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[O] Social Studies Smart Guides

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  1. Issue 1: Exploring Citizenship and Governance

    1. What does it mean for me to be a citizen of my country?
    3 Topics
  2. 2. How do we decide on what is good for society?
    6 Topics
  3. 3. How can we work for the good of society?
    10 Topics
  4. Issue 2: Living in a Diverse Society
    4. What is diversity?
    4 Topics
  5. 5. Why is there greater diversity in Singapore now?
    3 Topics
  6. 6. What are the experiences and effects of living in a diverse society?
    3 Topics
  7. 7. How can we respond in a diverse society?
    5 Topics
  8. Issue 3: Being Part of a Globalised World
    8. What does it mean to live in a globalised world?
    4 Topics
  9. 9. How do we respond to tensions arising from some economic impacts of globalisation?
    3 Topics
  10. 10. How do we respond to tensions arising from some cultural impacts of globalisation?
    3 Topics
  11. 11. How do we respond to tensions arising from some security impacts of globalisation?
    4 Topics
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  • Citizens with common interests organise themselves into groups to contribute towards the needs of society.
  • These groups can have a significant effect on the area of need they are addressing as they can direct collective efforts, ideas and resources towards their causes.
  • These groups are either formal or informal.

Formal groups

  • These Organisations have clear objectives and are formally registered with the government. They address a wide range of interests such as persons with special needs and protecting the environment.
  • An example of formal groups are nongovernmental Organisations (NGOs). NGOs can cater to the needs of specific groups in society. By doing so, they complement the role of the government in working for the good of society.


  • An example of a Non-governmental organisation is a movement for the intellectually disabled of Singapore (Minds) Singapore, which focuses on catering to the needs of persons with intellectual disability. It helps Ensure equal opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities to receive education and be integrated as contributing and responsible individuals in Singapore. MINDS runs special education schools employment development Centres, training and development Centres, a multi-service residential home for adults and children and more.

Informal groups

  • Informal groups are Organisations with a specific, short-term objective related to issues that arise suddenly.
  • These groups are temporarily formed and may not be registered. When a situation occurs or when a gap is noticed in an area of need, these informal groups would organise themselves to attend to this specific need.
  • By doing so, they are able complement the support structures provided by the government at that point in time.


  • Mr Jeremy Chua started a Facebook page called “SG Haze Rescue” asking for people to help and donate their excess masks, almost immediately after seeing the pollutant standards index rise to 321 on Wednesday evening. Individuals can come together to carry out activities or programmes to benefit Singaporeans. In the example above, mr Chua contribute in a constructive and responsible manner by identifying the country’s efforts to manage the haze situation. He created an informal group to help Singaporeans manage the ill-effects of the haze. In doing so, he contributed towards the efforts to Ensure that Singaporeans remain healthy during the haze period.