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RECOMMENDATION REsponse
Assimilating the new immigrants Ministry Of Community Development, Youth And Sports (MCYS)
1. To implement, through community centres or other agencies, English classes for new citizens from non-English speaking backgrounds to learn basic conversational skills. There are currently many Basic English courses available. These include courses offered by the People’s Association at various Community Clubs as well as the Workplace Literacy (WPL) Programme put in place by the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) as part of the Singapore Employability Skills System (ESS). The WPL is aimed at upgrading the English language proficiency of our workforce in a real-life work context. There are also industry-led language courses such as the Service English for Retail Professionals Programme offered by the Singapore Retail Association. The Working Group for Workplaces will study ways to encourage employers to send their employees (who are newcomers) to English courses.

2. To introduce heritage learning journeys on Singapore’s immigrant past and the importance of multiculturalism as a prerequisite to gaining citizenship. The Naturalisation and Integration Journey, for new Singapore Citizens (SCs), will have online and experiential learning journeys that introduce new SCs to important aspects of Singapore’s culture, history and values. As part of the N&I Journey, the Working Group for Media will also help to develop an information kit for new citizens, which will contain both functional and lifestyle information on living in Singapore.

3. To put up exhibitions on various ethnic cultures at libraries and community centres to promote intercultural understanding. MICA’s National Heritage Board (NHB) is already supporting exhibitions that celebrate Singapore’s diverse heritage and promote intercultural understanding. As part of NHB’s annual Singapore Heritage Festival to heighten awareness of all things Singaporean, an exhibition was launched in Jul 09 to showcase the richness of Singaporean identity including exhibits from new Singaporean cultures such as those from Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar. The exhibition travelled to high-traffic areas, targeting shopping centres such as Causeway Point, Compass Point, Northpoint, Centrepoint, Jurong Point and Vivocity, to allow those living in the heartlands to learn more about the cultures of various communities and strengthen their sense of belonging and identity.

We will continue to work with NHB to feature exhibits that promote intercultural awareness and understanding among new and naturalised citizens.

 

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