A Life-Changing Skill Public Officers Learnt This Year

Challenge asked public officer readers to share a skill they picked up this year that has made a huge difference to their lives at work.
Learning to code

Winning Entry

During the June holidays, I attended a crash course for Easy Javascript Simulations, as part of the Student Learning Space Hackathon organised by the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s Educational Technology Division. I convinced two colleagues with similarly little experience but keen interest to join me. After two days of struggling through the software and codes, we managed to program a space-themed interactive simulation and secured one of the top prizes for our game Shoot the Aliens, targeted at Secondary 1 students. The experience opened my eyes to the power of design thinking, and how careful thought and consideration – plus commitment and dedication – can transform educators into learning designers and facilitators with the effective use of technology. Since then, I have been looking out for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to pick up other programming or coding skills so that I may someday use artificial intelligence features in adaptive learning to benefit students.

Suhaimi Zainal Shah, MOE

Congratulations, Suhaimi! You win a $100 TOYTAG gift card so you can continue growing and creating exciting new programs to boost your students’ learning.


The art of storytelling and persuasion is a critical skill that has changed my life. From my volunteer work with the Toastmasters community this year, I learnt how to use persuasive techniques and storytelling to get buy-in from key stakeholders at work. I was motivated to test the effects by organising a lunchtime workshop and practice my skills of persuasion and influence at my workplace. The result was overwhelming. With limited resources but effective marketing, I was pleasantly surprised that many people signed up and participated in the workshop, with full-house attendance. Within two weeks, I had conducted a workshop as part of my organisation’s learning movement to share what I have learnt. I also shared about how to use storytelling to persuade others and boost their confidence in work and play.

Jessica Chai, SkillsFuture SG


In my first year at Outward Bound School, I had many challenges chasing the instructors to submit documents needed for certificate/license application. They are often busy running courses and training outdoors – even my emails to them one by one would return no replies. So I used FormSG to create a form for collecting their certificate copies and photos. Now I can broadcast a FormSG link to their handphone numbers in a group, and they can reply to me via the form, which does not overload my phone with WhatsApp replies or spam my email. I also created a QR code to make it more presentable. The instructors can send me their documents from wherever they are and there are no longer excuses such as “I cannot access my work email”. They just need to click on the link, and the details will be forwarded to my work email. Tada!

Anizah Abdul Karim, NYC

As citizen engagement efforts increase across the Public Service, which areas would you like to be engaged in as a citizen?

Send your entry to psd_challenge@psd.gov.sg.

The most creative entry will receive a prize worth $100. All other entries published in print will win vouchers worth $30 each. Entries may be edited. Please include your name, agency email address, agency and contact number.

All entries should reach us by January 10, 2020.

  • POSTED ON
    Dec 10, 2019
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