500 children complete first half of Google coding programme in pilot year (20 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE - After attending a 10-week coding course, 15-year-old Celeste Low believes she is one step closer to her childhood dream of being a spy.

With the help of instructors from Google's Code in the Community programme, the Secondary 3 student from the School of Science and Technology developed from scratch a programme that can encrypt secret messages so that they are unreadable to prying eyes."


Pre-schoolers get early start in coding game (22 May 2017)

"In a childcare centre classroom, 15 pre-schoolers are using tablets and playing a digital game called Manta Match Mania.

With laser-like focus, they use their fingers to drag different shapes on the right of the screen, to fit into a larger shape on the left. Pre-school teacher Kavita Mogan looks on and helps some children with the activity."


Fidget toy not allowed in some classrooms (22 May 2017)

"Fidget spinner toys are the latest craze among primary and secondary school students.

The gizmos, which are said to benefit those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by improving their focus, are also all the rage globally."


ITE's class acts (22 May 2017)

"Do not be fooled by Mr Kenny Tok's build - beneath his small frame lie big ambitions.

After being expelled from school in 2011 for disciplinary issues, he returned with a new-found drive, graduating with a Nitec in Electronics (Instrumentation) from ITE College Central with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and earning the Lee Kuan Yew Model Student Award. The award is presented to outstanding students who excel in their course and display exemplary conduct and attitude."


Reading broadens your child's mind (22 May 2017)

"My kids don't read the newspapers at all," a friend said to me recently, as he knows I work for The Straits Times.

My reply: His children could well regret this when they find themselves seeking a job later."


Finn and fun: Lessons from Finland's new school curriculum (22 May 2017)

"Responding to the challenges and developments faced by the country over the past two decades, the Finnish education ministry implemented a new curriculum last year to tackle the issues.

Traditional Finnish industries such as paper manufacturing have declined because of an increased preference for digital media."


Nanyang Poly students get to work at fintech hub (23 May 2017)

"Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) has partnered local financial technology (fintech) hub Lattice80 to offer its students internships.

From next month, at least 100 first- and second-year students from NYP's School of Business Management will have the opportunity to undergo on-the-job training at Lattice80."


3 special education schools to expand, take in 75 more students per year (24 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE - Three special education schools that offer programmes for children with moderate-to-severe autism spectrum disorder will be expanding to take in 75 more students in total per year.

The expansion, which will start from the second half of this year, aims to cater to the increased demand for such programmes in government-funded special education schools run by voluntary welfare organisations. This is driven by an increase in the reported number of students with the disorder, said the Ministry of Education."


New deals give polytechnic graduates more credit units at local universities SIT and SUSS (24 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE - Polytechnic graduates will have more pathways to upgrade their skills and pursue university degrees, thanks to deals inked on Wednesday (May 24) under the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme (ELP).

Specialist diploma holders from all five local polytechnics who have studied in certain fields - such as hospitality, accountancy or supply chain management - will be able to count up to 20 credit units from their polytechnic studies towards a Bachelor's degree at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)."


Kallang River holds lessons for students (26 May 2017)

"Secondary 1 students Adbeel Yeo (left) and Cruz Chan (second from right), both 12, from St Andrew's Secondary School collecting water from the Kallang River to analyse its acidity and dissolved oxygen levels.

The sample Cruz drew had a surprising find."


Sota explains about teachers leaving (28 May 2017)

"Within the last year, a School of the Arts (Sota) student has seen three of her teachers leave the school.

First, it was a senior teacher in the literature department. Then another literature teacher, also a senior teacher, left last month. Two weeks ago, she was told that her biology teacher will leave early next month - five months before the International Baccalaureate exams."


Debate over arts school's purpose (28 May 2017)

"The School of The Arts was set up in 2008 and is one of four specialised independent schools here catering to students with talents and strong interests in specific fields. Earlier this month, a Straits Times report on how over 70 per cent of its graduates pursue non-arts-related university courses sparked discussion.

Sota usually accepts students into its six-year integrated arts and academic programme when they are 12. Students have to audition for their art forms, attend an interview and take academic tests."


More access to reading for South West District residents (28 May 2017)

"Parents living in the South West District will have more opportunities to bond with their children through reading, while helping them to brush up on their mother tongue.

A programme called Reading Together@South West, which will see library corners set up at 17 Residents' Committee (RC) centres around the district, was launched yesterday at Bukit Gombak Goodview Garden RC Centre."


Waterway Primary School students speak their way to confidence (11 May 2017)

"Speaking in front of a crowd or holding a conversation with a stranger can be a daunting task for many. Students of Waterway Primary School learn to do just that, and it starts from Primary One.

For one hour each week, students learn skills in listening, critical thinking and public speaking, as part of the school’s six-year-long Toastmasters programme. The objective of the programme is to build the students’ confidence to interact positively with others. Students also participate in drama, story-telling and topical sharing activities.

“The earlier we start children on speaking publicly, the earlier they can muster the courage and confidence to strike up conversations with people. We hope to eventually build them up as leaders,” explains teacher-in-charge, Mr Wong Beng Yu."


Helping students with special needs in mainstream schools (12 May 2017)

"Every child have the right to a good education, equal life chances and opportunities for the future. These rights should not be different for a child with special needs and they could do so with good support from parents, teachers, friends as well as resources in schools to deliver the education. Mr Mohammad Azhari Bin Basiran, an Allied Educator (AED) at Rosyth School shares his experience and perspective on helping students with special needs in mainstream schools.

An overwhelming start

Azhari recalled his first day of teaching 8 years ago as overwhelming because he did not know his students well. He sought help from his colleagues and other professionals to give him the insights and background of every student he had to work with. The background information he received helped him to adapt to his students quickly. Azhari identified the students’ strengths and weaknesses and tailored his communication and guidance to help them function at a heightened level. He believes strongly that every child is special and if given the right guidance, they will have the motivation to focus on their strengths and talents.

“I did a research on what they were good at as well as areas which needed improvement and made sure that they were able to understand me. It gave me a better understanding on how to support these children in terms of their academics and social interactions,” he said."


Fostering the joy of learning Chinese language (16 May 2017)

"English has become the language spoken most often at home and some children today may find it more difficult to master mother tongue languages. Teachers at St Stephen’s School have gone beyond textbook learning to help students to master Chinese language and gain confidence in using it in their daily lives.

For Primary One students, fun activities are injected into their Chinese classes. Other than learning vocabulary and sentence structure through the textbook, students get to watch animations which incorporate dialogue related to the lesson content. The objective is to help students internalise what they have learned and apply the lesson content to their daily lives.

The school uses the animated clips, which can be found in the Xuele educational resources, to aid the learning of Chinese language, as teachers found that it piqued students’ interest."


An Attitude of Gratitude (19 May 2017)

"Do you remember fondly your first day in school, the day you said goodbye to your friends and teachers on the last day of school or at the graduation party? Or did the school memories fade like old photographs and we complain about the have-nots?

Wei Hong, graduated from Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School (PRCS) a year ago, took time to note down the people he is grateful to have met during his time in school. It’s easy to get caught up with life and take what we have for granted, but that’s not what he plans to do. In fact, Wei Hong wrote a letter to Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng, and here’s a snippet of what he’s grateful for!

1. The Unsung Heroes – Teachers

Wei Hong has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and struggled academically. His teachers were all very supportive and encouraging. They tried out various teaching methods to suit his pace and constantly kept him updated of his progress."


Primary School Open Houses and School Tours in 2017 (19 May 2017)

"Primary Schools in Singapore offer a variety of programmes to build every child’s confidence and desire to learn. When choosing a school, consider the strengths of each Primary School and select an environment that can motivate your child to be an engaged learner. Talk to other parents to find out their top tips, advice and experiences. Principals are great people to get advice from too!

To find out more about what schools offer, visit during the schools’ Open Houses or sign up for the school tours! Remember to prepare before visiting the school's open house so you'll know what to look for. Don't forget to also support your child during the transition to Primary School."


Thriving on Adversity (23 May 2017)

"Turning the strawberry generation into delicious strawberry tarts is Ms Aileen Tan’s aim. Hear what Singtel’s group director of Human Resource has to say about her days detecting land mines in Vietnam and why it’s necessary for young people to seize every available opportunity.

Who tends to be your most promising employees?

Those who display a high level of adversity quotient (AQ) and a willingness to learn are usually the ones who thrive.

One good example would be a young intern we once had who saw a learning opportunity in every task, including taking minutes for a meeting. A person without the right attitude might think that it’s a mundane job that is beneath his/her capacity. But this intern saw it as a chance to hear the perspectives of the attendees and learn from the way they present themselves."


Picture's Up, Sound Roll, Action! (24 May 2017)

"He was diagnosed with dyslexia in primary school and wondered why he struggled in academic subjects. It wasn’t until Primary Five that Yoh Kai Xiang discovered his interest in sounds when he joined the AVA club in Ahmad Ibrahim Primary School. The young student then found out that he enjoys what he learnt in the audio-visual aid club and has a flair for it.

When Kai Xiang received his PSLE results, one of his considerations in choosing a secondary school, aside from location, was also CCAs that were related to AVA or photography. He discussed with his teachers, parents, and after some research, Kai Xiang decided on Yishun Secondary School as the school offers an interesting programme in music, media and audio technology.

Kai Xiang felt that the techniques and skills he picked up in his primary school’s AVA club gave him a good head start to do well. Continuing his journey in Yishun Secondary School’s Applied Learning Programme (ALP) in music, media and technology. The programme incorporated elements of music technology, sound design, video production in its curriculum. Coupled with Kai Xiang’s keen interest in photography and music, he was more than sure that he wanted to expand his knowledge and develop his skills in audio technology."


Comeback Kid (26 May 2017)

"Siow Yan Tat remembers his PSLE score clearly: 113.

He scraped through to the Normal (Academic) stream, where he continued to struggle with his studies at Ghim Moh Secondary. Not due to a lack of ability or aptitude, but attitude.

He was more interested in playing computer games and trading Pokemon cards. He eventually flunked his “O” Levels, and decided to enlist into National Service (NS) which proved to be a pivotal game-changer in his life."


Start of 2017 Direct School Admission Exercises, Polytechnic Early Admissions Exercise and ITE Early Admissions Exercise (8 May 2017)

"Students interested in applying for Direct School Admission (DSA) to secondary schools and Junior Colleges (JCs) for admission in 2018 may do so from today. Separately, applications for early admission to polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) based on course-specific aptitude and interests will start in June 2017."


Wow Wild Learn Programme to be Expanded to 80 Pre-Schools (18 May 2017)

"More pre-school children will now have the opportunity to experience how the Chinese language comes alive through visits to the River Safari. This year, the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL) is working with Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) to expand the Wow Wild Learn programme, which comprises a series of activities for pre-school children and training workshops for pre-school Chinese language teachers."


First Batch of Students Graduate from Revised Junior Sports Academy Programme (20 May 2017)

"Close to 400 student-athletes from more than 100 primary schools will be graduating at the Junior Sports Academy (JSA) Graduation Ceremony held at the Singapore Sports Hub (OCBC Arena) on 20 May 2017."


Expanding Special Education School Places for Students with Moderate-To-Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder (24 May 2017)

"Three government-funded Special Education (SPED) schools which offer Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) programmes for children with moderate-to-severe ASD, with support from MOE, will be expanding the number of school places in the next two years. This is in response to the increase in the reported number of students with moderate-to-severe ASD who require specialised and intensive intervention to support their learning. It has led to a corresponding increase in the demand for ASD programmes offered by government-funded SPED schools run by Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs)."


Singapore’s Young Research Talents Recognised at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2017 (25 May 2017)

"Singapore’s students achieved commendable results at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2017. Held in Los Angeles, California from 14 to 19 May this year, Intel ISEF 2017 is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Every year, more than 1,750 high school students from about 75 countries, regions and territories showcase their independent research."


Think carefully about philosophy in schools (14 April 2017)

"I would like to add a cautionary note to Mr Teo Xiang Zheng's letter in support of teaching philosophy in schools (Philosophy focus can come in handy; April 2).

He argues that philosophy can help foster problem-solving skills, creativity and critical thinking."


Retired parking attendant becomes a graduate at 67 (17 April 2017)

"Fond of reading, retired parking attendant Rokiah Omar always wished she had attended a madrasah - an Islamic religious school - when she was a child.

Yesterday, the 67-year-old fulfilled her childhood dream by graduating with a bachelor's degree in Islamic studies. She was the oldest among the Jamiyah Education Centre's (JEC) 33 graduands."


Schools tell parents: 'Keep kids' birthday parties simple' (18 April 2017)

"Some primary schools are laying down the law on birthday festivities in schools, saying they should be kept to "no-frills" celebrations.

This, they say, will curb concerns about food allergies and the consumption of junk food."


1 in 3 young people think cannabis is not addictive (28 April 2017)

"As some nations decriminalise cannabis - and some of its supporters extol its virtues - a growing number of the youth here are also displaying a more laid-back attitude towards the drug.

About a third of them - 33 per cent - do not think it is addictive."


25-year-old Taiwanese teacher donates organs after sudden death in Singapore (28 April 2017)

"SINGAPORE - A 25-year-old Taiwanese woman who was working in Singapore donated her organs after dying of a brain-related disease on Sunday (April 23).

Ms Audrey Luan Yi Shiuan, who came to Singapore in July 2016 after graduating from Taiwan's National Taipei University of Technology, was a Chinese teacher in a private tuition centre here, according to a report in Lianhe Wanbao on Thursday (April 27)."


Exercise & sports science to replace O-level PE subject (2 May 2017)

"Not many people may remember this, but a biomechanist contributed to Joseph Schooling's Olympic win last year.

Although Schooling often finished poorly, compared with his US idol Michael Phelps, Mr Ryan Hodierne, a biomechanist at Singapore Sports Institute, drew out the best in the Singaporean swimmer by using science to improve Schooling's technique."


Signs of child abuse and what you can do to help (22 May 2017)

"The recent incident of a man who subjected his step-daughter to physical and psychological abuse for two months brought the serious topic of child abuse to light.

According to Mayo Clinic, child abuse is defined as the intentional mistreatment of a child, including physical, sexual, emotional, medical abuse and neglect."


10 unique activities to keep your kids busy this June holidays (26 May 2017)

"School's out and kids in Singapore are gearing up to enjoy their upcoming month-long holiday season in June.

Children might have plenty of ideas when it comes to playtime. But here's an opportunity for parents to show off their fun side by taking the young ones to events such as meeting Sanrio characters at Changi Airport (and possibly watch planes take off) or even visiting a Harry Potter exhibition."


NUS, NTU hit by cyber-attacks targeting Govt info, research data (12 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Two of the Republic’s top universities have been hit by sophisticated cyber attacks aimed at stealing research and government-related information, the authorities said on Friday (May 12).

The attacks, the first of such sophistication to hit the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), were detected on April 11 and 19 respectively."


More stringent measures needed to protect research work: University dons (12 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE — While cyber-security experts said on Friday (May 12) that it is no surprise that Singapore is increasingly a target for hackers, university professors called for more stringent measures to protect research work, including how such materials are stored.

A professor involved in research said that while rules are in place to secure the personal information of university students, or their grades, there are currently no proper rules on how researchers should store their work or research."


Some primary schools doing away with ‘top classes’ (14 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Starting this year, some primary schools have scrapped the common practice of grouping pupils in classes according to their academic performances at upper-primary levels.

TODAY has learnt that at least three schools — Pei Chun Public School, Zhangde Primary School and Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School — are no longer putting top students in the same classes when they start Primary 5, and classes are a mix of pupils of differing academic abilities."


Going the extra mile to make fashion inclusive (15 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE — For most people, fashion conjures up images of conspicuous, captivating articles of clothing donned by models strutting down the runway. Three LaSalle graduates are looking to change that — with their concept of inclusive fashion.

The trio designed a line of garments suitable for both wheelchair and non-wheelchair users for their final-year project, and they are looking at commercialising it."


Deepening skills with CET (18 May 2017)

"The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) offers over 500 Continuing Education and Training (CET) modular courses — perfect for anyone who needs to pick up a new skill or strengthen an existing competency in a short period of time.

The knowledge acquired comes in handy immediately at the workplace, which is why SUSS calls this “just-in-time” training. If workers enrol as an undergraduate or post-graduate student, these modular academic credits will count towards their degree."


SOTA student’s ‘impromptu’ art installation bearing former teachers’ names removed by school (19 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE — An art installation of folded paper planes, each bearing the name of a former teacher, placed in the crevices along concrete floor tiles appeared outside the general office at the School of the Arts (SOTA) on Tuesday (May 16).

The installation was short-lived. A day later, it was removed by the school. However, a photo of the work was posted on Facebook by a former SOTA teacher, Mark Rozells, on Wednesday, who described the piece as “heartwarming”."


Mega-childcare centre opens in Marsiling (20 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE — A mega-childcare centre, providing 370 places in an environment with lots of green spaces and areas for outdoor activities, was officially declared opened in Marsiling on Saturday (May 20).

The PCF Sparkletots Large Childcare Centre at 9 Woodlands Street 12 is one of the large childcare centres that the Government is building to significantly expand childcare capacity in estates with a higher proportion of young families. These include in townships such as Punggol, Sengkang, Yishun, Jurong West and Woodlands."


Health inequalities among challenges facing people with special needs (22 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE — When Mdm Jothi Marimuthu’s son, who has special needs, suffered a hairline crack on his left leg two years ago, the doctor at the accident and emergency department tried to explain his medical condition to the 22-year-old man.

Kiran Raj S Vanu has global developmental delay, an intellectual disability due to epilepsy. “(But) he was giving all these medical terms, and Kiran just stared (at the doctor),” recalled Mdm Jothi, 47."


NUS launches three new part-time degree programmes in Tech (23 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE — The National University of Singapore (NUS) will be offering three new part-time degree programmes in Business Analytics, Cybersecurity, and Software Engineering from August.

The Bachelor of Technology (BTech) courses will be taught by academics from the School of Computing as well as industry professionals. Lessons will be also delivered through online learning and face-to-face classes to cater to working adults."


Schools, hospitals can pave the way for use of VR as learning tools (24 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE — With digital technology being a key driver of growth for Singapore, schools and hospitals can pave the way to use virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality technologies as learning tools.

More can also be done to tap such immersive media across various industries to improve processes, reduce costs and enhance outcomes, with possibilities to apply them in the retail, architecture, construction and defence sectors."


ITE has key role to play in drive towards lifelong learning: Tharman (26 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE — In the push towards lifelong learning, the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will have a key role to play, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Friday (May 26).

But as the institute transforms to pave the way for its graduates to keep learning throughout their lives, employers and firms must assume a bigger role in taking ownership for, and pride in, training their staff, and forming industry partnerships to build up the workforce."


Road safety campaign takes a VR twist (26 May 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Road users will be able to get up close with dangerous traffic situations, without putting themselves at risk, with the help of several Virtual Reality (VR) initiatives.

Aimed at educating young pedestrians, drivers and motorcyclists, they were launched on Friday (May 25) at the start of the Singapore Road Safety Month."


Commentary: Teachable moments from one school’s move to let students sleep in (27 May 2017)

"Earlier this month, online news of Nanyang Girls’ High School’s successful implementation of starting school 45 minutes later reached close to half a million page views within a day.

The change, implemented almost a year ago,was mostly well received but few people realise how remarkable it was to pull off."