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To Raise Volunteerism Rates, Better Understand Volunteer Motivations And Patterns

If doubling the national volunteerism rate – from 35 per cent in 2016 to 70 per cent in 2023, articulated by Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Grace Fu in June last year – remains a goal of the Singapore government, then the finding of the Individual Giving Study (IGS) by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) that only 29 per cent of Singaporeans volunteer (compared to 35 per cent in 2016, marking a drop of six percentage points) feels like an unfortunate step backwards, especially when our understandings of volunteer motivations, of variations in volunteer patterns and especially explanations for the recent dips in 2014 and 2018, as well as of the interventions needed to shift individuals with intents to volunteer to actual volunteerism seem to remain limited. The low national volunteerism rate is even more curious, furthermore, in a country where school-based community service is mandated. Continue reading

Nuanced Evaluation Of Dating Apps A Breath Of Fresh Air

“But while the process of finding love has become easier and more efficient, the old adage of ‘easy come, easy go’ could describe how romantic relationships are formed these days” (The Big Read: Fast Love – Dating Apps Help Busy Singaporeans Find Almost Instant Romance, Cynthia Choo). Presenting the dating app experience as contingent upon … Continue reading

Singapore’s Social Divide Problem Extends Beyond The School

While class- or school-based integration is not guaranteed by “putting students of different learning abilities and socio-economic statuses in the same classroom” (TODAY, Mar. 4), Singapore has to confront an inequality and social divide problem which extends beyond the school. In fact, it could be argued that primary and secondary schools – by bringing together students of varied demographic and socio-economic backgrounds, to some extent – already offer one of the country’s most important sites for social interactions. The policy focus, in this vein, should shift from streaming within secondary schools to distinctions across schools, to greater engagement between students of different schools and institutes of higher learning, as well as to increased porosity across these educational pathways. Continue reading

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