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27 Sept 2002
Berita Harian (Singapore)

Poems Bridged Information/Knowledge for Singapore’s and Germany’s Students by Khartini Khalid

For Pioneer Secondary Students, the Benjamin Sheares Bridge and the Merlion are not just Singapore’s popular symbols.

Instead it is a source of inspiration for the writing of a poem about Singapore that was shared with a group of students from Neustadt, Germany.

Together with the poem on Baltic sea that was written by German students from Kreigymnasium Neustadt High School, the poem written by Pioneer Secondary students was placed in a website on the internet for discussion.

The joint-project involving 166 students from both schools, together with German school in Singapore, has produced results, when it became one of the three best projects at the [Asia-Europe Classroom(AEC)] Second International Teachers’ Conference held in Finland between 11 and 14 September recently.

Besides the award, students between the ages of 14 and 17 were also given a grant of US $2,500(S$4,452) that can be used to develop future AEC projects.

The 3 projects were chosen from 7 projects that involved 55 teachers from 16 countries. Two other Singapore schools that are involved are SJI and RGS.

When interviewed, Pioneer’s Principal Mr Tan Chor Pang, said that the project which took 6 months to produce, and it provided a chance for his students to look for alternative avenues for learning.

Besides poems, the project included discussions on war atrocities and genetically modified food. One Pioneer student, Si Thu Phyo, aged 14, said that the ‘direct’ debating session about genetically modified food is one of the most interesting part of the session.

“After the debating session, I get to know German students-not only about their opinions on GM Food, but also their school system and culture.”