By Andrew Kwek, Chairperson, RPA
As the new Chairperson of the Raffles Parents’ Association (RPA), I would like all of us to revisit the founding ideals of the RPA.
The RPA exists to bring together Rafflesian parents, to focus their attention on the ways in which they can best support the school in developing its students. The school has good, noble goals in this regard—beyond the academic development of Rafflesians, it has clearly spelt out the virtues that it wants to inculcate—teamwork, self-discipline and fortitude, respect, humility and compassion, as well as an orientation toward the needs of the greater community.
As such, I want to dispel any notion that the RPA is or should be a social club. Our raison d’être is to cater to the collective well-being of the students—our children in the school. It isn’t about us as parents, but rather, what we can do to support the attainment of the school’s goals. We should align our work to enhance the school’s capacity and capability for the successful nurturing of Rafflesians. A great deal depends on this.
As parents, we also recognise that as our children become increasingly independent—and this is a worthy, important goal—they will inevitably turn to us less and less for direction and guidance. It’s a stage in our children’s lives when friendship often ranks higher than parental affection; this involves maturing too, on the part of parents—we need to grow gracefully and allow our children this space to explore and form new bonds. It’s not ultimately about us parents abdicating our roles, but rather, adopting a new perspective.
This is something which the RPA can help Rafflesian parents with as well—to develop what we might term the art of parenting. This is where parents with younger students can benefit so much from the experiences and accumulated wisdom of those parents a few years ahead of them in the parenting journey.
To this end, we are planning talks for parents at the various cohort levels, not only to keep them posted about school activities, but also to share information and ideas about parenting and supporting one’s children in their various school activities. We also hope to educate parents about a wider range of career possibilities for their children, beyond the ‘traditional’ paths of law, medicine and engineering—after all, we want Rafflesians to achieve their full potential—and this might well be in other fields such as journalism, industry or even social enterprise!
To succeed, the RPA requires the time and energy of Rafflesian parents. Do consider joining the RPA and actively working with us for the holistic development of your children. There is, after all, much strength to be found in numbers.
Chairperson, 26th Management Committee
Raffles Parents’ Association