IMPACT 0537: PASSION FOR STRENGTHENING EDUCATION SYSTEM IN SINGAPORE
Youth Action Challenge (YAC) is a platform for youth to provide solutions that tackle the issues we are concerned about. Since October 2021, over 80 teams and more than 310 youths have undertaken the YAC Season 3 journey.
Chen Bi Rui, 18, is a full-time student that recently participated in Season 3 of the YAC on the project Reimagining Education, which looked at possible ways to improve the current education system, so that it can function optimally. Today, Bi Rui shares more about the project.
What was your role within your YAC project?
As our project is in its nascent stages, we currently don’t have clear-cut roles, but I do more writing and critiquing of ideas. My team member, Jasmine, takes the lead in keeping us functional and motivated, while Ding Xuan is our all-rounder. They both handle the communication aspects more than I do.
What motivated you to join YAC?
The three of us had just completed another four-month project about potential improvements to the current education system and we wanted to continue with our project since the topic was something we had all grown to be quite passionate about. One of our previous mentors sent us a link about the YAC, so here we are now.
Can you share with us your experience with your YAC project?
It was insane in a surprisingly positive way. We have all been forced to step outside of our comfort zones in one way or another before, but none to the extent that this project did, and none so exhilaratingly stressful as this project was.
What are some challenges you faced while working on your YAC project?
To be honest, everything was a struggle. Our team consists three relatively inexperienced, full-time students about to take their A-Level examinations. Not to mention, we weren’t completely aware of what the YAC entailed when we dove in headfirst.
The first few months of our journey was essentially us fumbling and scrambling to get our things together. The main challenges I faced were the fluctuations in motivation: Sometimes I’d feel completely despondent, and other times I’d feverishly text our group chat with to-do lists. Growing closer to my teammates really helped with that because they served as a source of motivation when our prospects of success could not.
Could you share more on how your project has had a positive impact?
We shouldn’t count our chickens before they’re hatched, but so far, we’ve reached out to a great number of students and companies and talked to them not only about our project, but also about significant problems in the current education landscape. Raising awareness is both the start and the catalyst of solving any large-scale problem – which is what we hope we have done – and taking the initiative to enact a solution for it is the important step forward, which is what we’re doing right now.
Were there any key takeaways or learning points from your time with YAC?
As we were creating the basic framework for our project, our progress halted because we kept getting stuck at hurdles and considerations we wanted to factor in. Our YAC mentor told us very succinctly to “just dive in” and “stop thinking so much about everything” because we weren’t going to get anything done otherwise. That definitely stuck with me the most. We often plan a lot and create lists of things to do and think of everything that could go wrong, but at times, the process of planning becomes a hurdle of its own.
It’s terrifying when we don’t plan as much as we would like, but it’s sometimes a necessary sacrifice. If it weren’t for what our mentor said, I don’t know where our team would be right now.