BiCEP celebrates 10th-year milestone
It all began 10 years ago when the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan (SHHK) decided to launch the “Bicultural Chinese Elective Programme” (BiCEP) for its affiliated primary schools. The intent was to groom bilingual students with an in depth interest and appreciation of the Chinese Language and culture.
Seeing the positive outcomes, SHHK hopes to replicate the programme and extend it to students outside its five affiliated primary schools so that more can benefit from it.
SHHK has to-date funded more than 1.8 million dollars in the BiCEP and more than 1200 students have graduated from the programme.
Lim Jia Ying of Ai Tong School’s Class of 2011 said, “As Singaporeans, it is important that we are not only bilingual but also bicultural, so as to play a role in the world’s stage. BiCEP gave me an early advantage.” Jia Ying is also a two-time winner of the Prime Minister Book Prize.
With English replacing Chinese as the most commonly used language at homes, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said, “To keep the mother tongue alive therefore, we will need community groups like the SHHK, apart from the Ministry of Education (MOE) to help promote the learning and appreciation of Chinese language and culture.” He was speaking at the 10th-year anniversary celebrations of BiCEP.
SHHK President, Mr Chua Thian Poh, also commented, “We had wanted to groom a core group of students who will be the next generation of Chinese language and culture champions and hopefully, they would use the bilingual advantage to pursue careers and contribute to the Chinese community and Singapore.”
During the celebration, SHHK also launched a BiCEP interest group on Facebook to continue to engage former students and keep their interest and passion in Chinese language and culture alive. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1777754719113883/