Kids give their vision of what they want to see in Singapore in 50 years

SINGAPORE - Robot librarians, machines that print clothes and a community that can share its belongings without being worried that they get stolen. These are just several things Singapore's seven- to 12-year-olds hope to see in Singapore when it turns 100.

The ideas came from a four-day creative writing workshop in which 100 children from local primary schools were asked to envision Singapore in 50 years' time. They went on excursions to the National Library and the Discovery Centre to stir their creativity. They also attended writing workshops conducted by local writers such as Ms Adeline Foo and Ms Emily Lim.

The effort is part of the POSB Passion KidsWrite Campaign, jointly organised by POSB, the People's Association and the National Library Board. The objective is to empower children to dream, voice and bring about positive change in the community.

"Adults may be limited by experience, but children have boundless imaginations, which can be inspirational," said Minister for Culture Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, speaking at the launch of the campaign at Boon Lay Community Centre yesterday.

POSB and PA wants to reach out of all 187 local primary schools and get as many pupils as possible to document their vision for Singapore. "We hope that those who have attended the workshop so far can go back and ask their classmates to do the same thing," said POSB head Derrick Goh.

The entries can be posted on a KidsWrite portal online and the best entries will be compiled into a SG50 commemorative book, to be launched on Sept 13.

After looking at the kids' aspirations, POSB and PA might also run workshops to bring them a step closer to their dreams. If children express interest in building robots, software coding workshops, for instance could be arranged. If they envision a kinder Singapore, they can be taught how to plan small-scale kindness campaigns in their communities. The POSB Passion Kids Fund will be setting aside $1 million over two years for such enrichment workshops.

"All children have dreams. Singapore must continue to be a place where these dreams can become reality," said Mr Wong. "Some dreams might seem like a distant reality but it is because of our forefathers' bold vision, to transform Singapore from mudflats to metropolis, that today's nation came to be. Dream big, but work hard and one day these dreams might become a reality."