Singapore

There's a Games HQ inside this school

Every day after school, 16-year-old Muhammad Fauzi Ahmad does not go home.

The Secondary 4 student from NorthLight School heads to a "Games HQ" where he hangs out with friends and plays video and arcade games.

He is one of about 30 students who drop in daily at the facility, which is within the school in Towner Road, in Bendemeer. Most of them stay till it closes at 5pm.

The space is the Singapore Children's Society's latest Project Cabin, an after-school centre where secondary school students can rest and take part in enrichment programmes.

The charitable organisation has 15 other such school-based centres. The centre, which students have named Games HQ, has been open since 2015.

It has Daytona arcade machines and Xbox games, a pool table and computers.

It was officially launched yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

In a speech at the launch, NorthLight School principal Martin Tan said the centre "offers a very safe space" for students to engage in activities after school hours. "It's better than our students hanging out at McDonald's," he said.

A social worker and a counsellor from the Singapore Children's Society are stationed there to befriend students and listen to those who need guidance.- THE STRAITS TIMES

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