Unit Specialists who Teach and Inspire
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By Wang Zijun, Red Cross Youth

While their peers were enjoying post-examinations rest in late October 2017, 182 Secondary 2 Red Cross Youth (RCY) cadets embarked on an intensive Unit Specialists Programme (USP) 2017.

Formerly known as the Unit Instructors Programme, it was rebranded as USP to empower our cadets to be Specialists who go beyond merely imparting key knowledge and skills to their peers in the respective school units, to leading the school units through the various subject areas.

Comprising a contact session and a 2-day-1-night residential camp held at Red Cross Training Campsite, USP equipped cadets with important skills to fulfill their role as Unit Specialists. They attended workshops, studied a set of video materials to develop their public speaking skills and mastered various techniques in creating a positive classroom environment, so as to engage their peers.

Cadets also learnt the importance of content proficiency while reinforcing the learning of key concepts. Materials on bandaging simulations and Casualty Transportation techniques (the latter created by the Disaster Management Team) were shared, to enable cadets to understand, teach and provide feedback.

Our Unit Specialists fervently practised these skills repeatedly whilst obtaining several rounds of feedback. During the Parents’ Showcase, their skills were put to the test as they engaged their parents and guests through the same sharing that they had practised over the past days.

“I felt that the programme was very useful as I learnt to conduct training sessions in my CCA through the various methods. It has certainly benefited me a lot as I became more confident as a leader after the programme and I hope that I will be able to inspire greater passion in my cadets. Keeping my first aid skills up to date will make me a better trainer,” shared Goh Sher Shyan Hannah, Cedar Girls’ Secondary School, Red Cross Youth.

“As parents, my wife and I can see that the USP has benefited our daughter Hannah tremendously. She has become more confident in her ability to render first aid and to impart her knowledge to her juniors. Hannah understands her role as a Red Cross Youth member very well and is determined to do her part to teach her cadets such life-saving skills. The USP is an excellent course, and it has taught and trained her well indeed. I am pleased that Singapore Red Cross is taking the lead in our ageing society to promote the importance of first aid as well as CPR & AED in schools and in the society. Both my wife and I are very proud that Hannah is one of the student leaders contributing to the efforts,” affirmed Laurence Goh Eng Yau, father to Goh Sher Shyan Hannah and SRC Council Member.

The Programme ended with the Unit Specialists Initiation Ceremony held at the end of camp on 29 October 2017. Guest-of-Honour Dr Lim Wee Kiak, Chairperson of Culture, Community and Youth Parliamentary Committee; Member of the Education Government Parliamentary Committee, and Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC, highlighted the importance of various subjects the Unit Specialists teach, especially with our growing ageing population in our midst.

Having undergone the intensive learning journey, we believe that these newly-minted Unit Specialists will be ready to take on the challenges required of their role in the upcoming year – to teach and inspire!