◆ 晚晴园-孙中山南洋纪念馆、中学华文教师会、东区华文中心、中正中学（总校）、华文学习研究院 联办：2011年全国中学生创意写作竞赛：人间重晚晴，少年当拏云
◆ 2010年 中正中学（总校）、中学华文教师会、东区华文中心与华文学习研究院联联办： 第四届全国中学生华文文艺营暨学生创意写作竞赛——借唐朝再燃烧
◆ 2006年9月16日 中正中学（总校）、华文学习研究院与林子传媒联办：第一届学生文学作品Flash创作比赛
为了普及教育科技和培养年轻一代中国人的“自主”和“ 创新”精神，中国教育部关心下一代工作委员会和中国发明协会于五年前联手在北京人民大会堂启动“全国中小学信息技术创新与实践活动”，活动包括教师与学生组别应用电脑、多媒体和互联网教学竞赛和教育科技应用国际论坛，为当今中国教育科技创新优秀成果最具代表性的平台。这项中国国家重量级教育科技创新交流盛会自2002年至今，已成功在北京、广州、西安和深圳举办了四届大赛。过去的活动共吸引来自两岸四地 8百余万中小学师生参与活动，关注活动的人数超过3千多万人，可说是当今世上最具规模和影响力的华文教育科技创新项目。
The inaugural of China’s National IT and Creativity Competition for Primary and Secondary schools (www.noc.net.cn/s/index.htm) was held at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People (人民大会堂Renmin Dahuitang) five years ago. This national event was co-organised by the Concern for Younger Generation Committee (Ministry of Education, China) and China’s Invention Association. The objectives of holding this annual event are: to promote and popularise the effective use of information and communications technology (ICT) in education; and to nurture the spirit of independence and creativity amongst the younger Chinese generation. The competition had various categories that focused on multimedia and web-based teaching and learning for teachers and students. International forums on the usage of ICT in education were also held. Over the last five years, this competition has become a prestigious showcase of China’s highly innovative and creative uses of ICT in education.
Since its inception in 2002, this competition has been held successfully in Beijing, Guangzhou, Xi’an and Shenzhen. The different competitive categories and forums had attracted 8000000 teachers and students to participate. The number of people watching the activities exceeded 30 million. The competition is now the largest and the most prestigious event in the field of ICT for Chinese education.
This year, the 5th China’s National IT and Creativity Competition for Primary and Secondary schools was held on 19th July, in Chongqing. The preliminary rounds started last November and were conducted all over China. The final rounds saw the best 36 teams from various Chinese provinces, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Singapore. An estimated 3500 teachers and students gathered at Chongqing and took part in this competition. This activity is valuable to the progress of ICT in Chinese education. The participating teams were very competitive and each gave their best in vying for the respective honours and awards.
Singapore is the first foreign country to be invited to participate in this competition. In the highly competitive finals, the Singapore team (formed by Nan Chiau Primary School and Serangoon Garden Secondary School) also became the first foreign team to compete against teams from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. In spite of the stiff competition, the Singapore team won the First Class Award.
Out of the four Singapore representatives, three of them are typical native Singaporean students, born and educated in mainstream Singapore schools, and their first language is English. These three students are: Huang Lifei, Lin Yingxuan (both from Nan Chiau Primary School), Xie Dingshen (from Serangoon Garden Secondary School). The fourth student is Gao Nan (from Serangoon Garden Secondary School). She is from Fujian Province in China and came to Singapore a few years ago to study. All four students attended the Internet Radio Broadcasting Programme organized by CL Lab, a local research lab set up by former NTU teaching staff and researchers. The project that they submitted during the competition was Internet Radio Broadcasting specially designed by CL Lab.
Ng Lip Fei and Lim Ying Xuan said, “After attending the Student Internet Radio course, we both have a greater interest in learning Chinese now!”
Stessen Chia said, “I lacked of confidence and thus lost my interest in Chinese Language . I used to do badly in Chinese until my teacher Mdm Tan Choo Siang encouraged me to participate in the Student Internet Radio programme. I found the programme very interesting and I can learn lots of useful knowledge and skills. Now my Chinese has improved and Chinese has become one of my favourite subjects.
The Singapore team participated at the 5th China’s National IT and Creativity Competition with the support of Singapore’s Minister Mentor, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Minister Mentor sent a congratulatory message (in Chinese) to the Chinese organizers, with the phrases: there are power tools for education; there are no boundaries for creativity. This message was written by famous Singapore calligrapher, Professor Leong Weng Kee, and presented by Dr Chua and Mr Lee to Mr Li Weifu, Chairman of the Chinese Organising Committee at the ceremony in China.
China’s Gift of Hexie Bao Ding to be Exhibited in Winning Schools to Promote Chinese Learning
MM Lee is the first foreign national leader invited by the organisers to give a message. At the end of the 5th China’s National IT and Creativity Competition, the chairman of the Chinese organising committee, Mr Li Weifu wrote a letter of appreciation to MM Lee for his support and presented him with the Hexie Bao Ding 和谐宝鼎 (Harmony Tripod Cauldron). Besides congratulating the Singapore team’s victory in the competition, the letter also expressed utmost respect and compliments to the success of the bilingual policy that was implemented by MM Lee years ago. The Hexie Bao Ding symbolises harmony and prosperity. With the gift, Mr Li also wished Singapore prosperity and harmony. To congratulate the winning schools and to encourage Singapore students to master the Chinese Language, MM Lee had specially asked CL Lab to arrange for the Hexie Bao Ding to be exhibited at the winning schools.
After the award presentation, the Singapore team leader, Dr Chua Chee Lay, was interviewed by the local press. During the interview, he said, “We are really very excited with the team’s results. We are thrilled they are able to achieve such brilliant results after having gone through our training. Their performance is highly commendable, especially in consideration of the fact that they are educated in the mainstream Singapore schools where English is the main instructional language. Besides the dedicated guidance given by the teachers, Mdm Tan Choo Siang (HOD, Serangoon Garden Secondary School) and Ms Chen Xiaojie (Nan Chiau Primary School), the project that the team presented, Internet Radio Broadcasting, was also very innovative. It developed and brought out the full potential in the students. This gave them the confidence to compete in the international arena and to maintain a calm and steady composure throughout the competition. Another key to their success was their simple presentation of their project. The simplicity of their presentation highlighted their sincerity and authenticity in delivering their story.”
Dr Chua expressed that he is more thankful than overjoyed with the team’s achievement. He added, “The Singapore team would like to express our greatest appreciation to the Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew for his support and the Chinese organisers for providing the opportunity for the Singapore students to participate in this competition. We would also like to hank Ms Chee Mei Chun, Principal of Serangoon Gardens Secondary School, Mr Chia Soo Keng, Principal of Nan Chiau Primary School and Mrs Lau, Vice Principal of Nan Chiau Primary School for their utmost support and concern. Without their moral and financial support, we wouldn’t be able to showcase our students’ potential at the Chinese arena.”
When interviewed by the local press, Assistant team leader, Mr Lee Choin Lan said, “This is our first campaign in China’s national competition. Initially, we did not have high hopes of winning any awards. In fact, we were rather anxious and nervous. We had great confidence in the Internet Radio Broadcasting Programme that we had developed and we knew that this programme has many merits and is highly educational. However, we were also fully aware that we would be competing at China’s national level with their finest cream of the crop. Upon our arrival in Chongqing, we gained a better understanding of our ‘battle grounds', and then decided on the strategies of expressing the students’ sincerity through simple presentation and creating winning opportunities through surprises. First of all, we convinced our Singapore students to put aside their fears of language inadequacies (in comparision to their Chinese counterparts), and use their own words to express themselves boldly. The result proved that our strategies worked as the judges were very impressed with our students’ performance and were touched by their sincerity. In the end, the Singapore students outshone the other teams with their brilliant performance.”
When the judging panel gave the final comments and critique of the various teams’ performance, a special mention of the Singapore team was made. The panel commended that the team’s project, Internet Radio Broadcasting, was highly educational and inspiring. When the team made their presentation in Chinese, they were calm and natural. Their delivery was clear and well-structured. They handled the judges’ questions with ease and confidence. For Singaporean students who live in an English speaking environment, it is not easy for them to speak Chinese fluently and proficiently, and for them to compete in China with China’s best in the Chinese medium. It would take more than brains and skills. They won over the judges’ hearts with more than their language abilities and self-confidence. More importantly, they were not showy and did not win through sheer memorising. They used their own simple language to vividly tell their very own story. The judges were very impressed with them and were unanimous in their decision to award them the First Class Award.