Program is a true learning course

Updated: 2012-10-29 08:07

By Jaime Koh (China Daily)

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Art, culture and history

Each of the Sichuan students was partnered with a local student. "Our Singaporean friends are very nice," said the Sichuan kids, while their new friends echoed those sentiments. "My buddy is very nice," said 12-year-old Pei Chun student Amanda Wong. "We got to interact a lot, and we learned a lot about their culture," said Claire Wong, also 12. She added that while they taught the visitors how to use computers, the kids from Sichuan taught them about their arts, culture and history.

Program is a true learning course

A hands-on computer session at Pei Chun Public School. Provided to China Daily

For Low Fang Ming, 12, it was an encounter with contemporaries from another country, another culture. "I learned a lot from them," she said.

Low's classmate, Pearly Tan, seconded those sentiments. "I'll try to come back and help," volunteered Tan, who will graduate from primary school later this year.

When asked what it was that they looked forward to on this trip, the Sichuan students had different answers.

"Going to the zoo!" a few responded in unison. "I want to go to the bird park!" countered another. "I want to go and buy local goodies," said one girl, whose reply elicited teasing about being greedy.

Whatever their expectations and hopes, the children had one sentiment in common: gratitude for the chance to step out into the world.

"Our friends back home are unhappy that we were chosen," said one student.

"They're jealous of us. Some even hate us for having this opportunity," grinned another. "But it was too good a chance to give up."

Before they continued on their packed schedule, the Sichuan children had a message for their hosts: "Thank you, Singapore, for having us. We hope the children of Singapore will grow up healthy and happy. Please come to visit us in China."

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