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The IDA Intergenerational ICT Boot Camp

The IDA Intergenerational ICT Boot Camp was held on 19 March 2015 from 9am to 5pm. It is a platform for elders to learn more about Social Media and other computer applications. The Boot Camp provided students from the Computer Club and AVA Club with a golden opportunity to interact with the elderly and understand them better in the process of teaching them how to use applications such as Facebook and YouTube.

It was an enriching experience for the elderly as guidance from the students and teachers allowed them to use technology more effectively and confidently. They now use social networking sites to keep in touch with their friends, watch videos and keep up with current affairs. The interaction increased our awareness of the elderly’s needs and improved our communication skills while deepening bonds between generations.

Overall, a word to describe the Boot Camp would be ‘eye-opening’. We adapted our communication style to suit the needs of the elderly. Interestingly, we found out that the elderly were more comfortable with mobile apps than websites as they find mobile apps more convenient, without requiring tedious set-up processes. This experience motivated us to be active contributors in society and to engage in more community work involving elderly, as we have gained the confidence to communicate more effectively with them.

Reported by Tan Ching Ying 3S2

Crescent Girls’ School Pays Tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

On 23rd March, Singapore lost her greatest leader and founding father - Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Deeply saddened by his passing and wishing to pay him our respects as a school, a group of 32 students consisting of student leaders and students went to pay their respects to Mr Lee on Friday 27 March.

In preparation for our visit, each class from every level compiled notes to Mr Lee on a large piece of paper, which were then bound into a book. This book was to be laid at his place of rest as a form of our tribute to him.

However, due to the long queue at the Parliament House , our school sent the team to the Botanical Gardens instead to pay our respects at the tribute site there. In groups of 5, each group accompanied by a teacher, we entered the site and bowed to Mr Lee’s portrait. While waiting for our turn, a solemn atmosphere settled over us. Singaporeans of all ages queued patiently waiting to see him - from young children clutching flowers to the elderly stooped with age, hands clutching onto the handrests of their wheelchairs, everyone’s eyes bearing grief. The President and Vice-President of the student body carried in the bound book of notes and bowed to his portrait, the other students following them. After placing the book down near the pile of cards and flowers dedicated to Mr Lee, we spent the rest of our visit reading the notes the public had written for Mr Lee and learning more about Mr Lee’s passion in making Singapore a garden city. Their heartfelt messages heightened our feelings of sadness.

At the tribute site where people penned their words in the book of appreciation, there was a black banner which contained messages of people on what they felt about the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The colours of the words in the messages formed the Singapore flag on the black banner. As we read the messages, we felt really moved by the words from the public. It was indeed heartwarming to see how a whole nation was brought together as they mourned the passing of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. 

From our experience, we learnt that despite being seen as a cold, competitive nation, we are a nation of people who knows gratitude - the entire nation grieved and mourned for their leader. This goes to show that despite our differences, in times of need, we are capable of working together. We also learnt about Mr Lee’s great sense of leadership and his noble sacrifices. It led us to realise that we, as the future generation, had to work hard in order to build on his legacy.

Mr Lee was a leader who made sacrifices for one of the most important things in his life - Singapore. We all admire how determined he was in making Singapore a better country for the future generations. He also made changes to our education system, especially in promoting bilingualism in Singapore so that we would never forget our culture and roots.

As part of the younger generation in Singapore, we play a crucial part in strengthening the national identity among all of us. We are thankful for Mr Lee’s contributions and his enthusiasm in making Singapore a better home for everyone. He has made many sacrifices, and we are all indebted to him. Mr Lee has inspired us to work hard and to never give up on our dreams, just like how he did not give up on Singapore. He will forever be remembered, and his legacy that will always live on in our hearts, will be a great source of inspiration for us.

Thank you very much for all your contributions, Mr Lee.

Reported by: Kacine Wee (3G3) and Nurul Rasyidah (3S2)

Internationalisation Trip: Bintan

Across the Straits of Singapore, the ferry with 4 teachers and 35 students safely arrived at the Tanjung Pinang ferry terminal on 9th March for their long-awaited Secondary 2 internationalisation trip to Bintan.

We first proceeded to an orphanage, Panti Asuhan Ummi Al-Fitrah, where we would be spending time at for the next three days. The orphanage welcomed us warmly with a little girl performing the Islamic ritual of placing our hand on her forehead. Many of us were fascinated by this gesture as it was our first time encountering the Islamic culture. We were divided into our various groups to carry out activities such as art and craft, games and teaching. Language barrier was our biggest obstacle at the orphanage as none of the children there understood English, hence our Malay-speaking schoolmates played their role as translators. The Leadership Challenge of “Challenging the Process” was constantly applied as we had to cope with unforeseen circumstances like running out of materials and how to engage students in our activities. Hence, we had to come up with new games such as “Duck Duck Goose” and improvise on existing games such as bowling, using plastic bottles as the pins instead.

On the fourth day, we had the opportunity to visit a secondary school, SMPN 6 Tanjung Pinang. The students welcomed us with their band and dance performance, and we had a session of cultural sharing. We taught each other the games we played in school and had fun together, at the same time gaining insights of each other’s cultures. Lastly, we performed the dances we had prepared and our school mass dance, as a sign of gratitude to their hospitality and to bid our farewell.

Throughout this service learning trip, not only had we taught the children, the children had also taught us many things which we could not have learnt in Singapore. As part of our activities, we gave them small prizes like sweets and stickers. Seeing their smiles upon receiving them made us reflect on how we have taken little things for granted in Singapore. We should be appreciative of things we are given and find joy in everything we do. From here, we understood what service learning is for. In the process of giving, we are also receiving: receiving experiences, receiving knowledge and most importantly, receiving friendships.

Reported by Shi Xinyao (2G1).

Internationalisation Trip: Cambodia

On 9th March 2015, 36 Secondary 2 Crescentians embarked on their International Service Learning Trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Donned in our bright yellow uniforms, we chattered eagerly in anticipation as the plane touched down at the airport.

  As we lugged our baggage to the coach, we reminded ourselves that this trip was not going to be a holiday, but rather a learning experience and exposure to conditions in a Third-World country, where we would be engaging in community service.

  The tour guide took us through a brief introduction of Cambodia’s history and politics during the bumpy coach ride. At the same time, I stared out of the glass windows, realising how vastly different the landscape was as compared to Singapore. The presence of high-rise buildings was rare, and town-planning was poor.

Over the course of the next few days, we commenced our community service at Samrong Orphanage and Sen Sok Primary School. Despite us being total strangers to the children, they were very welcoming towards us and participated in all learning activities we prepared for them with enthusiasm. Something I really admired about them was that although classroom conditions were poor, they still maintained a positive mind-set and improvised with whatever resources they had, never allowing those factors to hinder their learning.

We also painted the walls of Sen Sok Primary School. Through the experience, I realised how physically demanding manual work is, and learnt to appreciate the perseverance of many labourers.

Our 5-day trip was certainly fruitful and enriching, as we not only realised how privileged we are as Singaporeans, but also found out more about Cambodia’s culture.

 As we continue to face problems or obstacles in our hectic work lifestyles, we should always think of those Cambodian children, who are less fortunate than us but continue to live each day with smiles on their faces, and adopt their positive attitude towards life.

 Reported by: Sng Hui Ying, Eunice (2S1)

Internationalisation Trip: Shantou

Shantou’s Internationalization trip can be summarized by the simple equation “SIMPLE = HAPPY”! Before we embarked on this trip, most of us initially felt lost as we would be away from our parents. However, the trip turned out to be a fruitful one with the support of our teachers and peers.

                In Shantou, we visited Jinzhang School where we interacted with and taught the students English, Arts and Craft, and conducted outdoor activities. We also refurbished the school by painting the stairs and mural painting for the pillars. Initially, it took us a long time to begin as it was our first time painting walls and stairs. Though it may seem like a relatively simple task to carry out, the process took us four days to complete with much teamwork and cooperation from everyone. It was a new experience for us and we felt very happy that the students were amazed at the outcome.

                Teaching the students made most of us realise one thing, that being a teacher is not an easy task; from the preparation to the conducting of lessons. Moreover, our lessons had to be conducted in Chinese language. However, with the assistance and coaching by our teachers-in-charge throughout the four days, we managed to more effectively teach the class by reflecting and improving on our lessons day by day.

                Throughout our four days spent in Jinzhang School, besides having taught the students, we also learnt and benefitted greatly from them. Although the students have limited facilities, having to share wooden tables and benches, having a larger class size, and only one basketball court to share amongst all levels from Primary to Secondary, they are contented with what they have. What was important to them was that they were receiving an education. This has taught us to be grateful and appreciate all that we have, even the simplest things in life.

Reported by Audrey Ang (2S1)

Internationalisation Trip : Malacca

We went to Malacca having goals in mind such as bettering the lives of the less fortunate, to indulge in a new culture or even to forge new friendships, but all of us desired something common - to come back as a more grown Crescentian, making us a step closer to be ladies and leaders of tomorrow.

Our first destination was Hope Haven, which is a place for children and young adults with certain mental and physical disabilities to be taught essential life skills so as they can be more independent and self-reliant, having the potential to make a mark in society. Making and selling handmade crafts for a livelihood is an example. When we arrived there, the children at Hope Haven warmly welcomed us with their huge smiles and enthusiastic nature. Over the next few days of our trip we visited Hope Haven a couple of times to help them out in their crafts, teach them some new crafts, clean their school, teach the children there, but most importantly, we went there to make new friends! The innocent joy emanating from their soul when we played and interacted with them was a redefinition of the word ‘genuine’.

We also went to MOZAC which is a science school in Malcca.The students welcomed us grandly by performing martial arts, traditional dances, playing Malay instruments and much more. They even organized activities for us like batik painting which we simply enjoyed! We certainly forged new friendships with them and got to better understand the Malay culture. Over this whole trip we got to learn more about the peranakan culture by visiting its museums and trying out peranakan food,visiting mosques, learning about the history of Malacca, and other historical events which took place in Malacca. We even went for the Malacca river cruise at night and the view was simply breath-taking! 

This trip has made us grow so much as Crescentians. The simple challenges of a daily routine may have been overwhelming at first, for example being in a place where you do not understand their language. However these obstacles were the things that made us grow as a person and to me more adaptible. Just by showing a modicum of respect to people and their culture, you will be blown away by what you get back and just by saying a simple ‘thank you’ in their language can make a huge impact. This trip has opened our eyes to the greater meaning of life and is definitely a spiffing and enriching one!

Reported by: Srinidhi.R  (2G1)