Why we need to give our kids the gift of accountability (5 December 2016)

"With the holiday season upon us, we look for opportunities to be thankful for the people in our lives - not just our families, but those who make up our village.

They are those who lend a hand in providing learning opportunities for our children and opportunities for ourselves to grow into better parents and better people. They are out there, sometimes overlooked, oftentimes under-appreciated, and we need to recognise them, and to point them out to our children as safe and valued members of our group. They provide valuable lessons, as my husband and I learnt so well one day nearly a year ago."

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What the experts say (5 December 2016)

"On PSLE stress:

"How did (the PSLE) evolve into becoming something that is high stakes? In the past, people never thought about the PSLE scores, they just naturally went to the secondary school in their neighbourhood or wherever their family went to..."

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Low-income families get help for new school year (5 December 2016)

"Low-income families and their schoolgoing children yesterday received some help in preparing for the upcoming school year.

At the 13th annual Ready for School event, organised by the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), 6,300 beneficiary families, including 12,600 children, were given family and school-ready packs containing vouchers."

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The Great Outram Primary School Reunion (5 December 2016)

"Closed in 1984, Outram Primary School (OPS) is long gone. But more than 150 of its former staff and pupils got together two weeks ago in its first school reunion in over 30 years.

After its get-together at the Suntec City National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) Guild House, the group decided to register an alumni association and is hunting down other schoolmates."

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We need to believe our children are more than just numbers (5 December 2016)

"PSLE results day is all too familiar for parents in Singapore. The results and yearly sorting exercise of thousands of primary school children send many into states of mild panic, with careful analysis of cut-off points, school research, strategies for application and thoughts about what all these might mean for our children.

We are still that tiny nation that's continually obsessed with grades, one that houses a booming home tuition industry, and an educational system in overdrive. "

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Apps help with homework or tuition (5 December 2016)

"A few new tuition or homework help apps are trying to enlarge the billion-dollar local tuition industry through services face-to-face tutors or bricks-and-mortar centres do not provide.

These include services such as 24/7 homework assistance, automated learning tools or administrative support for private tutors. "

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Is PSLE a necessary checkpoint? (5 December 2016)

"The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) may be useful as a checkpoint to see how far pupils have progressed in their learning by 12 years of age.

There is also merit in having children prepare for such an exam as they learn values such as resilience, discipline and hard work, said panellists at a round-table discussion organised by The Straits Times and presented by Singapore bank UOB last week."

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More parents enrolling their babies in infant care centres (5 December 2016)

"SINGAPORE - More parents are leaving their newborns and babies in childcare centres, as more centres are set up and mothers and grandparents go back to work.

Parents are also more confident and less hesitant about leaving their little ones in the arms of strangers as the quality of programmes and qualifications of caregivers in the centres rise."

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Singapore student's video about antibiotic resistance wins her US$250,000 scholarship from Mark Zuckerberg-funded foundation (5 December 2016)

"SINGAPORE - A video on antibiotic resistance has won Singapore student Deanna See a US$250,000 (S$356,000) scholarship from a foundation funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Deanna, 17, a student at Raffles Institution (RI), was one of the finalists of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global science video competition that attracted more than 6,000 entries from 146 countries."

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Singapore students top in maths, science and reading: Students showing skills as problem solvers (7 December 2016)

"Singapore's educators deserve applause for the Republic's showing in the latest international benchmarking test conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Singapore's 15-year-olds took top place, outperforming their peers from 71 other countries and economies in using science, mathematics and reading skills to solve problems."

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Singapore's success in global education surveys shows that MOE is 'moving in right direction': PM Lee (7 December 2016)

"SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has praised the Ministry of Education (MOE) for "moving in the right direction" after Singapore students topped two recent global education surveys.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Dec 7) evening, Mr Lee wrote: "These latest results show improvements over the previous round of the surveys. The Ministry of Education, Singapore is moving in the right direction."

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What matters in education: Pisa gives clues (8 December 2016)

"Think tuition works? Maybe not.

A study of students' results in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) test shows that kids with tuition perform worse than kids without. Education economist Kelvin Seah pored through Pisa test results for 2011 to arrive at this conclusion."

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SUTD students create wearable technological solutions for problems from Zika to friendly fire (9 December 2016)

"SINGAPORE - With concerns about viruses like dengue fever and Zika, wouldn't it be nice to have a wrist device that warns you if your current location makes you a prime target for mosquitoes?

Here's the concept: the wristband would take into account the wearer's blood type, surrounding temperatures and sweat levels, while comparing the user's location with the National Environment Agency's dengue cluster map. "

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5 Types of Poly Courses for Post-Millennials (18 November 2016)

“From hybrid engineering courses to the study of marine life, there are plenty of offerings at our polytechnics to meet the different interests of our Gen Z.

#1 The New Multi-Disciplinary Engineering Courses

Engineering courses are making a comeback. No longer just involving Maths and Science, they have undergone a facelift. Now, they come paired with training in business management, IT know-how and knowledge in the social sciences.

These multi-disciplinary courses provide you with breadth of experience to think out of the box and solve increasingly complex problems in the world. There is also a slew of internship opportunities with top tech companies such as IBM and various banks.

Job prospects: Application development engineer, product development engineering assistant, specialist engineer"

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Diving Deep into Underwater Robotics (20 November 2016)

“Students at Regent Secondary are getting their feet wet building underwater robots and learning more about marine engineering.

Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are underwater gadgets often used in deep sea explorations. You don’t expect them to be put together by 13-year-olds. But that’s exactly what students at Regent Secondary are doing in their Applied Learning Programme (ALP) class.

The school’s ALP is Robotics and Engineering. One of the activities students do is build an underwater robot called Sea Perch, which is slightly bigger than a handheld camcorder. Each group of four is given a starter kit – with motors, PVC pipes for the structure, controller box etc – and they have to put one together over three months, spending one hour each week during their ALP lesson to work on it.

Sherrinshah d/o Riduanshah, now in Secondary 2, was excited when she first embarked on the project in Secondary 1. “I like hands-on activities and we got to do things like solder and wire up a circuit,” she says."

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Reading and Spelling Games for Kids (22 November 2016)

"For children in lower primary, nothing is more important than instilling the joy of reading and equipping them with skills to become successful, lifelong readers. Playful yet purposeful phonics games are a great way to do this!

Playing reading and spelling games at home with your children encourages them to learn while having fun. The games, recommended by MOE Learning Support Coordinators, are pitched for children in lower primary and cater to different learning styles by incorporating auditory and visual mnemonics, and tactile activities. Some of the activities also help to develop phonemic awareness. Words used in these games are taken from books that you can find at the National Library or on NLB’s online Tumblebook Library.

Check out these interesting activities accompanied by fuss-free printable resources and have fun bonding with your kids!

Reading Activity 1: Onset-rime blending

Onset-rime blending is a useful reading strategy, especially for beginning readers. Parents can play the game with their children to create and read new words! The words used in this game are drawn from the book, “Keesha’s Bright Idea”. Parents can also use the resource template to park in words from any book at home."

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Pumped Up By Science and Tech (25 November 2016)

“At Christ Church Secondary, students are discovering how technology is changing the face of the healthcare industry.

Science used to leave Faith Lew cold until she created an electronic pulse sensor in her Applied Learning Programme (ALP) at Christ Church Secondary.

“Science is one of my weakest subjects. When I first heard what we’ll be doing at ALP, it sounded difficult,” the Secondary 2 girl says. Initially, she was reluctant to give it a try. She only decided to play her part when she saw her friend struggling to wire up the sensor circuit on her own.

Faith and her friend eventually got the sensor to work and monitored their heart rate with it. And to Faith’s surprise, she found herself enjoying the exercise. “When you understand how it works, it becomes easy. In fact, it’s quite fun,” she says."

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Voicing Out at Parent-Teacher Meetings (27 November 2016)

"Parent-Teacher Meetings are important opportunities to discuss a child’s progress and encourage home-school partnership. Parents know their children, their personalities, strengths and weaknesses, while teachers have professional teaching abilities. Like all good conversations, parents and teachers need to talk and listen to each other to help the child succeed.

But what about the child’s perspective? What does he or she think?

Taking the discussion one step further, Boon Lay Secondary School includes a student-led interaction segment during Parent-Teacher Meetings. Students share with their parents what they have been doing in school, their areas of strengths or weaknesses and how parents and the school can better support them in their aspirations."

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The Importance of Engaging People (28 November 2016)

"At Broadrick Secondary School, students glean valuable insights into the working world from industry leaders, as part of the Education and Career Guidance programme.

The Education and Career Guidance programmes run by schools – from primary to post-secondary – are tailored to the specific needs of students at key stages of their lives.

When children go on to secondary school, they start discovering their interests and strengths so this is when teachers and counsellors step in to help them understand the different courses of study available next."

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Ready for the digital world (2 December 2016)

"At Sembawang Secondary School, students are picking up media literacy skills through unexpected subjects.

Imagine you’re an immigrant working in Singapore in the 1800s and you want to write a letter back home to your family. Or perhaps imagine you’re a member of the British colonial administration in the same era and your task is to design a poster to attract immigrants to come work here.

Sounds intriguing? These are just some of the assignments Sembawang Secondary School students have worked on as part of their Media Literacy-infused History lessons."

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“How Many Times Can I Fail Before I’m Considered a Failure?” (6 December 2016)

"Sher-li Torrey, a career coach by training and a mother of two, shares her views on failing. She says parents should allow their kids to take risks and let them experience setbacks early in life.

The fear of failure is something that Sher-li Torrey often encounters in her conversations with students.

The Founder and Director of Mums@Work, a career portal that offers flexi-work solutions for mothers, says, “If the first, second or even third job you have isn’t what you’re looking for, it doesn’t mean that they’re failures. You have to think of how each job has developed your skills and helped you discover what you value. I always see them as learning points in life.”

This is the advice that Mrs Torrey wants students to walk away with at the end of the Education and Career Guidance (ECG) talks she conducts in schools. "

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Choosing the Right Course (9 December 2016)

"Now that you’ve received your results, what’s next? With a multitude of courses to choose from, students are able to pursue their passion and embark on an exciting education adventure – designed to cater to different interests, aptitude and learning styles.

Here are some tried and tested tips to help you decide on the next step forward:

1. Be proactive, talk to people!

Good to talk to your parents, teachers, Education and Career Guidance (ECG) counsellors and friends who are able to provide good advice. Making an informed decision starts with arming yourselves with knowledge and information, so take the time to ask about the courses you are interested in.

The experiences of your mentors and friends could help you in making a good decision. So don’t be shy!"

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Students’ Creativity Shine in New Category of Schools Digital Media Awards (7 November 2016)

"This year, 182 students were recognised for their creativity in video production and photo essays in the Schools Digital Media Awards (SDMA). Judged on their content, creativity, engagement and technical quality, a total of 45 awards (7 Gold, 10 Silver and 28 Merit) were given out."

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Release of 2016 PSLE Results and 2016 Secondary One Posting Exercise (17 November 2016)

"The results of the 2016 Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) will be released on Thursday, 24 November 2016. Students may obtain their result slips from their respective primary schools from 11.00am on 24 November 2016."

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Release of the 2016 Primary School Leaving Examination Results (24 November 2016)

"Students collected their Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results from their respective primary schools today.

Performance of 2016 Primary 6 Cohort

A total of 38,808 Primary 6 students sat for the PSLE this year. 38,180 students (or 98.4%) are assessed suitable to proceed to secondary school. 66.4% are eligible for the Express course, 21.4% for the Normal (Academic) course, and 10.6% for the Normal (Technical) course.

For the 628 students (or 1.6%) who did not qualify for the Express, Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical) courses, those who attempted the PSLE for the first time may re-attempt the PSLE in the coming year or apply to Assumption Pathway School (APS) or NorthLight School (NLS). Those who have made more than one attempt at PSLE will be preferentially offered a place in APS or NLS."

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Mastering the Subjects & Loving the Experience: Singapore Students’ Strengths in Maths and Science Affirmed (29 November 2016)

"Singapore’s Primary 4 (P4) and Secondary 2 (S2) students continue to perform well in Mathematics and Science by international standards, according to the latest results of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015 by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)1. Besides having content mastery, our students are able to apply their knowledge and conceptual understanding to solve problems. These are important competencies that will place them on a strong footing for higher education and continuing learning throughout their lifetime. These results, in fact, have been consistent over a 20-year period, as borne out by successive cycles of TIMSS."

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Expansion of Usage of Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) to Support Skills Mastery and Lifelong Learning for all Singaporeans (30 November 2016)

"With the SkillsFuture movement and the drive towards a future based on lifelong learning and skills mastery, the use of the Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) will be broadened to enable all Singaporeans to have more choices in the types of courses they can use their PSEA for to acquire and deepen their skills throughout their lives."

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8th Call for Proposals on Cyber Wellness Project (1 December 2016)

"The Inter-Ministry Cyber Wellness Steering Committee (ICSC), co-chaired by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Communications and Information, is launching an eighth call for proposals today, as part of ongoing efforts by the Government to support cyber wellness education."

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Help schemes for at-risk youth to be centralised (14 November 2016)

"The youth sector is getting a shake-up. About 10 key organisations here will take over the state's existing programmes to guide and rehabilitate young people under 21 who get into trouble, The Straits Times understands.

With the main youth programmes to be centralised through these organisations - called Integrated Service Providers (ISPs) - the quality of the programmes will hopefully be made consistent. "

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How secondary school posting is done (21 November 2016)

"AEarlier this year, the Ministry of Education announced changes to the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) scoring system and how it will be used for posting to secondary schools.

But the new system will take effect only in 2021. Until then, the old scoring system applies. Pupils go to the secondary school of their choice based on their aggregate score in the PSLE."

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Schooling urges young athletes to 'dream big' (26 November 2016)

"Tan Howe Liang needed help to walk into the ballroom at the Mandarin Oriental last night for the Singapore National Olympic Council's (SNOC) Multi-Million Dollar Awards Programme (MAP) presentation ceremony.

His knees are clearly nowhere near as strong as they were when he lifted a total of 380kg over his head to win Singapore's first Olympic medal - a silver."

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Moving past PSLE scores: Defining success differently (5 December 2016)

"Bad results in their Primary School Leaving Examinations did not prevent them from achieving what they set their minds out to do.

These Singaporeans tell The New Paper how they moved past their low PSLE scores to accomplish better things."

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Kids with tuition fare worse (8 December 2016)

"Back in the 1990s, when I was a secondary school student, only a few of my friends had access to private tuition.

Today, however, it is not uncommon for the majority of one's classmates to have this. Some may even have tuition in several subjects."

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More uses for Govt tertiary education savings scheme: MOE (30 November 2016)

"SINGAPORE – Students would soon be able to use funds in their Government-led tertiary education savings account to pay for more courses beyond those subsidised by the Education Ministry (MOE).

From February 2017, special needs students can tap on their Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA), a Government-led scheme to help parents save for their child’s post-secondary education, to pay for courses offered by SG Enable, an agency dedicated to enabling persons with disabilities."

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10 schools to get food-waste recycling machines (2 December 2016)

"SINGAPORE — Machines recycling food waste will be put up in 10 schools next year, with the National Environment Agency (NEA) to rent the devices from a vendor for its two-year project to reduce and recycle food waste in schools.

The NEA issued an invitation on Friday (Dec 2) for companies to submit proposals to lease food-recycling machines to the agency, and to service and maintain the machines. "

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NTU student who died in Europe freak accident wanted his organs donated (6 December 2016)

"SINGAPORE — A desire to fulfil the last wishes of Justin Tan Honng Tze – a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) undergraduate who died in an accident in Slovakia – was what prompted his family to donate his heart, liver and kidneys to four patients in Slovakia.

In a statement issued by NTU on Tuesday (Dec 6) morning, Justin’s father, Mr Mitchel Tan, said a year before his death, his son had told him and his brother that he would “without fail donate his organs upon his passing”."

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SMU launches sports scholarship in Yip Pin Xiu's name (6 December 2016)

"SINGAPORE — When she started swimming at 12, making an impact on society was one of the last things on Yip Pin Xiu’s mind.

But after winning three Paralympic gold medals, the para-athlete, who has muscular dystrophy, and took up swimming to strengthen her muscles and for fitness, has come to realise that her successes can be a platform to help others and generate awareness of issues."

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Students get a break from books to tinker with circuits and code (7 December 2016)

"SINGAPORE — He dreams of becoming an engineer with the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration, so tinkering with gizmos and gadgets, and scouring the Web for nuggets about new inventions are Devansh Singhal’s favourite pastime activities.

However, the 13-year-old Montfort Secondary School student really has his fill with experiments under his school’s Applied Learning Programme (ALP), which centres on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For instance, he recently built a smart home with his friends, where fans automatically switch on when it gets too warm."

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Martial arts instructor receives Queen’s Young Leaders Award (9 December 2016)

"SINGAPORE — She picked up an Israeli martial art called Kapap in her first year as a bio-engineering undergraduate, while on the road to recovery from the eating disorder anorexia.

Before that, Ms Qin Yunquan was just “like any other student” wanting to get a degree first and “figure out what I want to do later”. After about nine months, her teacher, Mr Teo Yew Chye, invited her to become an instructor."

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