18.35 Activism - Young Union Leaders
Getting Young Teachers to Fuse IT into Teaching

By Ramesh Subbaraman

The Singapore Teachers’ Union (STU) came to his help when he was in financial need about 10 years ago.

The union’s gesture somehow inspired 32- year-old Andy Ang to give back to STU in whatever way he could.

Today, Andy, a physical education (PE) teacher in a primary school, chairs the STU’s youth wing, Young STU.

At the Labour Movement, he is also currently the Chairperson of the Young NTUC Committee.

We caught up with him recently to hear what he has to say about his involvement in union work.


Help from the union

Flashback 10 years ago. Andy’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

“I was a bit stressed and looking for help to cope with my family matters. A mentor of mine in school told me to go to STU to seek help as I was struggling financially with the medical bills,” recounted Andy.

His father passed on but a gesture from the union touched him on what unions could do in times of need.

“A senior member of the union came by to the wake and delivered a cheque. The amount was not big. What really touched me was it was hand delivered during the wake,” said Andy.

From then on, his interest in the union grew. He made more friends and got roped into Young STU.

His first involvement was as a flag bearer during a May Day Rally nine years ago.


Staying Up-To-Date

Andy has been leading Young STU since 2016 and one area it  has been focusing on is to encourage the younger generation of teachers to upskill themselves to leverage information technology.

Only then can the classroom experience be made more enriching.

That is applicable even for PE lessons, said Andy who uses IT during his classes as it helps gauge a student’s performance out in the field better. Take basketball for example.

“When I teach students how to shoot a ball into the basketball net, with certain apps, we can actually do a slow motion and pinpoint to the student at which point their hand turned wrongly and because of that, the ball did not go into the net. We can also show them how to optimise their speed in running,” explained Andy.


Leadership Renewal

But for now, uppermost in his mind is leadership renewal in STU’s youth wing. He has three years to groom a successor for the role as he would have to make way from the youth wing when he turns 35.

Andy hopes to find like-minded and passionate people to join his Young STU team to bring the union to even greater heights.