Principal’s Message 2023
I am thankful to be given the opportunity to lead Bukit Merah Secondary School (BMSS). While I am new to the school, the school is not entirely new to me. In fact, the posting feels like homecoming to me. After all, I have not only grown up and attended schools in the vicinity but also started my formative teaching expedition more than 15 years ago in the neighbouring Henderson Secondary School (HSS), which merged with BMSS in 2017.
A school is more than its name, geographical location and range of programmes offered to me. Its foundation is anchored not merely in the vision, mission and values but the people — Students, Staff and Partners — members of the Merahan family who live and work towards these aspirations every day. BMSS is not Hogwarts. Yet, as a new addition to the Merahan family, I am heartened and very proud to attest to ‘magic’, marked by a strong sense of care, warmth and camaraderie, that permeates the grounds of our school. Such wizardry is made possible by human alchemy comprising a mix of:
1.Unique Merahans with their own stories, quirks and aspirations but humbly anchored in respect, integrity, self-discipline and empathy for others;
2. Dedicated Staff whose deep commitment and drive to enable each Merahan to reach his/ her potential is ‘fierce’; and
3. Generous Partners from parents, School Advisory Committee, alumni, to others in the community, who complement the strengths of the school by offering support, expertise and opportunities to develop the potential of every Merahan.
Under the leadership of Mr Timothy Cheng, my predecessor, BMSS has thrived to be a choice school for 70% of our Merahans and a good school that strives to nurture Merahans to be resilient, caring and self-directed learners. I am committed to work with my colleagues to realise that aspiration. It is my belief that we can do so not necessarily by doing or having more. Resources are finite after all. Instead, I would like to invite the Merahan family — Students, Staff and Partners — who have a stake in the aspiration to reframe and consider how to build on our following key strengths to deepen and enhance our existing provisions:
1.Culture of care is a force that is strong within the Merahan family. As we continue to develop Merahans to be resilient, how can we calibrate the commitment to care so it does not become mollycoddling? How can we learn to let go of additional inhibitions to provide more safe spaces for Merahans to explore, trial and learn from their mistakes?
2.Diversity is another of our hallmark, honed over the years by aggrandising the strengths of former St. Thomas Secondary School, Delta Secondary School and HSS. How can we nurture Merahans to embrace the diversity of voices? How can we enable Merahans to navigate diverse voices and rally them to care beyond themselves, their loved ones and the immediate community?
3.Commitment to prepare Merahans to be future-ready. In line with our motto ’Sedia’, to always be prepared, it is an imperative to empower Merahans to be self-directed, to stay motivated and to take initiatives, to give them a head start in life. How empowered are Merahans to speak up, take a stance and make their voices count? How prepared are we to trust that Merahans can learn to exercise greater agency and responsible decision-making? To embrace who they are and yet not forget the needs and interests of the community they are very much a part of?
At this point, we do not have a magic formula or foolproof plan that can realise our aspiration for Merahans overnight. What we can count on, surely, is the collective wisdom, effort and determination of every Merahan — Students, Staff and Partners — to work together every day to make the aspiration a reality.
Mr Darren Chong