Written by: Chua Zea Ra (23A11)
“The past we inherit, the future we create.”
On 31 May 2023, the hall of Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) came alive with intellectual fervor as the school hosted its second National Education (NE) Symposium. In collaboration with Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) and the NUS High School (NUSH), this student-led symposium marked a milestone in fostering a deep understanding of Singapore's future through the exploration of three vital pillars: Equip, Steward, Unite, and re-examination of our values and aspirations for Singapore’s social compact.
With approximately 155 participants in attendance, the NE Symposium was a day of enlightening and enriching dialogues. The event showcased the collective effort and enthusiasm of students, teachers, and esteemed guests in shaping Singapore's future as responsible global citizens.
The Symposium kicked off with purpose, as participants embarked on learning journeys to sites aligned with the three ForwardSG pillars. The first pillar, Education and Lifelong Learning, was exemplified by a visit to the Lifelong Learning Institute. Participants delved into the significance of continuous education, contemplated upon the effects of current changes in our education system and its role in nurturing well-rounded individuals.
Participants learning from the interactive displays at the Lifelong Learning Institute
The second pillar, Environmental and Fiscal Sustainability, was explored through visits to the Edible Garden City and the One Tampines Hub. Amidst the existential challenge of climate change, acknowledged by many as a global emergency and a threat to mankind, it is an imperative to accelerate and strengthen efforts to mitigate climate change, as well as embrace sustainability. During this journey, students explored inventive eco-friendly practices.
The Edible Garden City
The third pillar, Unite, was celebrated through a visit to the Harmony in Diversity Gallery at the Ministry of National Development (MND). Anchored in our National Pledge: "...to pledge ourselves as one united people" is our collective sense of belonging to the little red dot we call home. Participants embodied their values of inclusivity instilled in them from young, and explored the rich tapestry of Singapore's cultural diversity and its role in shaping a strong national identity. Additionally, they visited Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah, an Islamic institution of learning, to gain insights into the Muslim community's contributions to Singapore's multicultural fabric.
At the MND Gallery
The esteemed guest speakers underscored the importance of youth engagement in nation-building and the role of education in nurturing future leaders. The participants were given the opportunity to engage in a Question & Answer session to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns in our pursuit for a better future. In turn, participants sought valuable insights from our guests.
After the enlightening learning journeys and inspiring speeches, the participants gathered to reflect on their experiences and express their learning points creatively. They designed posters that captured their insights, which were then printed on-site for a Gallery Walk presentation. The posters served as powerful visual representations of the participants' collective vision for a progressive and harmonious Singapore.