforts to expose Dunmanians to digital competencies by introducing modules on Python and web design for all Year One and Two students. Finally, he was glad to know that the Appreciation of Chinese Culture Programme, fortnightly Mandarin Morning News Programme and Conversational Malay Programme for our Year Two cohort have been instrumental in helping students strive towards the Dunmanian outcome of bilingualism and multiculturalism. He ended his speech by reiterating that sound values and character should remain as our anchor for the future despite the shifts and disruptions we face.
The awards ceremony proceeded with the presentations of various awards celebrating the holistic achievements of Dunmanians, culminating in the presentation of the Outstanding Achievement Award to Kwek Zhong Wei, Isaac of 4I (2017) and Chng Zhe Ming of 6C23 (2017). There was a befitting conclusion to the awards presentation when four of our most senior staff were honoured for their long service to MOE and Dunman High with a surprise presentation of flower bouquets by the Guest-of-Honour. These staff members were Mrs Asha Vora Kirti (25 years in DHS), Mr Sioe Tian Cheok (30 years in DHS), Mr Ang Eng Choon (35 years in MOE) and Mr Tan Tui Gee, who received the MOE 10-Year Special Appreciation award in recognition of him continuing in service for 10 years after his retirement.
Our Valedictorian, Chng Zhe Ming, then shared with the audience his experience of failure and disappointment when his model plane could not take off during the Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition despite having spent three months on it. Through this example, he reminded his juniors to embrace failure as part of their learning experience, and encouraged Dunmanians to view failure in a positive light – as an opportunity to learn, to grow and to develop ourselves. To round off a successful prize-giving ceremony, the audience was treated to performances by our Guitar Ensemble and the Wushu team.
Speech Day 2018 also marked another momentous event: the launch of our newly-minted A.R.T. Galleria in the Media Resource Library. Our distinguished guests were invited to witness the opening. The A.R.T. Galleria was conceptualised by our principal, Mr Tony Low. It is aptly named, with the letters “A”, “R” and “T” representing Aesthetics, Re–imagination and Talent respectively. It is a dedicated space set aside to chronicle and display the many aesthetics talents of past and present staff and students in Dunman High, and at the same time, educate others to appreciate art through re-imagination. The gallery forms an integral part of the larger effort to enhance not just our school’s physical environment, but to also complement our students’ learning of Art, and promote artistic learning and appreciation among Dunmanians. Through it, we hope to increase awareness and interest among Dunmanians as to what their peers in the Art classes and Art CCAs are doing. The gallery is a physical embodiment of the school’s guiding belief that every Dunmanian, staff and students alike, can and will shine in their chosen field. In time to come, our staff, students, alumni and other stakeholders will be invited to share their talents and display their artistic creations in the gallery, adding on to a truly immersive atmosphere that infuses inclusivity in art appreciation.
Witnessed by our guests, the A.R.T. Galleria was launched with a ribbon-cutting ceremony officiated by our Guest-of-Honour, Mr Lai Chung Han, Honorary Chairman of the School Advisory Committee, Mr Sam Goi, and our principal, Mr Tony Low. The guests then proceeded to tour the inaugural exhibition of the gallery which featured the photography works of Mr Tan Tui Gee, a Physical Education teacher who marks his 50th year at Dunman High this year. The exhibition is entitled: “The World Through My Lenses”, showcasing mesmerising images from different parts of the world where Mr Tan has travelled.
We look forward to another fruitful year ahead for Dunman High and a memorable Speech Day in 2019.