Singapore — Opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan is set to personally teach children in Bukit Batok SMC how to play chess, as part of a series of activities for young Singaporeans during the year-end school holidays.
The activities, aimed at exposing children who cannot travel during the holidays to experiences and activities that they might not otherwise get to do, are part of a grassroots campaign Dr Chee launched in the SMC after he lost in the ward with a vote difference of less than 5 per cent in this year’s General Election.
Earlier, Dr Chee shared that his actor/actress friends — R Chandran, Amy J Cheng, Neo Swee Lin and Lim Kay Siu — are putting together workshops on acting and ukulele music for children in the SMC. On Thursday (Oct 22), he unveiled more activities under his Pathfinder series.
One of the new activities is a three-session chess course for young children, led by SDP member Wong Souk Yee and Dr Chee himself. The short course aims to help children develop strategic planning, abstract reasoning, and creative thinking skills while they have fun playing chess.
Dr Chee added on Facebook: “Depending on how quickly participants pick it up, we may organise a mini-competition to encourage them along.”
The chess course, which will take place on Nov 5, 12 and 19 evenings, is open to children between the ages of 7 and 12 and costs S$10 for three sessions.
Dr Chee urged those who are not able to pay the fee to reach out to his team and added that children outside the ward can also feel free to register, although priority may be given to Bukit Batok residents.
Three other new activities for children have been launched under the Pathfinder series. One is a five-session course called “Stage Fright No More”. This is to help young people feel more comfortable in front of their peers by introducing them to public speaking.
Another activity, called “Hear My Voice”, is an interactive theatre workshop that aims to use games and drama activities to elicit the challenges and hopes of Bukit Batok youths in a bid to empower them to design solutions to the struggles they face.
The Pathfinder series will include a Nagomi Art course for children. The Japanese artform, which involves pastel chalk, colour pencils and finger-painting, is often used by counsellors and artists as educational tools to develop self-esteem and a sense of inner beauty as well as to relieve stress and improve emotional well-being.