Go on a trail to learn about S'pore presidents

Madam Halimah Yacob (centre), Miss Wee Eng Hwa (front row, far right) and Mr David Mok (front row, left), director of business development and training at LDR Technology – which developed the Pocket Trips SG50 Edition app, with senior administrators from Yusof Ishak Secondary School and the Ministry of Education listening to a presentation on the late president Wee Kim Wee by the school’s students along the Singapore River.

A heritage trail about the lives and times of Singapore's seven presidents will be launched next Tuesday on the Pocket Trips SG50 Edition application.

Titled The Presidents' Trail, it will highlight seven hot spots - one for each president. For instance, the lighthouse in The Fullerton Hotel represents former president S R Nathan's time as a seaman's welfare officer.

This is the first school- planned, person-based heritage trail to be launched, Yusof Ishak Secondary School (YISS) announced yesterday. The plan was initially mooted in April last year by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, who is also an MP for Jurong GRC.

"It is such a marvellous opportunity for Singaporeans as a whole to connect with their past presidents and to know them in greater depth," said Madam Halimah, the guest of honour at a preview tour of the trail yesterday.

Miss Wee Eng Hwa, daughter of the late president Wee Kim Wee, also attended the preview tour. "It gives people a sense of history, and people with a sense of history are able to withstand whatever odds they face," the 73-year-old lawyer said.

The trail is part of mySG Trails and Exhibitions - a series of heritage trails designed, developed and implemented by students - launched by the Ministry of Education (MOE). Ms Marilyn Soh, assistant director of the humanities branch of MOE's curriculum planning and development division, said the aim is to get students to "craft their own understanding of the Singapore story".

Sherlyn Lim, 15, a Secondary 3 student at YISS, said she learnt a lot doing research for the trail.

"I never knew Dr Wee Kim Wee was modest and selfless. It was inspiring," she said.

The Pocket Trips SG50 Edition app can be downloaded from the Google App Store. An iPhone version is being developed but the release date has not been given.

lookww@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 28, 2015.
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