Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is the progress. Working together? That is success.
Pre-University Seminar 2015 is an event organized by the Ministry of Education and St Andrews Junior College. The theme for this year’s Pre-University Seminar is "Cherishing our Past, Celebrating our Present, Creating our Future".
An approximate of 550 students from polytechnics and junior colleges came together to reflect on Singapore’s past and how we can take action to realise our vision for Singapore.
We were split into a total of 50 teams, and each team was then placed under one of the 5 domains – Education and Youth, Culture and Community, Economic and International, Environment and Infrastructure as well as Partnership.
I was placed in Team 35, and we were under the domain for Environment and Infrastructure.
As part of our groundwork, we interviewed the director of 800 Super Pte Ltd – a company that provides services such as waste management and recycling, cleaning and conservancy as well as horticultural services.
From the interview, we gathered insightful knowledge of how the company operates and the environment of Singapore through the eyes of an environmental services provider.
After the interview, we concluded that the cleaners in Singapore are not being appreciated enough for all their efforts that they have put into keeping Singapore clean. Therefore, we decided to base our Operation: V50 project on raising the awareness that Singapore is not a clean city, but a cleaned city.
Operation: V50 stands for Vision 50, the celebration of SG50 in collaboration with our vision for Singapore as the youths of our nation. We were given the chance to help raise awareness for a cause related to our domain, and to take action to realise that vision.
During the opening ceremony of the Pre-University Seminar, we had the honour of having a dialogue session with Mr Laurence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Communications and Information.
The dialogue session was very interactive because Mr Wong was really enthusiastic in answering all of our questions despite the fact that we only had a short period of time allocated for the session.
We also had a panel discussion with distinguished members of organisations such as National Environmental Agency (NEA), National Parks (NParks), PUB and the Centre for Livable Cities. From the discussion, we were able to get valuable knowledge of what the government has been doing for Singapore in terms of the environment, and we were also given a chance to ask them questions that we had regarding the environment in Singapore.
For our Operation: V50 initiative, we went around Bukit Batok Central to get the public to show their appreciation to the cleaners in Singapore for cleaning up our environment.
In addition to that, we also educated them on several facts about the cleaners in Singapore. Did you know that the cleaners in Singapore earn as low as $3.06 per hour? I didn’t know that either, until my team and I did research for our Operation: V50 initiative.
After our Operation: V50 initiative, we had a day to prepare for an exhibition which was held at the very next day. We showcased our projects – from how the idea came about, to the execution of our Operation: V50 initiative.
After visiting all the booths at the Exhibition @ The Closing Ceremony, all the hard work and efforts that we’ve put in throughout the Seminar came rushing into our heads. It was really heart-warming to think that a bunch of students like us could have did so much just by ourselves. We also started to wonder what it would be like if the entire Singapore started giving back to the society – little by little.
After the exhibition ended, we had to clean up all our booths. Before we know it, it was the end of the entire Seminar – and we were getting ready to take our bags and go home.
The photo you see above is the last photo that we took together as a group at the Seminar, and the tree on the left is known as the Vision Tree. The circular discs that you see on the tree are visual representations of each team’s vision for Singapore.
It meant a lot to us, as participants, to see our visions hanging high on a tree – even though it was just a makeshift tree, as it almost seems as though we are the “fruits” of the labour of the generations before us. This also makes us feel like we have the responsibility to do our part – to help grow Singapore even further than the past 50 years of our nation’s development.
Here are some of the pictures that other participants have posted on Instagram, do check out #preusem2015 to see all of our efforts and hard work throughout the Seminar!
This article is written by JENA LIM , a Year 2 student from the Diploma in Business Information Technology (DBIT).