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There are things more important than money!

It takes more than money to help those who are less fortunate. Find out what 300 polytechnic students discussed at the Polytechnic Forum 2006

by Cheryl Tan, Student Reporter, School of Business.


MOS Gan (centre) has an hour-long ardent dialogue session with participants fielding questions from students.

Has money ever stopped you from helping someone? Some people have cited it as the single most important factor in contributing to society. However, some 300 students from the five polytechnics in Singapore realised that in order to help someone takes more heart and determination than money.

With the theme "Empowering and Engaging through Global Partnerships", Poly Forum 2006 saw these 300 students come together within five sub-themes between 18 - 21 September 2006 during a residential camp at Downtown East.

At the Opening Ceremony, Minister of State for Education and Manpower, Gan Kim Yong highlighted the aptness of this year's topic: "With the haste of globalisation, there is a need for Singaporeans to be global citizens, differentiate themselves in the competitive global market as well as form global partnerships."

MOS Gan was intrigued by the board game prototype (The Living, Aging World) which gives players an experiential feel of what it's like to grow old.

Also, students were advised to go beyond physical resources and exploit those available in new media and challenge assumptions.

Through the duration of the forum, each sub-theme had to create proposals for actionable projects, in the local and/or global context. Sub-themes eventually came up with projects such as "Talents for Good", which would harness the strengths and skills of youths to the benefit of others. A board game was also created in hopes to educate the public about the living ageing world.

These project proposals were later presented to Teo Ser Luck, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports at the Closing Ceremony of Poly Forum 2006.

Alec Wong, final year student in the Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (DME), said of his experience at Poly Forum: "It has been a great opportunity to work with others from the other polytechnics, and learn from their styles of working. It has indeed made me more aware of current affairs and eager to volunteer my service to the community."

The annual event engages participants from the five polytechnics to discuss political, social as well as economic issues. Republic Polytechnic played host this year, with Singapore Polytechnic expected to do likewise in four years.


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