03 November 2018
A first year student in National Junior College’s Integrated Programme was one of those who excelled at the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition this year.
Janine Shum drew on her personal experience of being overlooked in Singapore, of being forgotten. She wrote a poem from the perspectives of an Afghan girl and a Singaporean girl, reflecting this deep sense of disaffection, of being shunted aside as the world moves on inexorably.
In her poem, the Afghan girl faces persecution for pursuing education, while the Singaporean girl feels stifled in the rat race. They are halfway round the world from each other and each live under vastly different material circumstances, yet this is the thread that binds them.
Another Singaporean, Ng Woon Neng, also did remarkably well in the senior category of the competition.
Woon Neng, a Nanyang Girls’ High School student, submitted a short story on her view of wealth, health, freedom and happiness.