Civic conversation toolkit on local-foreign relations to be launched by National Youth Council end-2023

This follows the first toolkit that touches on the topic of race and religion.

Chloe Tham

Chooses to watch the same three movies in rotation instead of catching a new one.

Published: 28 July 2023, 5:41 PM

To deepen mutual understanding and dispel commonly held misconceptions between local and foreign youths, the National Youth Council (NYC) will launch another civic conversation toolkit as part of its Civic Conversation resources by the end of 2023.

This follows the first toolkit, launched in November 2022, that touches on the topic of race and religion.

Plans for the new toolkit were announced by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Social and Family Development Eric Chua during a dialogue session held at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central on Friday (Jul 28).

During his opening remarks, he also highlighted the disadvantage of voicing opinions through online platforms – that people may “say whatever they want without a sense of responsibility” due to the anonymity it offers.

“Face-to-face discussions on difficult topics are very important because they allow you to have deeper conversations with those around the table and understand the context behind their different perspectives. These valuable insights are lost in the online space,” added SPS Eric.

The release of the new toolkit will be accompanied by youth-run facilitation workshops for youths to learn how to hold constructive conversations on local-foreign relations.

According to NYC, over 1,000 polytechnic students have learnt how to confidently engage in constructive conversations on race and religion issues since the launch of the first Civic Conversations toolkit – Beneath the Surface.


The first toolkit was launched in November 2022. There will be a total of three. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/DERRON ANG


More than 3,000 ITE, polytechnic and university students are expected to use NYC’s toolkits by 2025.

In a survey conducted by NYC with 700 Singaporean and non-Singaporean youths, over eight in 10 youths agreed that both groups had at least one area in common in terms of primary life experiences and challenges. This is despite their different perceptions of one another.

Other insights found that the workplace was the main source of interaction among local and foreign youths, with six in 10 youths having engaged in some form of conversation.

Furthermore, close to seven in 10 youths agreed that Singapore should encourage people of other nationalities to work and study in the country. This is an increase from the 2019 survey, when six out of 10 Singapore youths shared this sentiment.

This upcoming edition of the toolkit will feature role-playing board game elements, conversation cards and scenarios on the local-foreigner landscape in Singapore.

NYC’s Chief Executive Officer David Chua shared that the survey findings show youths who have foreigner friends or more interaction opportunities with foreigners adopt a positive attitude towards local-foreigner relations and integration issues.

“The Civic Conversation toolkit is an additional resource for both local and foreign youths to meaningfully engage one another in their desire to move beyond tolerance and deepen mutual appreciation and acceptance,” he said.

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