Students contribute to new set of Chinese supplementary readings for secondary schools

A collection of eight Chinese Graded Readers were launched on Oct 10.
A collection of eight Chinese Graded Readers were launched on Oct 10.PHOTO: MOE

SINGAPORE - A young girl is transported to the worlds of the four great classical Chinese novels.

She meets the famed military strategists Zhang Fei, Liu Bei and Guan Yu from The Romance Of The Three Kingdoms, the star-crossed lovers Lin Daiyu and Jia Baoyu from Dream Of The Red Chamber, the tiger-fighting hero Wu Song from Water Margin and the mischievous Monkey King Sun Wukong from Journey To The West.

That was the premise of a Mandarin short story by Fu Xuan, a Secondary 3 student from Nanyang Girls' High School.

She was one of 36 secondary school students whose winning entries in a national creative writing competition were selected for publication as part of a new set of supplementary reading materials for secondary school students.

Minister of State for Education, and Social and Family Development Sun Xueling launched the collection of eight Chinese Graded Readers during a virtual prize presentation ceremony for the competition on Saturday morning (Oct 10).

The competition was held last August and was jointly organised by the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning and the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL).

Contestants were required to create a story based on prescribed topics. The winning entries featured a variety of whimsical elements such as adventures in uncharted lands, identity swapping, time travel and virtual worlds.

Fu Xuan, who won an Excellence Award for her entry, said her parents would read the four classical novels to her as bedtime stories when she was young, a chapter at a time.

When she was older, she read more detailed versions of the stories by herself and watched television adaptations of Romance Of The Three Kingdoms and Dream Of The Red Chamber.


Student Fu Xuan won an Excellence Award for her entry during the virtual prize presentation ceremony attended by Minister of State for Education, and Social and Family Development Sun Xueling on Oct 10. PHOTOS: MOE

Fu Xuan said she felt honoured and thankful that her story was published.

"Since I was young, writing has always been my passion and my dream is to publish a book in the future," she said.

"Having my story published really motivates me greatly and inspires me to continue writing to achieve my goals one day."

The books will be distributed free to all secondary schools in January next year.

The Education Ministry said each school will receive 42 sets of the books to ensure that they have sufficient copies for use during lessons.

The set of Readers will also be available for purchase from SCCL by the end of next January.

The SCCL has categorised the stories into four different grades according to the complexity of the language used, for students from secondary one to four respectively.

Teachers can also recommend a different grade for their students depending on their language ability, the ministry added.

Meanwhile, the National Library Board (NLB) brought back its "Molly" mobile library buses after a seven-month hiatus.


The "Molly” mobile library bus was back in action at Lot One shopping mall in Choa Chu Kang on Oct 10. PHOTO: NLB

The bus was back in action at Lot One shopping mall in Choa Chu Kang on Saturday morning for the first time since such outreach operations were suspended in February due to Covid-19.

Molly will also be resuming its services at selected pre-schools and special education schools on weekdays, with safe distancing and temperature taking measures in place.

Groups will be limited to five or fewer at a time, with a time limit of 15 to 20 minutes per group. The buses will also be sanitised regularly.

On weekends, priority is given to existing community partners who are serving low-income estates that do not have a public library within 2km of their location.