Singaporeans today are being engaged on many fronts to participate in society. Recently, the Feedback Unit was revamped and renamed as REACH (Reaching Everyone for Active Citizenry @ Home) to give the public a bigger way in issues pertaining to them.
The media has also opened itself to gathering news direct from the ground. The Straits Times just launched a new section in STOMP known as “Singapore Seen”, where it gives its readers a platform to turn journalist and create media to share with fellow readers.
These two pillars of society have traditionally treated the public as passive members and these changes recognise the public as more equal and active members.
And it is important that the public make use of these “direct” channels, not only as a sign of support for the right step taken, but more importantly, to help shape a Singapore that they can truly feel attached to.
Here in NTU, there exist active members too. Recently, students have formed groups to initiate changes in NTU, for instance the Small Dwarf Alliance. It claims to publish issues of concerns, on the NTU Students’ Union Expression Board in the hope of directing these concerns to those whom it may concern.
To better facilitate feedback collection and management, NTU should create a department for this.
Not only will it point students to an avenue to air their suggestions and grievances, this department can also play a part in educating students on how the administration works, so as to debunk myths about it too.
The aim is to create in NTU an environment where students feel and can be equal partners in their chase for education excellence and to give them a stake in the school so that they will be proud of being a student in the school.
The Nanyang Chronicle, 30th Oct 2006