Our objectives originate from our environment, civil society, and youth, but align well with the values of educators whose efforts keep afloat the education system, whose perspectives influence our future generations.
So… HOW do our objectives align?
#1 A Different Perspective. – Synthesising and applying textbook knowledge
In discussing the environmental implications of the White Paper we touch on variegated issues – national policy, social justice, environmental problems, as well as the academic pursuit of subjects such as biology, geography, and environmental technology. However, we notice that we have not often had a chance to examine these issues in relationship to each other, and understand how they are indeed intimately interconnected in real life. Rather, many environmental or socio-political issues are discussed in isolation – and in particular, environmental issues are left aside because of the interdisciplinary scope of its problems are intimidating and a challenge to our paradigms.
We believe problems cannot be solved unless we first try to understand them, and we cannot understand problems until we stop avoiding them, however imperfectly.
The best time to begin is now – with students.
Our dialogue aims to be an independent platform for students to:
a) Apply and draw links personally with their knowledge of local and environmental issues as gained through their studies and current affairs and;
b) To learn more from each other through discussions.
Academically, this offers them a chance to reflect on their knowledge of current affairs happening in the local and global context. Emotionally and socially, we hope to encourage and inspire a more thoughtful community.
#2 An Independent, youth-centred voice.
We are for youths, by youths; we don’t pretend we can represent everybody, but we’ll like to try to hear everyone out. We are not affiliated to any political entity or special interest organisation. Consequently we are not burdened by organisational expectations and we can focus on representing what youth think and contributing to our society. Also, we see ourselves as well aligned with the National Education ethos of our Ministry of Education. So to speak;
Application to Singapore’s Educational Context: National Education.
NE Message #1: Singapore is our homeland; this is where we belong.
We treasure our heritage and take pride in shaping our own unique way of life.
Youth for Ecology – that’s us – is about reminding ourselves that we exist as parts of a greater whole network – of natural ecology, and also our community. We want to encourage youths to have a sense of ownership of our natural and human environment. We want more people to think about our natural heritage as part of who we are, and consider how to reconcile that to our daily realities.
NE Message #4: No one owes Singapore a living.
We find our own way to survive and prosper, turning challenge into opportunity.
The environmental crisis is complex, enormous, and involves everybody from Singapore to Siberia. We all stand something to lose, and maybe nothing to gain. But we believe we can change our perspective and reframe this challenge as an opportunity for progress.
Singapore has done it once with water scarcity and our new “national tap” of NEWater and improved desalination plants. We believe we can do it again.
NE Message #6: We have confidence in our future.
United, determined and well-prepared, we have what it takes to build a bright future for ourselves, and to progress together as one nation.
Singapore has developed an education system with its distinctive virtues, not to forget the strong interconnections with the rest of the developed world. Singapore is also significantly wealthier and has more effective governance than many countries. Let’s use these advantages to stop avoiding the reality of environmental issues; they exist, and we are better off in the long run if we start thinking about How to begin to understand them, and maybe even resolve them.