Updated: 05/31/2014 01:02

National Youth Council, *SCAPE to be restructured

National Youth Council, *SCAPE to be restructured

The National Youth Council will undergo restructuring, and become a national body overseeing youth affairs.

This was announced in Parliament by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong. 

Youth hangout *SCAPE will also be overhauled. 

Our news desk finds out what's in store. 

Mr Wong identifies a worrying trend around the world - that of young people becoming disillusioned and disengaged from public life and their communities. 

In this light, he says youths have to be encouraged to be involved in causes and projects that help build a better society. 

"As Singapore continues to evolve, we must equip our youths with the knowledge and the attributes they will need to grow into active and discerning citizens. As the saying goes, we can't always build the future for our youth but we can build our youth for the future." 

That's why schools are focusing on "Values in Action", and much publicity has been given to sustained community involvement through the Youth Corps. 

Youth platform - the National Youth Council - will also be strengthened. 

"It must champion youth engagement and coordinate youth programmes nationwide with stakeholders. It must gather feedback from the ground and undertake research to better understand the needs of our youths. It must provide a voice for youths to influence and shape national policies." 

His ministry will also be enhancing spaces for youth participation and involvement. 

At *SCAPE, the use of space and tenant mix will be reviewed. 

Likewise, new programmes that are more appealing and relevant to youths will be introduced. 

Mr Wong also provided an update on Singapore's 50th birthday celebration. 

There have been over 100 applications for the SG50 Celebration Fund. 

Successful applicants will be given up to 50 thousand dollars for their project celebrating the Golden Jubilee. 

Mr Wong, who is Chair of the SG50 Programme Office, says he is heartened by the lively response. 

"The ideas that have been coming in for SG50 suggest that Singaporeans are looking beyond celebratory events, they are hoping to see a re-affirmation of deeper values and beliefs that bind us as a nation." 

-By Valerie Koh

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