Well-rounded approach (15 March 2018)

"Mr Bon Seah is in a unique position: he has three families.

Apart from the relatives on the maternal and paternal sides of his family, he also treats his colleagues at the trading and risk control department of Jinchuanmaike Metal Resources in Shanghai, China, like his family."


Contentious social studies guide not on MOE approved list (15 March 2018)

"A social studies guidebook containing contentious content which makes generalisations about people from various socio-economic classes in Singapore is not on the Ministry of Education's approved list of textbooks, the ministry said.

The guidebook, Complete Guide To GCE O-Level Social Studies Volume 1 by Rowan Luc, features a section with broad generalisations about people of different socio-economic statuses that some have found offensive. The book is targeted at Secondary 3 students."


Social studies guidebook with misleading stereotypes removed from Popular bookstore (15 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE - The social studies guidebook that has sparked online controversy has been removed from its stores, Popular bookstore confirmed.

The guidebook, Complete Guide to GCE O-Level Social Studies Volume 1 by Rowan Luc, has been criticised for a contentious presentation of socio-economic classes in Singapore."


Pre-school offers infant care and childcare in the same room to help children adapt (15 March 2018)

"Move a child from his infant care refuge to a childcare facility and tears will flow because he has been separated from the teachers and surroundings he is familiar with.

So since 2016, My First Skool - which comes under the NTUC First Campus - and the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) have been working on an initiative which sees infant care and childcare services offered in the same premises."


Bridging the business-science gap (16 March 2018)

"Going green is high on the Government's agenda.

According to the Public Sector Sustainability Plan 2017 to 2020, the public sector plans to reduce electricity and water consumption by 15 per cent and 5 per cent respectively by 2020."


Programme for kids with literacy difficulties to be extended to PCF mega pre-school (16 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE - A Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) scheme that offers support to pre-school children who find it hard to read and write will be extended to the PCF Marsiling Large Childcare Centre, the sixth pre-school to offer the scheme.

Under a tie-up between DAS and the PAP Community Foundation (PCF), the scheme is currently offered at five PCF pre-schools. It helps children develop literacy, fine motor and socio-emotional skills and was previously offered only at the DAS."


Marsiling pre-school joins literacy scheme (17 March 2018)

"A Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) programme that offers support to pre-school children who find it hard to read and write will be extended to the PCF SparkleTots at Marsiling large childcare centre, the sixth pre-school to offer the scheme.

Under a tie-up between DAS and the PAP Community Foundation (PCF), the scheme is currently offered at five PCF pre-schools. It helps children with literacy, fine motor and socio-emotional skills, and was previously offered only at DAS Learning Centres."


Skills v degrees debate at ST Education Forum ends in a tie (18 March 2018)

"The question of which matters more for success in life - holding a degree or mastering skills - has finally been answered, and it is a tie.

At The Straits Times Education Forum yesterday, organised in partnership with the Singapore Management University (SMU), the motion "You don't need a degree to succeed in life" was debated."


The case for and against uni education (18 March 2018)

"The debate at The Straits Times Education Forum yesterday brought pertinent issues about the importance of a university degree to the fore.

There was a discussion about how an overemphasis on the paper chase may lead to the conflation of what is considered a wholesome education - in which one picks up both hard and soft skills - and a university education."


Is early childhood bilingualism a myth? (21 February 2018)

"These days, more Singaporeans are speaking English at home, and may not use their mother tongue languages as often as before.

However, more parents are showing interest in wanting their kids to be bilingual, but can a young child really be proficient in more than one language?

Ms Thesigambigal, a Tamil language educator from MOE Kindergarten @ Frontier, shares her views.

What are some of the issues which young children face today in learning Tamil language?

Children typically do not have problems in picking up languages, but the frequency and exposure to the language is important. When children get exposed to both English and Tamil languages, they are in a better position to learn and use both languages. When Tamil language is not used often enough at home or at school, they don’t have a chance to listen to or speak the language often and it becomes unfamiliar to them."


Bring Out the Learning Animal In You (23 February 2018)

"The ability to learn is the becoming a highly sought-after quality among global companies—here’s what you can do to cultivate it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it were possible to identify one skill that matters more than any other, in any job? Anyone who had that magic skill would be set for life!

It turns out there might be one, but it’s not a single skill like coding, or communication, or time management. According to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, it is the ability to pick up new skills.

In his 2014 book “How Google Works”, co-authored with the company’s former Senior Vice President Jonathan Rosenberg, he argues that “the world is changing so fast across every industry and endeavour that it’s a given the role for which you’re hiring is going to change.”

While employers typically fill a position by looking for people who have excelled in similar roles previously, Google looks for what they call “learning animals”, or people who are always picking up new knowledge and skills, while not being afraid to ask silly questions."


Open House Dates of Special Education (SPED) Schools 2018 (27 February 2018)

"Children with special education needs (SEN) require different types and level of support, depending on their conditions. So how do parents choose the school that would be the best fit for their child?

To start off, let’s look at the difference between mainstream schools and Special Education (SPED) schools:

Mainstream Schools: For children with mild SEN and have the cognitive abilities to access the mainstream curriculum, and adequate adaptive skills to learn in large-group settings. At these schools, parents can work with Allied Educators to support their child’s learning.

SPED Schools: For children who require more intensive and specialised assistance in their education. There are currently 19 Government-funded SPED schoolsrun by 12 Social Service Organisations (SSOs)"


Becoming the anchor for a greener future (28 February 2018)

"Instead of just reading about the need to care for the environment in their science textbooks, Anchor Green Primary School students walk the talk.

The students pitch in to clean their classrooms daily and make the effort to deposit unwanted recyclables into colourful bins around the campus. Primary 1 students also “adopt” a part of the school’s eco-garden, and help to maintain and look after the plants.

These initiatives are part of the school’s Learning for Life Programme (LLP), aimed to help students to not just understand the importance of conserving the environment, but also to put what they learn into practice.

“We hope to inculcate in students the right attitudes and lifestyle habits towards caring for and protecting the environment,” explains Mr Chong Chee Wee, Year Head at Anchor Green Primary School. “We also want to equip students with the skills to be active contributors to the community.”

Environment conservation lessons are not only in science classes. In art classes for lower primary students, students are tasked with designing posters which provide tips to save water. English lessons also incorporate reading materials on water conservation, and Primary 5 and 6 students get to work on group projects related to environmental conservation."


Drama in the classroom? Yes, please (7 March 2018)

"What can you do with a chair, apart from sitting on it?

This sounds like a trivia quiz question, but for Secondary 3 students of CHIJ Katong Convent, it is time to put their creative juices to the test. They have to come up with a scene from a play, based on a nursery rhyme.

The activity is part of the school’s Drama Elective Programme, where students get a chance to learn about the inner workings of a theatrical production.

At the school, all Secondary 1 and 2 students are first exposed to drama in a foundation programme, and some of them would eventually go on to pursue it as a GCE O-Level Applied Subject in their upper secondary years.

At the foundation level, students learn different play forms and basic acting skills and characterisation, while upper secondary students delve deeper into understanding, structuring and creating drama productions."


National Schools Xinyao Singing and Songwriting Competition (7 February 2018)

"The National Schools Xinyao Singing and Songwriting Competition is back for the fourth year. For the first time, the Songwriting (Open) category is open to students from our universities1, while a new Songwriting (Creative) category has been introduced to encourage students to write songs by drawing inspiration from stories in their secondary school Chinese textbooks."


创意漫画作文计划:让学生对华文写作更有兴趣 More Fun in Chinese Writing through Creative Comic Essay Writing Programme (12 February 2018)

"In recognition of the difficulties faced by students in writing Chinese essays, the Committee to Promote Chinese Language and Learning (CPCLL) has introduced a compilation of comics, which would guide students in their tasks through a set of critical thinking questions. While CPCLL had used comics to teach Chinese writing during the Chinese Comic Writing Programme in 2015, the focus then was on the writing of dialogues, and not essays. "


Release of 2017 Singapore Cambridge GCE A-Level Examination Results (14 February 2018)

"The results of the 2017 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE A-Level) examination will be released on Friday, 23 February 2018. School candidates may collect their results from their respective schools from 2.30pm that day."


Pre-School Chinese Language Storytelling Aids Competition (21 February 2018)

"For the first time, the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL) will be organising a competition to spur pre-school teachers to use creative teaching aids to teach Chinese Language. Called the Pre-school Chinese Language Storytelling Aids Competition, CPCLL would like teachers to submit proposals explaining how they use teaching aids to tell stories creatively and effectively to their pre-schoolers."


Release of the 2017 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (A-Level) Examination (23 February 2018)

"12,502 students sat for the 2017 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE A-Level) Examination as school candidates. 11,624, or 93.0%, received at least three H2 passes, with a pass in General Paper or Knowledge and Inquiry."


238 GCE A-Level H2 Chemistry Candidates Affected by Theft of Paper 3 Scripts In The UK (23 February 2018)

"The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) has been informed by Cambridge Assessment that a parcel containing 238 scripts for the 2017 GCE A-Level H2 Chemistry’s Paper 3 was stolen from a courier in the United Kingdom (UK). The parcel was stolen while in transit from Cambridge Assessment to the Examiner."


Nominations Open for Arif Budiman Malay Language Teachers’ Award 2018 (26 February 2018)

"Students, educators, parents, and members of the public are invited to nominate outstanding Malay Language teachers for the annual Arif Budiman Malay Language Teachers’ Award (AGAB). The award aims to recognise Malay Language teachers in primary and secondary schools, junior colleges and centralised institute who have made significant contributions to the teaching and learning of the Malay Language."


Many Paths, New Possibilities – Ready for a New World Together: Empowering Individuals, Nurturing Joy of Learning (5 March 2018)

"In line with the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s continuing efforts to develop future generations of resilient, innovative and curious lifelong learners who are empowered to chart their own paths of success, and rooted in sound values and a shared Singapore identity, MOE will:

A. Nurture innovation through Applied Learning;

B. Refresh our approach to National Education;

C. Enhance Financial Support for students at primary, secondary and pre-university levels;

D. Increase the annual Edusave contribution rates."


Many Paths, New Possibilities – Ready For A New World Together: Supporting Aspirations, Developing Lifelong Learners (5 March 2018)

"MOE will further develop and nurture the passions and interests of our students through broadening pathways that recognise their diverse aptitudes and strengths. By enabling our students to experience the joy of learning and providing them opportunities for learning by doing, MOE will support them in their pursuit of lifelong learning, and prepare them for a dynamic future, together."


All primary schools to have applied learning programmes by 2023 (5 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — In five years’ time, all primary and secondary schools will have learning programmes that expose students to learning by doing, and learning in real-world scenarios.

Speaking at his ministry’s Committee of Supply debates on Monday (March 5), Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng said that while all secondary schools and 80 primary schools currently have an Applied Learning Programme (ALP), the plan is for all primary schools to offer these programmes by 2023.

All secondary schools also offer Applied Subjects and Elective Modules now. Applied Subjects are examinable at the O and N-Levels, and include subjects like drama, retail operations, and electronics."


Greater financial support for needy students: Ng Chee Meng (5 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — From next month, more needy students from primary to pre-university levels will get enhanced financial aid as the Education Ministry (MOE) increases subsidies, bursary amounts and raises income ceilings for financial assistance.

Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng announced this at his ministry’s Committee of Supply debates on Monday (March 5), when he spoke about making sure “no child is left behind”.

From next month, the monthly gross household income ceiling for mainstream and Special Education (Sped) students to qualify for the Education Ministry (MOE) Financial Assistance Scheme will be raised to S$2,750, up from the current S$2,500. This will allow a bigger group of students — some 6,000 more — to qualify for financial aid."


Subsidies for master’s courses to be removed or reduced for foreign, PR students: Ong Ye Kung (5 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — From next year, foreign students will no longer receive subsidies for most of the vocation-based master’s degrees and post-graduate diplomas offered by the autonomous universities, while the subsidies for permanent residents (PRs) will be reduced, announced Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung on Monday (March 5).

Changes in subsidies — which will not affect Singaporeans — will generate S$25 million in savings annually, noted Mr Ong, adding that this will be channelled to support shorter, industry-relevant modular courses for Singaporeans and PRs at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

Currently, the autonomous universities offer about 300 postgraduate courses, of which around one-third are subsidised by the Education Ministry (MOE). International students who receive subsidies will need to take up a three-year service obligation, which requires them to work in Singapore-based companies upon graduation."


S$145m push to equip S'poreans with more digital skills (6 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Local professionals can look forward to an additional 20,000 training places geared towards equipping them with new digital skills in emerging areas like data analytics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and cybersecurity.

Some S$145 million will be set aside under the TechSkills Accelerator programme (Tesa) to create the new training opportunities by 2020, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary told Parliament on Tuesday (March 6) during the Committee of Supply debate on his ministry’s budget.

Tesa was previously focused on the information and communications technology (ICT), health and finance sectors. It will now be expanded into new areas like manufacturing and professional services."


Jump in infant-care enrolment at My First Skool centres piloting shared infant-toddler spaces (8 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — The 12 early childhood centres that are piloting spaces shared by infants and toddlers have seen more parents taking up the infant-care services, due to the assurance that their children will be able to progress to toddler care at the same centre.

At the 12 My First Skool centres, run by NTUC First Campus, infant care intake has doubled on average.

Three of the centres in Tampines, Marine Terrace and Yishun began piloting the co-sharing model in November 2016. When found to be successful, nine more came on board last November after discussions with the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)."


Faces on the Subway: Broken but not down, b-boy Yohaki makes good as dance coach (8 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Singaporean dance instructor Freddy Yohaki, 32, often tells his students to be appreciative of what they have because “your parents paid money for you to attend these classes”. The parental support that some of his students receive is something that he still covets.

The full-time dance coach at private school 5th Avenue admitted that he was a delinquent in his teens and has trouble to this day winning his mother’s approval. To her, dancing is not a “decent” job, and she has not watched any of his performances.

Over more than 13 years, the young man had to beat out his own path while he aspired to be a dancer, eventually ending up where he is today, teaching hip-hop, jazz and street dance."


University can wait, says 24-year-old IT Youth award winner and entrepreneur (10 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Mr Liu Lung Hao is only 24, and already he is the boss of his own tech consulting firm, Feezmodo Consulting.

In 2016, he landed a spot in the Singapore Institute of Technology’s computer science degree programme with the University of Glasgow. But the Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) information technology diploma holder is holding off his university studies to cash in on the latest digital wave.

“I give myself till (I’m) 30 years old to finish my degree. Now is the time to ride this wave (of digital transformation) before the industry changes again,” he said."


High pay, good job prospects: Local computer science undergrads flocking to Silicon Valley internships (10 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — A monthly salary of US$7,000 to US$8,000 (S$9,200 to S$10,500). Flexible working hours. Free food, airfare, lodging and even massages or Uber credits.

These are among the eye-popping perks bright young computer science undergraduates from Singapore are getting when they intern with Silicon Valley's tech giants like Apple, Google and Twitter.

And with their skills in high demand amid a major technology boom, these undergraduates have also turned these highly coveted internships into extensive pre-employment trials.

For instance, 26-year-old Vishnu Prem interned for a total of 17 months with Apple, Twitter and ride-hailing company Uber before graduating from his four-year course at the National University of Singapore (NUS) last year."


The Big Read: Nerds and geeks no more, computing graduates now rule the roost (10 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — They were once derided as geeks or nerds in the not-too-distant past but these days, computing graduates — many of whom decked out in T-shirts, bermudas and slippers in their swanky offices — are having the last laugh.

The latest graduate employment survey released a fortnight ago by three local universities showed that fresh graduates from Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) business and computing science double degree programme commanded a median starting salary of S$5,000 last year, up from S$4,600 in 2016 — matching that of their peers from the law and medicine faculties.

Fresh computer science graduates were also among the highest paid last year. Those who graduated from the course in NTU got a median starting pay of S$3,850 last year, up from S$3,500 in 2016. Their counterparts from the National University of Singapore (NUS) received S$4,285 – S$285 more than in 2016."


‘Crazy, weird, scary’: Survey unveils negative labels youths associate with mental illness (11 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Researchers have called for regular and compulsory education on mental health for youths, in the wake of a study that found a large proportion of this group having misconceptions of mental illness.

Almost half (44.5 per cent) of 940 teenage students polled attached negative and pejorative labels to people with mental illness.

“Crazy”, “weird”, “scary”, “stupid” and “dangerous” were among the words that came to mind then the respondents heard the term “mental illness”, reported the study, which was presented at the Frontiers in Mental Health symposium organised by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and Nanyang Technological University’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine on Tuesday (March 6)."


75 students affected by theft of A-Level Chemistry script will retake exams: SEAB (12 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Seventy-five of the 238 students affected by the theft of the A-Level Chemistry exam scripts last year have opted to retake the examination, said the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB).

Responding to media queries on Monday (March 12), some two weeks after news broke that the A-Level Chemistry H2 paper was stolen last year while being delivered to an examiner in the United Kingdom (UK) for grading, the SEAB said that of the one-third students who opted to retake the exams, a majority — 57 of them — will re-sit for the H2 Chemistry Paper 3 in April, while the rest will be taking it in November this year."


‘Oversight’ led to delay in approval of talk by media professor Cherian George: NUS (14 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — National University of Singapore (NUS) said on Wednesday (Mar 14) that the approval for a talk by Hong Kong-based academic Cherian George — originally scheduled to be held last Friday — was delayed due to “an oversight”.

Prof George has accepted an invitation to give a talk later this month, the university added."


At arts camp, children learn to empathise with peers who have special needs (15 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE — When her newfound friend Qistina Cheong, nine, who has cerebral palsy, wanted to play on a wheelchair-friendly see-saw, eight-year-old Joy Sexton eagerly helped to push her wheelchair. The two had become fast friends after a three-day arts camp that saw 31 children with and without disabilities taking part.

Opened to children aged six to 10, the camp was organised for the first time by ground-up inclusive arts movement Superhero Me, and was held during the school term break this week at Enabling Village, a community space in Lengkok Bahru near Redhill that caters to persons with disabilities. "