CyberFair Project ID: 7723

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Old link, new ties; old land, new uses
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks

School: Nan Chiau High School
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

8 students, ages 12 to 13 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 7, 2014. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013

Classes and Teachers: Goh Khan Sen, Larry Lee

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Singapore is a small city-state nation having an area of 752 square kilometres. In fact, we are ranked the 44th smallest nation in the world. The population of Singapore is about 4.5 million. Singapore is a multiracial country made of mainly 4 ethnic groups. They are the Chinese (76%), Malays (13%), Indians (9%) and the Eurasians (1%).

As late as 2011, the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Malayan Railway) track ran from the north-western portion of Singapore (Woodlands) to the Southern part of Singapore (Tanjong Pager), it looked like an umbilical cord linking Singapore to Peninsular Malaysia. 27 km long of railway track, belonging to Malaysia, was in the heart of Singapore Island, symbolically dividing the island state into 1/3 in the West and 2/3 in the East. In a narrow strip of land of less than 10 m wide which was just enough for diesel-driven locomotives to pass through, there were train signal men who pulled up and let down hand-operated gantries to stop motor traffic on road from crossing the railway track when the trains were crossing. Although only about 5 trains per day, the blocking of road traffic and the occasional sounding of the train horns were notoriously disruptive. What is the distance from Singapore city centre to Malaysia? Interestingly, it was not 28 km, but less than 2 km. Before 1998, when both Malaysia and Singapore CIQ (Custom, Immigration and Quarantine) were still operational in Tanjong Pager railway station, passengers on board trains coming from Malaysia while waiting to clear the Malaysia and Singapore CIQ in Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, were considered to be legally in Malaysia. No passports checked, no customs clearing when they crossed the border at Woodlands earlier and entered Singapore island, travelling in Singapore land for 27 km to Tanjong Pager Railway Station.

2. Summary of Our Project

The project is about rail corridor; it describes firstly, the historical landmark of the parcel of land, 27 km long where the former KTM lay. There are sections which describe the defunct Tanjong Pager Railway Station, Bukit Timah Railway Station and history of this railway track.

The project also briefly describes the timeline of rail transport in Malaya (currently Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore) and the establishment and the cessation of KTM in Singapore. It covers the historical reasons behind the present issues and how the leaders of both nations finally came to an agreement to resolve the issues once and for all.

Last but not least, the project touches on how the future use of this uninterrupted strip of land in Singapore, known popularly as the rail corridor, where the former KTM railway track lay, is going to be used. It describes how members of the public contributed to the ideas of maximising the usage of this useful piece of land.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Our main problems were the formation of our team and shortage of meeting time and project time. As we were primary school pupils advancing to the secondary school level, we had just joined this new School. We like to do this project because we were interested to work on a project and we liked the project theme. We also wanted to contribute something to the school as well as to the community. The team members met to discuss the project only in January 2014. Our project team members are very committed to the project as we all came from the same Co-curriculum Club. We allocated tasks fairly and quickly. We learnt technology skill like Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Word, Google Document. Sometimes we had to bring our work home. As the deadline drew near, we had to rush and spent our one week break working on the project. This proved that we had endured through this major problem that could easily dissuade us in further doing of the project. It was a feat we could not call small.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our interest in this project gave us the motivation and strength to persevere. As we had volunteered to participate in this project, we had to commit our time to ensure we complete the task. We have learnt many things when working for the Cyberfair Competition that we could not do so in the normal classroom like teamwork, research skill, communication and IT skills. When we visited the Rail Corridor, which is a strip of land where the former KTM lay, we learnt to be more observant of the clues from the ground. We also paid attention to the signboards and directional signages there. We realized that teamwork is very important. We learnt to research for information from various resources like the internet, newspaper.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

In Singapore, the Ministry of Education recommended the Baseline ICT Standards, which is a comprehensive list of ICT skills competencies, to be integrated into core subject areas and project work. In participating in the CyberFair Competition, the pupils were able to accomplish the following skills areas such as (1) Learning to operate in an interactive media environment, (2) Learning internet navigation and use search engines independently, (3) Learning to create, edit and format text with word processor, (4) Learning to produce and manipulate multimedia content, and (5) Learning online communication skill like wiki. At the same time, they learn to respect Intellectual Property and practice safe and responsible use of the internet.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

During the project, we used the following tools: Hardware (8 PC computers, 8 iMacs, Digital Camera, Thumbdrives), software (WordPad, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office Tools, Adobe Photoshop, wiki collaborative tool).

Other tools and resources included our local newspaper, The Straits Times and information web sites. We are very grateful that most of the tools are available at our school. Special Thanks to Google docs where we stored and shared our research and information and also the websites where we got the information and photos. Google is also a main point of our information storage. We thank Google for that one special e-mail account used as a common point of communication between others and ourselves.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

In suring this project, students have to check the website of rail corridor, which is maintained by the Urban Redevelopment of Singapore (URA). They also visited many places of interest to gather inforamtion related to rail travel, railway stations and railway tracks.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

This webpage describes briefly the rail transport of Singapore. Many books on transport do not give information of rail travel of Singapore’s past. Most books write about MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and bus and other motor vehicles on road. The KTM of Singapore, albeit a short track compared to the one in Peninsular Malaysia, is nonetheless important. But importance is not the reason we research on this topic, interesting is the reason. We find that the details of how KTM evolved and eventually lost its appeal (the function has mainly be taken over by MRT and buses) is interesting and the unique arrangement of trains entering Singapore before CIQ clearance is even more appealing. These two countries were once linked seamlessly by KTM until 2011. Some people welcome the cessation of KTM in Singapore, while of course there are people who were against it. Many Malaysians were against the removal of KTM in Singapore, looking at it as the loss of 27 km of sovereign land.

The KTM convenience is gone forever, together with its noise, smoke and road traffic disruption.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

At the end of the project, we would like to contribute our product as an educational resource. This product is also suitable for all age groups as it is colourful with a lot of pictures and sounds.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7723)

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