Learning about the past

Learning about the past

A student competition has given much food for thought about history and what it means to us


The young reporters gather in Merlion Park with The Fullerton Hotel Singapore in the background.

People may live in a city and pass by its heritage buildings every day – but how much do they really know about their history and the stories built between their walls?

This summer, as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s Independence, the Sino Group turned the spotlight on the Fullerton Heritage precinct and, to benefit aspiring secondary school students, launched the Sino Junior Reporter Programme 2015.

The programme culminated in a writing competition, after a day-long reporter training and visits to the precinct’s seven distinguished buildings.

The 30 participating students were amazed by the cultural richness of the precinct and emphasised how privileged they were to learn of the history and rich heritage in the precinct which witnessed Singapore’s transformation from third world to first.

“The most important thing I’ve learned is how vital it is that people are made aware of their history in the first place,” said Melissa Khoo, the winner of the writing competition. 

First runner-up Daniel Yap added, “Before the tour, the various Fullerton buildings were just plain old buildings to me. The heritage tour enlightened me on [their] rich heritage, and how big a part the past plays in our present everyday lives.”

Running for the second year, the junior reporter programme and competition has been organised by the Sino Group in cooperation with Young Post, the South China Morning Post’s (SCMP) daily youth publication. It offers students an experience outside their everyday studies, and trains them in interviewing, reporting and writing skills.

Second runner-up Chia Kung Liang has been writing in Chinese for a few years now, but this was his first attempt in English journalism. “[Winning] the competition serves as a great motivator for me to write better and more,” he said.

Giovanni Viterale, General Manager The Fullerton Heritage welcomed the students with snacks, lunch and the heritage sightseeing tour.

“I found it heartening to see the students developing a sense of renewed interest in Singapore’s heritage through visiting our Fullerton Heritage Precinct’s historical properties,” he said.

According to Robert Li, sales director, circulation and syndication business of the SCMP, the successful programme has already developed considerable awareness in the education sector.

“The Sino Young Reporter Programme is becoming a brand that more and more students and teachers are aware of,” he said.

See below for the top five winning articles:

Grand Prize Winner: Melissa Khoo Hwee-lin

1st Runner-up: Daniel Yap Bao-jiang

2nd Runner-up: Chia Kun-liang

Merit: Ang Kai-le

Merit:  Jonathan Loh  Rui-wen 


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