SINGAPORE: Students of Catholic High and Woodlands Ring Secondary tried their hand on Thursday (Aug 17) at paddling rafts in Punggol Reservoir, the first time that Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) is conducting adventure activities there.
It's part of the programme's expansion on mainland Singapore. OBS said it is looking to conduct more activities at Park Connector Networks (PCN) and water spaces in Punggol and Pasir Ris.
Together with the National Parks Board and national water agency PUB, OBS will organise cycling and kick-biking activities along the PCNs, as well as paddling activities such as rafting in areas like Punggol Reservoir.
Trekking and kayaking activities - currently held only out of OBS' main campus on Pulau Ubin - will also be explored.
This is to cater to the new Ministry of Education (MOE)-OBS Secondary 3 programme. The five-day, expedition-based, multi-school camp that kicked off in January is aimed at encouraging students to take on a more active lifestyle.
MOE had announced an expansion of the OBS programme in 2016, to promote the holistic development of students through outdoor education. To allow more students to benefit from OBS, a new campus on Coney Island, larger than the one on Pulau Ubin, is being built and will be completed in 2020.
STRETCHING STUDENTS TO THE FULLEST
Culture, Community and Youth Minister Grace Fu joined students on Thursday at the paddle before a subsequent kick-bike ride with members of the National Youth Council (NYC).
"The beauty about Singapore is that although we think that it is a very small country, with effective use of our water bodies, our reservoirs, our rivers, our park connectors, our beautiful parks – actually we can do a lot more,” Ms Fu said.
She added that creative use of equipment, the environment, and the missions and tasks assigned could also test the values of “resilience, teamwork, cooperation and courage” that the programme hopes to inculcate in students.
A total of 4,300 students from 22 schools have taken part in the MOE-OBS Secondary 3 programme since January. Of these, 180 students have participated in the programme’s mainland expansion.