Our third profile will be of Mr. Santokh Singh. Grab your tickets for the dinner quick, to get your chance to see him in person and thank him for the memorable days you had in VS.

1) What are you doing now?

News Editor of The New Paper.

2) What are your fondest memories of Victoria?

– Spending time with colleagues and pupils
– Hockey training
– Counseling teachers and students
– Helping VS to its highest ranking ever, 5th outright with no sharing of bands etc (VS produced its best History and Geography results to date)
– Organizing annual field trips overseas for the Humanities Dept (VS was the first school in Singapore to camp at JogJakarta’s Wanagama Reforestation Campsite)

– Helping VS hockey teams win national titles (VS produced several national players from the squads Sooce and I trained including stars like Ganesh Sooceleraj and Masagoes Idris)
– Heading the Humanities/PCCG and Discipline Departments concurrently
– Introducing PCCG into VS, was the first to lead the programme
– Mentoring the prefectorial board
– Introduced the CCA leaders Council to the school
– Helping to run the Leadership and Sec 1/3 Orientation Camps (was part of the team that came up with the idea and organized the Sec 1 Orientation Camp from the first day of school – it was something that others schools followed a few later, and is now quite the norm)
– Coming out with the Victoria Profile (perhaps the best contribution, which was never appreciated in the early 1990s but is the rave of education today)
– Being a member of the Schools National Track and Field Organising Committee and the Schools’ National Badminton Committee

Perhaps my fondest of the lost was turning students around to believe in them, meeting with gangsters to help a student out of the group, arguing with parents to take a greater interest in their boys, defending the boys against some rather vindictive teachers, trailing students to catch them smoking, etc. These same students have called years later to thank me and that for me is priceless.

We, the teachers of VS, did all of these without any complaints, without any outside coaches or teacher-assistants, nor any increase in salary. We set, typed and printed our own examination papers, marked all our scripts ourselves while performing form teacher duties, including the collecting of fees and helping students with their bus passes etc etc. And yes, we too conducted remedial and enrichment classes, producing some of the best results ever. IT CAN BE DONE.

3) Any message for present teachers? Words of wisdom?

Teaching is all about passion. The day that spark goes, like it did when ranking of schools was introdcutged by the MOE, please quit. We don’t know the damage we are doing to lives if we don’t realize that the job is a calling.

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