Student Youth Exchange Program (India – Malaysia & Singapore)
Students of Omega traveled to Malaysia and Singapore as part of the Youth Exchange Program in Feb 2019, aimed towards Global Understanding of Sustainable Development (GUSD).
The youth exchange program promoted youth participation at the International level through various measures, using Exchange program, Interstate/country cultural forum, Inter Country Youth forums and policy formulation to raise the voice of the youth and experience the principle of “Be Seen, Be Heard”. Nineteen students from grades VI to XI took up the opportunity to represent India in the Youth Exchange Program, hosted by Commonwealth networks and coordinated by Mr. Dinesh Gajendran of the Audacious Dream Foundation.
This GUSD International Youth Group Study Exchange Program between India-Malaysia & Singapore 2019 gave an opportunity to unleash the potential of youth, to empower themselves and the communities around them. It helped them to create peace talks, understand civic responsibility, cultural understanding, policy exchange and also helped them work on their management skills, communication through a rich and diverse experience coupled with field visits and more. It created a wide opportunity for youth to develop, engage with societal issues and be part of a new generation as a change agent.
On Day 1, student delegates participated in a networking Dinner with the Youth Council officials of Malaysia; an icebreaker to get into the grove of diplomacy and youth affairs. A visit to the State Legislative Assembly of Pahang, Malaysia to attend an interactive session with the Deputy Speaker YB. Dato Sri Mohamed Jaafar was the highlight of Day 2. Later, our students visited the Indian Cultural Society in the University of Malaysia, Pahang, where they hosted a cultural night to promote Indian art and culture. Our school students put up quite the show including dance, music and mime!
On Day 3 at UCYP (University College of Yayasan Pahang), an interaction with Deputy Vice Chancellor of UCYP, Dr. Hafizan Binti Mat Som and a campus visit later went on as per schedule. Student delegates also visited the Pahang State Youth Department of Youth and Sports Kuantan District Office. The evening was a memorable one as the student delegates enjoyed a casual dialogue session with the youngest Member of the Parliament of Payar Besar, YB Mohd Shahar Abdullah and other delegates from the Ministry in Pahang.
The following day was a leisure visit to the Sungai Lembing Museum, the Kuala Nandah National Elephant Centre and the Batu Caves before heading for a Q&A session with the CEO, Ministry of Education Mr. Khadijah Abdullah. What followed was a networking dinner with a special guest, Commissioner of Police (R) Dato’ Seri A. Thaiveegan, Ex Penang State Police Chief, organized by the Royal Commonwealth Society Youth Affairs.
Student delegates visited the Tenby International School and were introduced to a twinning program to work in collaboration with new friends. The Mentor –Mentee Program was then initiated, where students received valuable inputs from the Youth Council in regards to their future projects.
Nine students proceeded to the next leg of the exchange program to Singapore. On the same day of arrival at Singapore, our delegates paid a visit to the popular NTU campus (Nanyang Technological University) for an interactive session with Mr. Saazaat, a young social Entrepreneur and Change maker, Founder and CEO of SDI Academy.
The next few days at Singapore was a huge learning curve for the delegates. Students interacted with the Vice Chairman of the Keat Hong community Ms. Cindy Chang regarding the government’s housing scheme prevalent in the area, and also spoke about creating peace among different races, volunteering, etc. A visit to Reactor, one of the best schools for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Singapore, paved way for a terrific session on “How can youth create business that changes the world” with Mr Khairul Rusydi, the CEO and Co-founder of Reactor and also the Official Representative of Singapore to the Commonwealth Youth Council.
Another great opportunity was the visit to the National Youth Achievement Award Association to meet Mr. James Soh, Executive Director (NYAA) who presented an overview of the NYA in Singapore. This was followed by a visit to the prestigious Parliament of Singapore where students witnessed a memorable talk on “Cyber Security” by the various Members of the Parliament from the public gallery.
A visit to the Indian High Commission to interact with the Deputy High Commissioner of India, Mr. Ninad Deshpande was a humbling experience for all students. Our students engaged in a friendly banter on the dynamic India-Singapore relationship which left Mr. Deshpande suitably impressed! As the travel was coming to a close, students visited the prestigious National University of Singapore and enjoyed some down time at Sentosa Islands, SEA Aquarium and Madame Tussauds.