Individual Write-Ups and Essential Questions


Don’t worry, be happy.

Singapore is known for its prosperity and security, yet it is also known as the world’s least happy country.“Perhaps money can't buy happiness. A recent Gallup report shows that Singapore's wealthy population is the unhappiest -- less happy than the populations of Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Syria.” -CNN reported on December 21, 2012.Singaporeans were assessed as least likely to report having positive emotions, despite the fact that they enjoy one of the highest per capita GDP values in the world.

As a teenager, I can understand what may be some of the reasons that we are unhappy. Academic excellence is a key one. Singapore’s school system tends to value grades over character building or the development of lifelong skills like communication, interpersonal and change management. The competitive school environment puts tremendous pressure on parents, teachers and students. Parents become “kiasu’’ and sign up their children with numerous enrichment courses, teachers offer supplementary lessons after school hours and students end up spending their whole time studying with no playtime. With everyone caught up in this paper chase, it is little wonder that we are the least positive nation.

I think we should strive for balance in our school and personal lives. There should still be a level of competition to prevent us from being complacent and lazy. At the same time, there must be opportunity to relax and rejuvenate. Only when we all embrace this same mindset will our rating in the Gallup report become more positive.


Are students respecting each other?
Do students greet teachers?
Do students behave properly when there are visitors?
Do students help out each other when in need?
Do students help the needy?


Sustainability (water)

Water is need in everyday life, for drinking, showering,cooking etc.In 2003, 165 litres of water was used per day per person, now it is 152 litres per day.Even though Singapore cleans waste water, water in Singapore isn’t unlimited , however, a lot of people still leave the tap on while brushing their teeth or bathe for over 10 minutes even though they have no need to bathe for that long.Every minute in a shower is 9 litres of water used but some people just shower for over 10 minutes which is 90 litres of water used just for a shower.Surveys could be carried out to ask the public on why simple things like switching off the tap while brushing their teeth or switching off the tap while cleaning the plates and on the water when ready to rinse the plates.

Essential Questions: 
  1. How are the students using the water in school?
  2. How long do students shower in school if needed to?
  3. How long do students wash their hands?
  4. Is wasting water acceptable by the school?
  5. What do other students do when they witness another student wasting water?


My word is Relationships.

More and more people are getting married. However, more and more couples are getting divorced too. In fact, over the past 30 years, the divorce rates have shot up from under 2500 to over 6000. What is this saying about couples' happiness? At this rate, more children would be left with one parent and a broken home. It also reflects on Singaporeans being unhappy. A survey suggests Singapore as the least happiest country in the world. Simple ways to maintain a happy relationship is to spend time and care for your partner or family. A survey could be conducted on divorced couples to ask what are the reasons they had a divorce.


Why are couples getting a divorce?
What happens to their kids?
What are the effects in the longrun?
How do their kids feel?
Do adults do it for monetary gains?


Food wastage in Singapore (Behaviour)

Singaporeans like to eat a lot, many of us don’t even gain weight no matter how much we eat. According to an article “Dirty Secrets of a food paradise” by Estelle Low and Miak Aw, 
a lot of food is wasted. In their article, they started off by “TRY to imagine 10,000 SBS (Singapore Bus Services) double-decker buses lining the Pan-Island Expressway three times over, and you’ll come close to picturing the volume of food Singapore throws out every year.”  As they also said, “this is about 570 million kilos of food, most of which is edible” .

For a tiny Island such as Singapore, which buys more than 95% of its food from overseas, we always manage to waste more than even one-fifth of it. 

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