It is with great pride that I would like to introduce Balestier Students' Hostel, fondly called BSH by our students, to you.
My wife, Jennifer, and I started this hostel in 1970. We were among the first hostels in Singapore and we have, over the years, gained much experience in managing students of all ages and academic abilities. We were the first hostel that the Ministry of Education identified to place their scholars when Singapore started offering scholarships to our neighbouring countries. Since then we were home to scholars from China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
However, BSH did not just take in government scholars. We had students with different academic background and abilities. In fact, this mix of students has contributed to the rich diversity and richness of our hostel.
I am proud to say that almost all our students, regardless of whether they were scholars or not, have done very well in their studies. The same can be said of their behaviour. My wife and I are always very proud whenever we go to the schools as guardians because the principals and teachers always have such good things to say of our students.
I am sure that their behaviour and academic success are due largely to the values and love of their families. However, we would like to believe that BSH has also contributed to this by ensuring that we have a caring and disciplined environment. We demand and expect a lot from our students. But we also care for them and provide all the help they need to live up to these expectations.
Perhaps BSH is best captured by our statement that it is "A Home Away From Home". We set high expectations, we are strict and we demand the best behaviour and effort from our students. But, like parents, we do all these because we care.