Online book about Singapore's 700-year history to supplement secondary school curriculum

Online book about Singapore's 700-year history to supplement secondary school curriculum

President Halimah Yacob officially launches The Bicentennial Experience
President Halimah Yacob officially launches From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience, at the Fort Canning Centre on Thursday (May 30). (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: A new online interactive history book will be introduced to supplement the current curriculum in secondary schools, President Halimah Yacob announced at the launch of the Bicentennial Experience on Thursday (May 30). 

The book will be available at 700years.sg and will showcase Singapore’s 700-year history through the imagined social media feeds of 25 historical figures.

The 25 historical figures were chosen for their presence during Singapore's pivotal moments over the past 700 years and include renowned figures such as Sang Nila Utama, Stamford Raffles, Munshi Abdullah, Seah Eu Chin and Elizabeth Choy.

It will be rolled out in phases and used in history and social studies lessons at all secondary schools. 

President Halimah Yacob takes a tour of Time Traveller
President Halimah Yacob takes a tour of Time Traveller, an immersive and multisensory experience within the Fort Canning Centre on Thursday (May 30). (Photo: Jeremy Long)

Additionally, four prominent historians - Mr Kwa Chong Guan, Dr Tan Tai Yong, Dr Peter Borschberg and Dr Derek Heng - will release a hardcopy book called Seven Hundred Years: A History of Singapore.

It will be an update of an earlier book, Singapore, a 700-Year History: From Early Emporium to World City that was published in 2009, and will contain new sources of historical information that have emerged over the past decade.

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THE BICENTENNIAL EXPERIENCE

From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience is the centerpiece event of Singapore’s bicentennial celebrations.

It consists of two parts: Time Traveller, an indoor cinematic multisensory experience, and Pathfinder, an outdoor trail that takes visitors through eight themed pavilions and installations.

Josephine Teo speaks at a doorstop before the official launch of the Bicentennial Experience May 30
Minister of Manpower and Co-Chair of the Singapore Bicentennial Ministerial Steering Committee Josephine Teo gives a doorstop before the official launch of From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience, at the Fort Canning Centre, May 30, 2019. (Photo: Jeremy Long)
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Speaking at the launch, co-chair of the Singapore Bicentennial Ministerial Steering Committee Josephine Teo said that the committee had noted the public’s enthusiasm for the bicentennial.

“With the bicentennial as the backdrop, (organisations that organise workshops about Singapore’s history) noticed that the interest level has gone up a great deal. 

"The participation levels have gone up and people are much more interested in understanding our history from many different dimensions,” she said.

Lightbeam is a light show that runs three times every night at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm
President Halimah Yacob (centre) and Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee (second from left) watch Lightbeam, a light show that runs three times every night at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

Going forward, Mrs Teo said that the committee hopes to tell more community-specific stories.

“There were specific communities that saw this as an opportunity to also reflect on how their communities came into being and how their communities flourished in Singapore and they want to tell that part of the story.

“There are many different dimensions of our history that are just waiting to be told. And I think in telling that history, people understand what inherently is the strength of Singapore and Singaporeans, and what kinds of things we can feel confident about,” she said.

Source: CNA/cc(hs)

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