Schools are required to commemorate 4 core NE events which have been identified as defining moments in Singapore's history. The aim is to entrench these events and the images they evoke in the consciousness of each successive generation.
The 4 events are:
Schools commemorate Total Defence Day on 15 February annually to mark Singapore's fall to the Japanese in 1942. Total Defence Day serves to remind our pupils that Singapore is defensible and is worth defending, and we ourselves must defend Singapore.
Students should know what the five aspects of Total Defence are and how they can play a part in each aspect. They should be aware that even at their age, their participation in Total Defence is important. The message is that everyone can (and should) play a part in defending the country.
Students should understand the rationale behind Total Defence, i.e. the logical response to the threat of Total War in which an enemy wages a war of attrition at all levels. They should also know that Total Defence is the cornerstone of Singapore's deterrent strategy. The message is that Total Defence is crucial to the continued security, survival and success of the country.
Students should be aware of the more diverse security challenges that Singapore faces today and the need for multiple agencies to work more closely to develop an effective defence against these new challenges, especially the non-traditional threats that may arise. As future leaders in society, they should also appreciate the roles that they can play in safeguarding Singapore's defence.
IFD is commemorated in schools on the 3rd Friday of Term 2 that is a working day. International Friendship Day is a day dedicated to the understanding of Singapore's relations with neighbouring countries and beyond. It aims to sensitise our children towards the geo-political realities inherent in Singapore, as well as nurture in our students the spirit of friendship and collaboration among different people..
At the Primary Level, IFD commemoration could serve to:
At the Secondary Level, IFD commemoration could serve to:
At the JC and CI Levels, IFD commemoration could serve to:
Note: CCEB recognises that there is a wide spectrum of maturity for students of different schools. These divisions of learning outcomes are not meant to be rigid but as a general guide.
Schools commemorate Racial Harmony Day on 21st July. On this day in 1964, Singapore saw racial riots. Racial Harmony Day serves to remind our pupils that social division costs us dearly and that race and religion are potential fault-lines in Singapore society. It is a day for schools to reflect on, and celebrate our success as a harmonious nation and society built on a rich diversity of cultures and heritages.
Students should learn to make friends with people of other races and religions and not make fun of people who are different. Students should also learn that in Singapore, people are treated equally regardless of their race and religion and they should also do the same. Students should appreciate the different cultures that make up Singapore.
Students should understand the customs and traditions of the different races and religions. They should learn to respect these customs and traditions and the need for the different races and religions to coexist peacefully. Students should also learn about the consequences of a breakdown in racial and religious harmony. These lessons can be drawn from our own history as well as recent incidents in the world. The message is that racial and religious harmony cannot be taken for granted.
Students should appreciate the challenges facing each community and that all races are given equal opportunities to advance and progress. Students should also understand that in Singapore, racial harmony is based on mutual respect and understanding, not assimilation. One model that can be used to understand this is that of four overlapping circles. While each race retains its own distinct identity and strengths, there is also a common space where all Singaporeans, whatever their race, work and play. Students should work towards enlarging this common space. Students should also understand how government policies factor in considerations for racial and religious harmony.
National Day marks our Separation from Malaysia, and our emergence as an independent country in the community of nations. Since 1998, a National Day Ceremony was introduced in schools. This Ceremony aims to bring to the students a greater sense of the historical importance and solemnity of National Day. Schools conduct a 15-minute National Day Ceremony which is more formal than the festivities that schools usually organise.