SINGAPORE - Four Malay Language teachers received awards on Saturday for their outstanding contributions to the teaching and learning of the language in schools.
They were Madam Nurisha Hamid from Coral Secondary School, Madam Norazlina Abdul Jalil from Naval Base Secondary School, Madam Marliana Mohamed Rashid from Telok Kurau Primary School and Madam Nur 'Abidah Abdul Rahman from Bedok Green Secondary School.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who gave out the Arif Budiman Malay Language Teachers' Awards at Marina Mandarin Singapore on Saturday, paid tribute to the more than 50 pioneer Malay language teachers present.
In his speech in Malay, he said many of them continue to contribute their expertise in various fields even after retiring from the teaching service.
"These teachers are still playing an active role to sow the love towards Malay language, literature and culture," he said.
Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security, added: "Language teachers play an important role because language is important not just for communication, but also to transmit of values and culture to our younger generation."
It is through language, values and culture that younger Singaporeans can better understand and develop their national identity, he added.
Arif Budiman means "the learned person who contributes to the society". Each award winner received $1,500, a fully-sponsored professional development programme, a trophy and a certificate of achievement.