Eunoia Junior College
5 May 2018
Eunoia Junior College celebrated its official opening on Saturday, 5 May 2018 with a harmony of sound, colour and learning. In attendance were newly appointed Minister for Education, Mr Ong Ye Kung, Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Division, Ms Yong Ying-I, Chairman of the EJC College Advisory Committee, Professor Su Guaning, senior officials from the Ministry of Education, present and past principals, alumni chairpersons and school management committee representatives from the Joint Integrated Programme (JIP) partner schools, parent partnership group Parents@Eunoia, and the most important guests for the day, our two pioneering cohorts of Eunoians.
The theme As One We Write, taking after lyrics of the college anthem written by present and future Eunoians, reflects the opportunities and responsibilities our students have in shaping the destiny and legacy of the college. The hive of activity, consisting of learning workshops, performances, games and food throughout the day, would attest to the vibrancy Eunoians have brought and will bring for many years to come.
The opening performance, specially choreographed for EJC Dance by instructor Mr Dan Kwoh, served an appetiser for our guests on what to expect — a circus of colour, a feast of learning, and plenty of passion to go around.
We are Eunoia: our origins may be beautifully different but our spirits shine as one. Each of us carries within us a story waiting to be told, and together we weave our silken strands into one beautiful Eunoia fabric. Let us tell our story through our heartbeat, our people, our triumphs, our struggles, our comebacks and our prospects.
The day's excitement kicked off in three concurrent segments: a Carnival that showcased our Eunoians' creative games and challenges, an Unconference programme for all to explore a wide array of interests and passions and a Human Library in which participants could 'read' human books that told the Eunoia story from conception to present day.
In the Human Library, our special guests participated alongside our JC1s to listen to the struggles and satisfactions of starting a new junior college. The pioneers they heard from included the past and current principals of our Joint Integrated Programme partner schools, our first cohort of Student Councillors and student-leaders who organised Orientation and many other programmes for their own cohort, the student-designers of our uniform, student-composers of our college anthem, and the parents who stepped up as executive committee members of Parents@Eunoia even before the college began formal operations. As our human books shared their heartfelt moments, our 'readers' shared curious questions and words of encouragement, some even diligently taking notes along the way.
Our guests had the opportunity to visit learning workshops taking place, many initiated and facilitated by the college's students and staff. Minister for Education Mr Ong Ye Kung, together with Director-General for Education Mr Wong Siew Hoong, tried their hand at corsage and boutonniere-making in a session taught by our Principal Mrs Wong-Cheang Mei Heng and student-volunteers. They later had their hands full negotiating a Python coding session chaired by Mathematics teacher Dr Chen Weiqiang, a crash course in juggling by Mr Victor Yang and an introduction to beatboxing led by the self-taught Chin Zhen Yu (17-O4). Greeting Eunoians along the way, Mr Ong also met Mr Jose Pedro Cairos Correa, a Deputy Head Keeper at the Singapore Zoo and his friend, a South American Boa. Elsewhere, other workshops on the Korean language, internet meme-making and crochet taught by Eunoians captivated their peers' attention.
With squeals of excitement inside our classrooms, there was definitely as much fun to be had outside them. Our Eunoians' carnival stalls, ranging from the curious to the familiarly satisfying, promised to fill bellies, tell fortunes, test your skills and your patience, and to scare off the stress of examinations. These certainly tapped on our JC1 students' ingenuity, and expanded on the task their Project Work tutors set them in Term 1.
We are passion embodied. We celebrate each other’s talents, interests and dreams — we are home to those venture off the beaten path; we are champions of tinkering and trying. We are our ideas and stories. Eunoia is beautifully different because all Eunoians are individual lights who sparkle in their own unique ways.
Their passion would set the stage for the official opening ceremony. Emcees Kenneth Hoh (18-O5) and Sanchana Gnanasekaran (18-O4) ushered the start of rousing performances by the EJC Symphonic Band, Choir and Chinese Orchestra, including a medley of familiar 1970s disco favourites, a Broadway number and an orchestral piece about the inexorable spirit of youth.
This was followed by a commemorative video on the birth of the college, produced by Nicholas Lee Jun Yi (17-E4) together with members of the EJC Media Club. Reflecting on the video, Nicholas spoke about the creative process and the many stories of Eunoians his team wanted to capture and weave together. In the same spirit, Mrs Kellie Woo (Dean, JC2), Mr Mahmood Fahmi and Mr Cao Jiandong also came forward to share their memories of their journey in Eunoia thus far, and their hopes for the college in the near and distant future. You can read their speeches in a companion article here.
In his address, Minister Ong Ye Kung echoed their ambitions as he recounted the conception of the college as part of the Joint Integrated Programme and the groundwork laid by colleagues at the Ministry of Education. Pledging to put students in the centre of everything the school and MOE do, he recognised the importance of diversity in the national education landscape as well as at the college — its first two cohorts hail from 73 different secondary schools, and with that diversity of experience and passion, will build a distinct culture that generations of students will be proud of.
The myriad of photos that formed the backdrop was a reminder of the vibrancy and possibility at the heart of the college. To officially launch the college, distinguished guests including Minister Ong completed the picture wall with iconic photos of the college's history.
Beautiful thinking, goodwill to all. Words that every Eunoian would identify with the name of the college, and words that are now etched as an indelible part of the college's history. To commemorate the occasion, students, staff and parents in the audience sang the college anthem in harmony with the Symphonic Band, Chinese Orchestra and Choir in a combined performance as beautiful as its meaning.
Eunoians are visionaries — our pioneers dreamed and built a junior college on the ideals of beautiful thinking and goodwill to all. We are trailblazers, guided by a sense of service and purpose for our fellow people. Hear our story. Look at our journey of writing Eunoia's history, destiny and legacy.
No celebration in Eunoia would be complete without food, music and dance. Tucking into bento boxes with their classes, our Eunoians staged their own picnic in the courtyard.
The roving Music Caravan too made its way to the grandstand, serenading all with tunes from Donavan Bay (17-E5), Jelita Jaimon (17-U1), Nigel Goh (17-U4) and Twinkle Shakthi (18-I1) and the signature dance moves of XYZ, comprising Kwek Xiu Qi, Lam Kai Yi (both 17-I4) and Lim Zhineng (17-U4).
The resident emcees for the Feast segment, Gilliam Lam (18-A1) and Lek Siang Ern (18-U1), added to the festive mood, urging our Eunoians to their feet and end the night with a dance-off between JC1s and JC2s.
As the sun set and the long day became night, there was to be one more reminder of the Eunoia story that has been written and can be written — a long line of balloons that rose ever higher, flying, shining in the night sky.
Eunoia is now complete, a dream made reality in a kaleidoscope of colour and talent. We celebrate our journey thus far, and we promise to light the way forward for everyone we meet along the way.