Happiness is When Learning is Fun, Say Children
Ever wondered what really makes children happy?
Ten young representatives from various schools in Singapore shared with five adult panellists and their audience of 300 what truly delighted them during the Singapore Children’s Forum 2015, held at the NTUC Centre Auditorium on 6 June.
Themed ‘What Makes You Happy?’, the discussion, conducted in a talk show-format, centred on education, family and friendships. The topics were shortlisted by 120 children who participated in a pre-forum orientation.
On education, grades mattered as much as having fun while learning, they said, adding that even as they remained open to their teachers’ suggestions, they wanted feedback to work both ways.
They also desired united and supportive families that spent quality time together, and in which members remained respectful and honest.
Finally, they wanted friendships based on loyalty, mutual understanding and respect.
Guest-of-Honour Ms Indranee Rajah, then Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Education, said the forum was an opportunity for children to take centre stage and let their voices be heard.
“I do hope that our children can find happiness in learning… I hope that even as our children seek their own happiness, they remember to be concerned about the happiness of others as well,” she said.
Mr Alfred Tan, Chief Executive Officer at Singapore Children’s Society, added: “The question of whether people in Singapore are happy or emotionless has been much talked about. How our children rank academically is less of a concern than their sense of well-being. The theme of the forum allows our children to explore and ask themselves what happiness truly means to them. ”
Besides hearing from the children, Children’s Society also presented Most Outstanding Youth Volunteer awards to three deserving youth volunteers for their contribution to the Society, their schools and the community.
They were Beatty Secondary School student Cyril Koh Wen Hao, Chua Chu Kang Secondary School student Fatimah Bte Samsir, and Seow Ding Cheng of ITE College Central.
The Singapore Children’s Forum acts as a platform for Singapore’s children to discuss issues that affect and matter to them.