Local songwriters, artistes come together to pen 12 new S'pore songs that will be sung in schools (7 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE - A new set of 12 songs will soon add to the current repertoire of folk songs sung in schools such as Di Tanjong Katong and Munnaeru Vaalibaa that many Singaporeans have grown up with.

The songs, which explore aspects of Singapore life, are a fresh wave of local songs - given contemporary twists such as Mandopop and Malay pop rock - meant to help schools in music teaching and learning."

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Pick up Latin, Swedish at NTU (7 November 2017)

"Nil sine labore is Latin for nothing without labour.

It is also a rallying call for Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students keen to learn what has often been dismissed as a dead language. The students are so willing to slog that NTU said classes are oversubscribed."

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EtonHouse plans Tanglin school with classes up to Pre-U (8 November 2017)

"EtonHouse International Education Group, known for its pre-schools, is making footprints into private education at all levels.

It is seeking approval to open another international school offering primary, secondary and pre-university classes in Tanglin Road. This will be the fifth school opened by the group to offer classes to children of expatriates beyond pre-school."

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'Help me' message scrawled on Tampines Junior College wall likely to be act of mischief: Principal (9 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE - A "Help me" message scrawled on a wall in Tampines Junior College (TPJC) was most likely an act of mischief, said the school's principal on Thursday (Nov 9).

The message - written in capital letters - was spotted on a wall near the canteen by housewife Deng Gui Fang as she was driving past the school on Monday, according to Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao."

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SMU tightens computer security after hacking cases; Vietnamese student has Asean scholarship revoked (9 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE - In the wake of two hacking incidents, the Singapore Management University (SMU) has beefed up the security of its IT systems.

It has introduced two-factor authentication and tightened access to personal computers used by faculty members, said an SMU spokesman on Thursday (Nov 9) in response to queries from The Straits Times."

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Little Arts Academy to open two centres with free arts training in Yishun (11 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE - Two new arts training centres will open in the north of Singapore.

The Little Arts Academy (LAA), which provides free training in the arts, opened the first of these two centres on Saturday (Nov 11), at Northpoint City."

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Greater risk of academic fraud as competition grows: Experts (13 November 2017)

"Singapore is at far greater risk of academic fraud now, given the increasingly competitive academic environment here, say most of the eight scientists and researchers whom The Straits Times spoke to.

The danger has always been around, but the pressure to "publish or perish" has steadily been increasing in recent years, in the light of the rise of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in international league tables, such as the closely watched Times Higher Education World University Rankings, over the past few years."

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Getting started on making post-secondary, career choices (13 November 2017)

"As the end of the school year approaches, some students may find themselves asking "what's next" as they face a crossroads in their education and career pathways.

What should students consider as they make their post-secondary education and career choices?"

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Sota sees results in bid to widen its pool of students (13 November 2017)

"There has been a trend in recent years of well-off parents enrolling their children in arts enrichment classes to boost their chances of entering the School of the Arts (Sota).

But the school has been making a concerted effort to take in students from a wide background and has seen some results so far, said Sota principal Lim Geok Cheng."

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Solving real-life problems with maths (13 November 2017)

"Last month, Raffles Girls' School (RGS) student Marsha Shahrin and some friends played around with dishwashing liquid and water to create bubbles. "Our aim was to create the most number of bubbles with the least number of tries," said the 16-year-old.

The activity was part of a series of year-end modules that the school introduced to Secondary 4 students four years ago. Students learn how to collect empirical data for analysis using data loggers - devices that record data - and use software to create virtual models, for instance."

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8 in 10 SIM grads find jobs amid rising trend of part-time, contract and freelance workers (14 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE - Like itspublic counterparts, Singapore's leading private school is also seeing a rising number of its graduates taking on part-time, freelance and contract work.

The Singapore Institute of Management reported that 82.7 per cent of its graduates last year found jobs within six months of completing their degree studies."

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Only 6 in 10 private school graduates found full-time work 6 months after graduation: Survey (15 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE - Private schools graduates lag far behind their peers from public universities in the job market, an inaugural employment survey released on Wednesday (Nov 15) has found.

Many not only had a tougher time landing full-time jobs compared to public university graduates, but they also received lower starting salaries."

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Survey may not be accurate reflection, say private education players (16 November 2017)

"A survey released yesterday found that employment rates of graduates from private schools compared poorly to those from public universities.

But this may not be an accurate reflection of the scene, industry players said. Established private education players said private schools have varying standards and should not be lumped together."

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MOE accepts panel's recommendations on compulsory education for special needs children (17 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Friday (Nov 17) that it has accepted recommendations by an advisory panel which had been appointed to look into the implementation of compulsory education for children with special needs.

Among the panel's recommendations - which looked at two main areas of placement and exemption - was for MOE to strengthen guidance given to parents before Primary 1, as well as improve public confidence in special education schools and reduce stigmatisation."

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Xinmin Secondary School students' NRIC numbers leaked on file sharing site Pastebin (18 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE - The NRIC numbers of hundreds of students at Xinmin Secondary School were leaked in the second known data breach by a Ministry of Education (MOE) school since March 2015.

The information was posted a few months ago on file-sharing website pastebin.com, but The Straits Times understands that it has since been taken off the site and a police report has been made."

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PSLE results out on Nov 24 (18 November 2017)

"Results of this year's Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) will be released on Nov 24, the Ministry of Education and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board said in a joint press release yesterday.

Pupils can collect their result slips from their respective primary schools from 11am."

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More help to place special needs kids in schools (18 November 2017)

"Parents of children with special needs will receive more guidance at the pre-primary level in choosing suitable schools, as part of recommendations by an advisory panel.

Those who need homeschooling or are deemed unsuitable to attend any national primary schools - including special education ones - could be exempted from attending publicly funded schools, despite compulsory education kicking in."

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Constantly Rewiring (20 October 2017)

"Everything Karen Lim taught when she started out as an electronics engineering lecturer four decades ago is now irrelevant. But she keeps learning, so her students can learn from her.

Karen Lim is a 37-year veteran of ITE, but she’s always game to try new things. When ITE decided to introduce modules in Web Technology and Multimedia Applications for the Higher Nitec in Electronics Engineering course in 2001, Karen jumped on board, despite having a very small knowledge base in this.

She and her team threw themselves into learning animation, video editing and photo editing from scratch in a few months, just so they could develop the course materials. On top of that, Karen had to help set up ITE’s first multimedia laboratory at the former campus in Tampines.

With no precedent to follow, she had to search for contacts and visit numerous showrooms, spending “many weekends at Sim Lim Square chatting with vendors”.

She did all this again in 2012, when the Singapore government rolled out its master plan to install a nationwide high-speed fibre network. Again, ITE responded by introducing a new specialisation – Broadband Technology and Services – within the Nitec in Electronics course."

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Three things to know when making important career decisions (23 October 2017)

"As the end of the school year approaches, some students may find themselves asking “what’s next?”, as they face a crossroad in their education and career pathways.

What should students consider as they make their post-secondary education and career choices? Ms Tan Hui Ping, an education and career guidance counsellor, shares some tips.

Know your options

There are multiple education and career pathways available for post-secondary students and it is important for them to know the differences in the various options so that they can make informed decisions.

Most students are already aware of the different teaching styles and subjects which the various higher education institutions offer, but they could be unsure of the pathway that best aligns with their interests and learning styles. Thus, it is ideal for students to start exploring their options even before they sit for the national examinations."

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Developing independence, fostering friendships (24 October 2017)

"Co-curricular activities (CCAs) in schools play an important role in holistic education and help students to discover their passions and talents. Uniformed groups, in particular, instil in students discipline - an important trait to have at any stage in life.

However, being a member of a uniformed group does not just involve building discipline through foot drill practice and strict rules. Our students from the National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) share what they have learned from their CCA.

Building independence

Outdoor activities are a regular fixture for the students, and they are not just about fun and games. Students get to participate in activities that they might not do so outside of their CCA, such as pitching tents and learning self-defence tactics and first aid.

Attempting such activities may not be easy, especially if it is something which students have not tried before. However, the dynamics in uniformed groups provide an opportunity for students to bond and encourage one another not to give up."

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The Best Problem-solvers Are Self-taught (25 October 2017)

"Give youths time to solve their own problems. Intervening too often can deny them learning opportunities, explains retired principal Mr Kwek Hiok Chuang.

When I first started Pioneer Junior College – 15 years ago – we had a community programme for students to do volunteer work overseas. The first batch, in 2001, went to Vietnam.

A few hours after I sent them off at the airport, one parent rushed to my school office – worried about his daughter who would be in Ho Chi Minh for 10 days. The father said that she had forgotten to pack her slippers.

I told him not to worry. Students could purchase basic items like slippers over there. Besides, they saw this as an adventure trip. I was confident she could solve this simple matter on her own.

The father insisted that the school must courier the slippers to her – or he would do it himself. I offered to relay the message to the teachers accompanying the class, and ask them to look out for his daughter. He walked out in a huff; unhappy that I didn’t do as he wanted.

In the end, my teachers told me the girl had no issues getting her own pair of slippers. I didn’t check on the student further because I felt it might embarrass her instead."

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Footprints of kindness (27 October 2017)

"Have a good pair of shoes that your child quickly outgrew and want someone deserving to have it?

Fajar Secondary School’s Shoes Donation Drive programme was formed with an aim to provide the less fortunate with shoes. The programme is a collaborative effort between the school and Soles4Souls, a global organisation that contributes donated shoes to third world countries for both short-term relief and long-term solutions.

This year, the programme embarked on a 2-in-1 project. The first part was the collection of shoes through a shoes donation drive. The second part was to use the collected shoes to create a Singapore Record of “The Largest Word Formation Made with Shoes”. The students managed to collect and use 1508 pairs of shoes to form the phrase “WALK THE TALK.”

The programme has helped to create many learning platforms and opportunities for the students. They learned to be more compassionate and empathetic towards the less fortunate and how to help people understand about shoe donation. That aside, they also forge friendships and learned the importance of teamwork as they fortified the boxes of shoes for shipment."

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Music is for everyone (1 November 2017)

"What is a precision drill and what does it have in common with music? How can being sensitive to the ‘beat and rhythm’ help students improve their body movements in sports?

In Yuhua Secondary School, music is infused not only in the school’s curriculum, but also the non-music related co-curricular activities (CCAs) such as sports and uniformed groups.

“Being in-tune with rhythm helps to enhance our coordination, as we performed with a series of body movements in precision drills in sync with the music played,” shared Peng Zheng Da, a Secondary Four student from National Cadet Corps. Uniformed groups also performed as part of the school’s biennale public concert, which involved all the CCAs in the school.

To develop music empowered learners, Yuhua Secondary School’s distinctive programme in music extends beyond the regular music curriculum and music-related CCAs, so as to benefit as many students as possible. For example, students undergo dance, keyboard or guitar lessons, digital music, ethnic music and even acapella lessons from Secondary One for early exposure."

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A Sweeping Change (3 November 2017)

"When Mrs Joy Zhang cleaned her room as a child, she learned responsibility. When she got her entire school to clean together, she created a movement.

When I was a beginning teacher, I once led an excursion to the Singapore Science Centre, during which one of my students handed me his empty drink packet. I was initially puzzled, but soon realised that this was how he had been brought up – his mother would throw his trash away, so he expected his teacher to do the same.

This, to me, was a serious problem. If students cannot be responsible for small matters, then how can they be expected to take responsibility for bigger roles?

Getting Started in Small Ways

My mother had taught me responsibility and independence through cleanliness. When I was three, she made me tidy my bed, fold my clothes and sweep my room floor. Over the years, I came to appreciate the importance of responsibility and respect for others. As a teacher, I am empowered to share and imbue these values through my teaching and programmes, such as the two routines I have introduced at CHIJ Kellock."

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How to Rebound in Life (8 November 2017)

"It may look like a bouncy castle, but PE teacher Lawrence Lim finds that his school’s bossaball court is the perfect springboard to impart values to his students.

Lawrence Lim, Yuying Secondary School, President’s Award for Teachers 2017 Finalist

Lawrence wanted his students to get more out of their PE lessons. So the 17-year veteran of Yuying Secondary convinced his Principal to let him try something different to engage students – bossaball.

Played on an inflatable court fitted with two trampolines, it incorporates elements of volleyball, football and gymnastics.

While the game is making inroads in Europe in Bossaball Academies, Yuying Secondary became the first school in the world to offer it under its roof. The students loved their new signature sport."

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Learning the art of communication (10 November 2017)

"Art is not just about painting or drawing. It also encourages creativity and teaches one the value of patience and determination.

At Meridian Secondary School though, students go one step further to learn art for communication in its Applied Learning Programme (ALP) in Visual Communication.

The programme, which runs from Secondary 1 through 3, offers insight on the inner workings of the creative sector, so that students can see how their knowledge of various school subjects are applied in the working world."

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A Teacher For All Seasons (15 November 2017)

"Can’t speak Chinese well? Then sing it, act it, laugh about it, even draw it – until you have the confidence. That is how Tan Chor Hoon has been getting her Jing Shan Primary School students to feel for the language.

Tan Chor Hoon, Jing Shan Primary School, President’s Award for Teachers 2017 Finalist

“你可以放屁,不可以放弃!” (“You can break wind, but never give up.”)

With that cheeky phrase – which rhymes in Chinese – Chor Hoon’s students burst into laughter.

Such wordplay is one of her tricks to get her young charges enthused about the language. Others include singing songs like 早安老师 (“Good Morning, Teacher”) to make their lessons more light-hearted."

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New Chinese Graded Readers to be Distributed to All Primary Schools (26 August 2017)

"36 students who were recognised for their creativity and good Chinese writing skills in the “Creativity, No Boundaries!” National Children’s Story Writing Competition will soon see their good work published!"

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President’s Award for Teachers 2017 (28 August 2017)

"Six outstanding educators received the 2017 President’s Award for Teachers (PAT) from President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana during the Teachers’ Day Reception on Friday, 25 August 2017."

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Increase in Special Educational Needs (SEN) Funding Cap for High-Needs Students (20 September 2017)

"A new High-Needs category with a raised subsidy cap will be introduced under the MOE Special Educational Needs (SEN) Fund1 with immediate effect. With this enhancement, Singapore Citizens registered as full-time students in a polytechnic or the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will now be eligible for higher funding support, if they are professionally certified to have severe physical or sensory impairment."

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Singapore Schools Sports Council Colours Awards 2017 (22 September 2017)

"More than 8,400 students from secondary schools, junior colleges, and centralised institute will be awarded the Singapore Schools Sports Council (SSSC) Colours Awards this year, in recognition of their sporting achievements and display of good sporting character and values."

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Ministry of Education Appoints 61 Principals in 2017 (14 October 2017)

"The Ministry of Education (MOE) will be appointing 61 Principals at the Appointment and Appreciation Ceremony for Principals, which will be held on 28 December 2017. Of these, 16 are newly-appointed Principals."

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Open for Nominations: Two National Awards for Outstanding Teachers (16 October 2017)

"The Ministry of Education (MOE) invites the public to nominate outstanding teachers for the following national awards:

President’s Award for Teachers (PAT) 2018

The President’s Award for Teachers recognises excellent educators for their dedication and hard work in developing our young. These teachers must believe in preparing students for life, as well as embody the commitment to continuous learning. In addition, they should inspire their students and act as role models for the teaching fraternity. The teachers should also be reflective practitioners who demonstrate deep pedagogy."

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Revised School Fees for Non-Citizens in Government and Government-Aided Schools from 2018 to 2020 (17 October 2017)

"The Ministry of Education (MOE) will be revising the school fees for Singapore permanent residents (PR) and international students (IS) in Government and Government-aided schools annually from 2018 to 2020. This revision is part of MOE’s regular review of school fees. The release of the fee schedule for the next three years is to provide greater certainty on the fees for non-citizens for the next few years, and to enable parents to plan for the financing of their children’s studies in MOE schools. The revised fees will take effect from January each year."

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Teachers and Artists Bring Contemporary Singapore into Music Lessons (6 November 2017)

Hitting higher notes through ‘Stories We Sing’

"For the first time, 19 educators and artists have come together to create 12 new songs for students under the ‘Stories We Sing' project1. A collaboration between the Singapore Teachers’ Academy for the aRts (STAR) under MOE and the National Arts Council (NAC), the project aims to enhance the quality of music teaching and learning in schools with the creation of contemporary songs that have a uniquely Singaporean touch."

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Awards Ceremony for Schools Digital Media Awards 2017 (9 November 2017)

"This year, 1,760 students were recognised for their creativity in video production and photo essays in the annual Schools Digital Media Awards (SDMA). Judged on their content, creativity, engagement and technical quality, a total of 52 awards (2 Platinum, 11 Gold, 14 Silver and 25 Merit) were given out at the SDMA awards ceremony graced by Ms Rosemarie Somaiah, partner of Asian Storytelling Network."

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Release of 2017 PSLE Results and 2017 Secondary 1 Posting Exercise (17 November 2017)

"The results of the 2017 Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) will be released on Friday, 24 November 2017. Students may obtain their result slips from their respective primary schools from 11.00am on 24 November 2017."

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More than 42,000 to benefit from Boys’ Brigade Share-A-Gift drive this year (3 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE – The Boys’ Brigade’s Share-A-Gift project, into its 30th edition, will benefit a record of over 42,000 individuals this year, including about 9,400 who have made specific wishes for items such as schoolbags or household appliances.

In a reflection of an ageing population, two in three of those with specific wishes are seniors who have asked for items such as blankets, adult diapers, fans and rice cookers. The 6,310 seniors with specific wishes this year is 25 per cent higher than the number three years ago.

The Boys’ Brigade will begin its collection for Share-A-Gift later this month and the gifts and food hampers will be delivered from Dec 4 to 29."

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Art teacher on trial for allegedly molesting 13-year-old male student in school (6 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Questioned by his school principal the day after he allegedly molested a Secondary Two student last February, the art teacher apparently admitted he had touched the boy’s thighs.

Taking the stand on the first day of the molestation trial, the school principal said the 37-year-old accused – who cannot be named to protect the identity of the boy – “appeared to be shocked and remorseful” when asked to explain what had happened.

He “knew that he had gone overboard… but wanted to (apologise) to the student (and his) parents”, the principal testified."

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Conduct large-scale study to assess benefits of small class sizes in schools: NCMP (8 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Mr Leon Perera from the Workers’ Party (WP) called for a “large randomised trial” in Singapore to study the impact of having fewer students per class, saying that there are benefits to having smaller classes in schools.

In Parliament on Tuesday (Nov 7), the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) filed the adjournment motion on maximising students’ potential in classrooms of the future.

He brought up a study which examined the effect of having smaller class sizes in Tennessee, United States. Project Star — which started in 1985 and was conducted in three phases — found that “students placed in smaller classrooms performed better than their peers in larger classrooms across all grade levels tested and across all geographic regions”, he said."

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Music was his ‘saviour’ when he couldn’t fit in at school (11 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Sheikh Mohd Danial Bawthan was 14 when he started to feel the impact of how different he was from his peers.

“My friends would go and play soccer, they wouldn’t invite me, because I couldn’t (play). I got frustrated and angry,” he said.

The young man, who is now 23 and wheelchair-bound, suffers from muscular dystrophy. He did not enjoy his days in the first two years of secondary school, he recalled, becoming aware then of how he could not match up to his schoolmates physically."

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Activist pushes physical limits to be voice for voiceless children (11 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE — In her crusade against child abuse, Singaporean activist Eirliani Abdul Rahman, 40, has pushed the limits of her physical abilities.

She is preparing for a 1,100 km South Pole expedition next year to raise awareness of child rights and protection.

Last month, she joined Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Indian child rights’ activist Kailash Satyarthi in the last leg of his march through 22 states in India to raise awareness of child sexual abuse."

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Childhood sexual abuse: Too devastating to be hushed (12 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Unlike the sexual assault victims who have stepped forward in the wake of allegations against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, Alice (not her real name) will not be declaring #metoo to the world.

Sexually abused by her biological father at the age of nine, the 29-year-old told only a friend and a teacher at the time.

The authorities were alerted and, in the aftermath, her family was torn apart and Alice was placed in a shelter. Her mother’s anger towards her intensified her guilt and shame."

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Anger and disappointment, as Montfort Secondary axes rugby as CCA (15 November 2017)

"SINGAPORE — A decision by Montfort Seconday School to axe rugby as a co-curricular activity (CCA) has caused outrage and disappointment among parents and Montfort alumni, who claimed that the school has yet to provide a full explanation on why the sport is being phased out in 2019.

Announcing its decision in a Facebook post on Monday (Nov 13), Montfort Secondary wrote: “The Montfort School Management Committee has reviewed the Rugby CCA matter thoroughly and has decided to phase out the CCA.

“Montfort Secondary School is working with the students and parents to select from the various transition options offered. In particular, students with a fervent interest in the sport will be aided to pursue it via other avenues.”

Parents of the affected players told TODAY that the school had informed the rugby boys of the decision in mid-October. While Montfort principal Mark Gerard Minjoot declined comment when contacted by TODAY, former players and parents said that the school had cited injury concerns as a reason for axing the sport from its CCA roster. TODAY understands that the school had considered phasing out the sport in 2015, pointing to a lack of results from its school teams - which had previously attained a top six position in inter-school competitions - but was eventually persuaded by the alumni to keep rugby."

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