Raffles Institution and Old Rafflesians' Association Homecoming Dinner 2018: Guest of Honour, Professor Lim Pin's Speech
News | 27 July 2018
I am deeply honoured by the prestigious Gryphon Award this evening, the highest award a Rafflesian may aspire to receive from his alma mater.
Professor Lim Pin accepting the fourth Gryphon Award.
I wish to thank the School and the Governing Board for their generosity in selecting me for this award which I shall specially cherish and treasure.
All of us have reason to be proud of being Rafflesians.
Collectively Rafflesians have made wide and deep impact on society, and their contributions have helped shape the development of Singapore as an exemplary nation of quality and excellence.
As the premier school of Singapore with a long illustrious history, our School has kept well ahead of the competition, attracting top students from the primary schools.
Admission based strictly on merit is, however, the keystone of our school’s competitive edge, ensuring that the country’s best and brightest, regardless of socio-economic, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds are admitted and put through the rigorous and challenging learning experience and training that only our school can provide.
Performance in the PSLE has traditionally been the principal criterion for admissions to RI.
This approach, focusing on cognitive skill and the intellect, is critical for grooming leaders with sharp analytical mind and excellent problem-solving skill.
This has stood the test of time and is integral to our reputation for excellence.
However, in grooming future leaders for a rapidly changing world confronted by disruptions, uncertainties and tsunamis in socio-economic dynamics, analytical and problem-solving skills need to be complemented by lively curiosity and a keen inquiring mind, ready to embrace change and always seeking to do better.
This may require us to look for other potentials in addition to the current requirements in selecting students for admission.
Potential for versatility, enterprise, creativity, innovation and social skills for example, are valuable qualities to complement the intellect.
This is increasingly emphasized in the admission practice of renowned educational institutions.
Our school may wish to look into how best to broaden our admission criteria and be better prepared for a future, which while fraught with uncertainties and surprises, also challenges us with exciting opportunities and possibilities.
Meanwhile, RI has done much to enhance its holistic approach and broaden the scope of learning.
In 2006, the Raffles Institute for Experiential Learning was set up to offer outdoor education programmes with experiential dimension, while Raffles Academy was established to nurture students who display exceptional aptitude for particular subjects.
Courses, exchanges and work attachments have become a signature feature of the school’s curriculum.
In 2013, Raffles Community Initiative was established to support student community service effort.
Such rich offering of learning opportunities, featuring exploration experiential learning and research, and including overseas visits and attachments and participation in humanitarian projects in the community speaks volumes of the drive, innovation, dedication and commitment of the leadership and teaching staff of the School.
They deserve our highest accolade and profound gratitude.
We can all be justly proud of the achievements of our school, especially in the quantum leap since it became independent in 1990.
Professor Lim Pin giving his speech to a crowd of 870 alumni and friends strong.
I had the privilege of working closely with Principal Eugene Wijeysinghe in this transformation, as the first Chairman of the School Governing Board of independent RI.
Going independent has enabled our school to come up with a clear ambitious vision for the future and the flexibility and space to implement innovations and new ideas that would benefit the pupils and the school.
Implementation, however, is possible only if the needed resources are available.
This is where support of old Rafflesians has made a real difference, not least in facilitating and providing experiential hands-on learning opportunities in the real world for our pupils.
Already our alumni have done much to provide financial support for students to ensure equal opportunity of access to the full range of learning opportunities in the School from all socio-economic groups, a basic feature of our Rafflesian DNA.
Alumni support is critical to sustain the vibrancy, growth and development of our school.
More and better teaching and learning facilities and programmes to reach for greater excellence means greater need for more resources.
We should be able to count on old Rafflesians to play their part as passionate loyal alumni and as committed stake-holders of the school.
Together we shall ensure that our school continues to advance its unmatched reputation, continues to attract the best students and mould them into the outstanding leaders that society needs, leaders who perpetuate our Rafflesian ethos of excellence, enterprise, dedication and service, leaders who bring honour to our school and enhance their alma mater’s reputation as the school of choice for the best and the brightest from all sectors of society in Singapore.