Compulsory orientation programme for all would-be S'poreans

ALL would-be Singapore citizens aged between 16 and 60 now have to go through an orientation programme before they can get their pink identity card, a Straits Times report said today.

The compulsory programme, called Singapore Citizenship (SC) Journey, consists of an online tutorial and quiz, a tour to key national institutions and a sharing session with grassroot leaders, the report said.

If they do not go through the entire programme within two months, the citizenship approval would be withdrawn, the report added.

The report said the programme, created to help newcomers integrate and adjust to local life, only applies to those who received their approval-in-principle for citizenship from Feb 28 onwards.

The report mentioned that the move could go some way towards allaying concerns among Singaporeans that newcomers are not doing enoigh to integrate into society.

The Ministry of Education was also reported to have developed a Best Practices Package to help schools to conduct integration activities between Singaporeans and international students.

In 2009, a $10-million Community Integration Fund (CIF) was set up to create more opportunities for new immigrants and locals to meet and understand each other better.

As of last year, the fund has given 74 proposals fundings of $1.65 million.