S'pore top in Asia in readying youth for future (21 September 2017)

"Singapore's education system came out tops in Asia in an index that looks at how effective countries are in equipping their younger generations with the skills needed in future labour markets.

Worldwide, it ranked fifth out of 35 economies, standing behind New Zealand, Canada, Finland and Switzerland, according to a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)."

LINK



Biggest mistake is to think 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it': DPM Tharman on Singapore's education (21 September 2017)

"SINGAPORE - The biggest mistake for Singapore's education system is to think that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Wednesday evening (Sep 20).

In a speech addressing some 1,500 students, academics, university students and members of the public, he laid out the challenges for the education system: to develop a truly innovative society while retaining social cohesion."

LINK



Games Centre at NorthLight School for students to hang out in ‘safe environment’ (22 September 2017)

"SINGAPORE – For the past 2 years, students at NorthLight School have been hanging out at a “games headquarters” after school, playing video and arcade games-with their parents’ consent.

The facility, which has been running since February 2015, is within the confines of the school in Towner Road."

LINK



Parents of 32 kids seek help as pre-school due to close (22 September 2017)

"Parents of more than 30 children have been looking for alternative spots and seeking refunds with the impending closure of a third pre-school run by a businesswoman recently jailed for contempt of court.

The Frobel pre-school in Kallang is expected to cease operations at the end of this month, said the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) in response to media queries. This will affect 32 children."

LINK



International skills competition for youth to come under SkillsFuture Singapore's purview (22 September 2017)

"SINGAPORE - As Singapore revs up its emphasis on skills development, the Government is paying closer attention to a biennial skills competition for youth that Singapore has taken part in since 1995.

From June this year, SkillsFuture Singapore, a statutory board under the Ministry of Education, has taken over from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) as the representative organisation for Singapore's participation in competitions recognised by WorldSkills International, a global non-profit body."

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Paths to peaks: University dropout lands $1.5m in funding (24 September 2017)

"When advertisers want to convert online browsers to buyers, the man they might turn to for results is a 24-year-old mathematics dropout with a short attention span and dyslexia.

And Mr Viren Shetty acquired a lot of the knowledge to do this his own way, without graduating from university. He did it by writing a research paper for fun, watching instructive videos and doing Coursera courses, available to anyone online."

LINK



Helping start-ups take flight: From weekend hikes to adventures worldwide (25 September 2017)

"It all started with an invitation to go on a hike.

Using social networking site Meetup.com, Ms Chong Lee Ling and a friend asked if anyone wanted to join them for an 8km trek in the West Coast area on a Sunday."

LINK



Helping start-ups take flight: Chatbot with ‘human-like feel’ wins major government project (25 September 2017)

"An online robot with a human touch has helped a start-up clinch a major government project over six rivals.

Making the win sweeter was the fact that KeyReply was started by three Singapore Management University graduates only in 2014, making it one of the youngest companies to bid for the project."

LINK



Conjoined twins settling into Tanzanian university (25 September 2017)

"IRINGA (TANZANIA) • A pair of conjoined sisters are settling into campus life at a Tanzanian university, a first in a country where disabled people are often marginalised or abandoned at birth.

Sisters Maria and Consolata Mwakikuti, 20, joined at the abdomen, have become minor celebrities in the east African nation, where the media has followed their path through high school and arrival at university earlier this month."

LINK



Textbooks by NUS dons a global hit (25 September 2017)

"The global market for textbooks has been shrinking with the rise of e-books and online course providers, particularly at the university level.

But a set of textbooks co-written by two National University of Singapore (NUS) marketing professors has bucked the trend. They have been translated and adapted for use in universities all over the world."

LINK



How babies learn value of persistence (25 September 2017)

"You're trying to make fresh tomato sauce but can't seem to get the tomatoes out of the plastic container.

After a minute of trying, you stop to think. Should you keep pushing and pulling? Should you ask for help? Should you give up on fresh tomatoes and just open a can?"

LINK



160 pro bono hours and (not) counting (25 September 2017)

"A year ago, law student Shaun Lim signed up as a volunteer at the State Courts to meet a pro bono work requirement. But he enjoyed it so much, he ended up spending a lot more time volunteering than required and even won an award for his commitment.

The 24-year-old law student received the Outstanding Court Volunteer Award in the student category earlier this month for volunteering to help people navigate processes at the State Courts."

LINK



She takes pay cut to pursue interest after 17 years in IT (26 September 2017)

"After a 17-year career in information technology, Ms Karina Anne Lee, 38, took a pay cut of more than 50 per cent and joined the pre-school sector last year.

It was a career option that she had considered as a teenager, but chose not to pursue at that time."

LINK



More making mid-career switch to teach in pre-schools (26 September 2017)

"More people are making a mid-career switch to become pre-school teachers, amid greater efforts to attract and retain such staff.

The enrolment in a programme for such mid-career entrants jumped 40 per cent last year from the year before, to hit almost 400 trainees. Total enrolment has reached more than 2,300 since the scheme started in 2009."

LINK







Lighting Up Her Life With Digital Design (8 September 2017)

"Vanessa Ho completed two major international light festivals and is working as a web designer, quite the feat for the girl who once hated maths and science.

When Vanessa Ho applied to study in the polytechnic, her top pick was mass communications, a natural choice due to her interest in the arts and media.

But with a score of 17 points at the O-Levels, she got one of her least preferred choices instead - Interactive and Digital Media at Nanyang Polytechnic, a course that ranked 10th out of her 12 choices."

LINK



Powering through challenges with resilience (13 September 2017)

"Sports does not just help youths to develop resilience and personal strengths. It also helps them to build friendships and essential skills such as moral character, teamwork and time management. Sanson Seah, a Secondary 3 student from Springfield Secondary School, shares his experience.

I got interested in taekwondo when I was five years old. Back then, I saw a demonstration on TV where exponents broke wooden boards with their bare hands or feet. I thought it was cool and I wanted to try it out, so I took up taekwondo as a co-curricular activity in Secondary One.

What does your training schedule look like?

It’s been three years since I took up taekwondo. When there are upcoming competitions, I would train three to four days a week, but typically I train about two days per week. When I prepare for competitions, I would attend extra sessions too, at a training centre outside of school."

LINK



Lessons Beyond Schooldays (15 September 2017)

"On and off the court, former national shuttler Ms Tan Li Si is helping her students develop the right values.

Going beyond the Classroom As a Principles of Accounts teacher, I have observed my students struggling to make sense of financial knowledge. My previous appointments as an auditor and regional financial analyst convinced me that it is crucial for students to relate “school learning” to the real world.

Tapping on my work experience, I gave examples of audits I had conducted to illustrate the importance of having integrity and objectivity in the business field."

LINK



Homework Copying Turns As into Fs (20 September 2017)

"When it comes to individual assignments, students need to DIY, explains retired principal Mrs Wong Bin Eng.

Back when I was a young Mathematics teacher in a primary school, I once had a P6 student who handed in perfect homework all the time – every problem solved correctly.

Connie* scored full marks during topical tests, and it was only the first school term!

I found it curious, and when I tasked her to solve similar Maths problems in class in front of me, she couldn’t do it. Worse, when it came to the end-of-term exam, Connie failed."

LINK



Bowling to perfection (21 September 2017)

"Sports does not just help youths to develop resilience and personal strengths. It also helps them build friendships and essential skills such as moral character, teamwork and time management.

Vaiyshnavi, a Year One Millennia Institute student, recently clinched 7th position in the A-Division Girls’ Masters in the National Schools Games 2017, shares more on her sporting journey.

Why bowling?

My parents loved the sport, I was inspired by them. I joined bowling as a co-curricular activity in Primary Three and have been passionate about it ever since.

I also look up to Singapore’s national bowlers for their achievements and my coaches are also strong pillars of support."

LINK



Finding Mr Leong (After 10 Years) (21 September 2017)

"When teacher and ex-student meet, the first thing that strikes Mr Leong Sing is how tall Hoong Seng Keng is now.

In 2001, Mr Leong was Seng Keng’s form teacher at Zhangde Primary. Seng Keng, then 11, barely reached his shoulders. Now, the boy is all grown up; the 27-year-old is half a head taller than his teacher.

“You used to look up to me. Now, I look up to you!” The teacher beams with pride and pats his ex-student on the shoulder. He has every reason to be proud of the boy."

LINK



Learning Malay through Fun & Games (22 September 2017)

"Tuesday afternoons over at Hua Yi Secondary School is always filled with the students' sound of laughter as they mingle and interact with one another through exciting activities, in one common language.

The Conversational Malay (CCM/ML) Programme was introduced in Hua Yi Secondary School as an enrichment programme for non-Malay students to learn more about the Malay language and culture The program also promotes cross-cultural learning, build up their 21 CC competencies and at the same time, aims to encourage students to acquire a 3rd language that will help them to converse comfortably in the region. Conducted in Term 1 and 2, the module consists of 10 lessons of two hours each. The teachers worked together with the instructors to cater to the learning needs of the students.

Teacher-in-charge, Madam Farah Suhaimi Binti Saat, shared that the programme provided the students with a good grounding of the language as they will be able to use simple conversational Malay for everyday situations."

LINK



A little detour to her destination (25 September 2017)

"Is Kalsum thought that her education and career path ahead was clear, but the difficult decision to quit JC to study in a polytechnic ended up being the best thing she ever did.

Growing up, Is Kalsum was always surrounded by children on the weekends. They were her cousins or family friends who gathered at her house, and she was in charge of entertaining them.

Is recalled having lots of fun inventing games to play with them, but she never thought of turning fun into a career of teaching children. Her mind was firmly set on being a scientist, as the former Damai Secondary School student scored good grades for science."

LINK







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!"

LINK



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."

LINK



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."

LINK



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."

LINK






Meet Singapore's youngest busker 10-year-old Alan Fong (25 June 2017)

"SINGAPORE - Do you still remember what your childhood aspiration? An astronaut? A doctor? A dancer? Alan Fong, the youngest busker in Singapore, dreams to become a successful singer.

Alan first fell in love with performing when he was only six. His mother brought him to a karaoke restaurant where his singing won the audience's hearts and received a roar of applause."

LINK



Survey finds 9 in 10 teenage boys face social pressures to be 'manly' (12 July 2017)

"A new survey has found that 9 in 10 teenage boys report facing pressures to be 'manly' through experiences of harassment, bullying, teasing, social exclusion, and psychological and physical violence.

The study, organised by gender equality group AWARE, surveyed 809 male respondents on their experiences during secondary school."

LINK



Tertiary students in Singapore not as good in digital skills as they think they are (21 July 2017)

"If you consider yourself a tech-savvy person, think again.

Just because you use a computer everyday doesn't mean you're good at digital skills. Well, at least that's what Singapore's tertiary students are guilty of."

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5 inexpensive family-friendly activities in Singapore kids 12 and under will love (27 July 2017)

"Singapore's national sports of shopping and eating are great for when you're an adult just chilling with your homies.

But when you've got kids who are demanding that you entertain them, dragging them to a crowded shopping mall is the worst idea, unless you can find an effective way to stop them from running amok or colliding with other shoppers."

LINK



As young as primary school, these S'poreans are coding the future of our country (31 July 2017)

"Today, I came face to face with some of the youngest coders in Singapore. Small in size, these children proved however, that they were big in dreams.

Held at the Suntec today was the 11th edition of Code XtremeApps, and it brought both primary school kids and working adults in a coding crackdown under the theme "My Smart City, Connecting Our Senses"."

LINK



Toddler slapped and threatened while learning math - despite asking to be 'taught lovingly' (21 August 2017)

"A heartbreaking video of a little girl being threatened and then slapped while trying to learn mathematics has sparked outrage online.

The clip, which has since gone viral, begins with the child reciting numbers "2, 3, 4, 5" to a woman repeatedly."

LINK



P5 pupil gets caned: Marks look so severe, say parents; it's in accordance to rules, says school (25 August 2017)

"A Primary 5 pupil from Horizon Primary School was recently caned for misbehaving, but his parents are concerned over the severity of the cane marks on his leg.

Stomp contributor N, the 11-year-old boy's aunt, alerted Stomp to the incident and said: "My sister (the pupil's mother) would like to bring up this issue but does not know how, so I'm helping her."

In a phone interview with Stomp, N said that her nephew was given one stroke of the cane on Aug 15 for 'misbehaving'."

LINK



A Little Somebody: Young coding talent designs his own games (26 August 2017)

"Most children have their eyes glued on the computer screen because of online games nowadays, but for Jake, it is not to play, but to design them.

Jake is only 9 years old, but he is already designing his own computer games. He goes to an advance coding class meant for older students, but he aces with ease."

LINK



NTU student gets schooled after telling boyfriend who wants to join SCDF that it's a "low-class job" (7 September 2017)

"Netizens are up in arms after a university student posted about her "dilemma" on NTU (Nanyang Technological University) Confessions' Facebook page.

Her problem? That her boyfriend of two years has decided to join the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) as a regular."

LINK



21 school horror stories that are scarier than MRT breakdowns (16 September 2017)

"Schools can be a scary place, filled with pubescent children and raging hormones.

As if that's not enough, many schools in Singapore are also known to be favourite haunts for restless spirits and disembodied ghosts!"

LINK







MOE honours 163 students for innovation, resilience (18 August 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Being born prematurely caused Grishm Chandru Mirpuri to be almost blind, but that did not stop the 10-year-old from learning to sing and play musical instruments. At this year’s National Day Parade, he sang with the Purple Symphony, Singapore’s first all-inclusive orchestra.

He also uses technology to help him in his studies.

For rising above his disability and the challenges he faces, the Primary 4 student at Lighthouse School yesterday received the Lee Kuan Yew Exemplary Student Award, one of two new awards at this year’s Ministry of Education’s Special Awards, which recognise students’ achievements in both academic and non-academic areas."

LINK



Mother-tongue teachers reinforce cultural roots in lessons (19 August 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Her determination to challenge herself prompted Madam Norhaizahwati Mohd Said to take up teaching pre-schoolers the Malay language after serving as an English teacher at childcare centres for about 10 years.

With more families, including her own, speaking mainly English at home, the mother of three wanted to see how she could help the young ones develop a love for their mother tongue.

“I wanted to bridge the gap (in the teaching of Malay) between pre-school and primary school education,” said the 40-year-old."

LINK



Teaching helped former civil servant to ‘grow as a person’ (21 August 2017)

"SINGAPORE — She harboured dreams of becoming a teacher in her university days, but Ms Marie Luo decided not to take the leap straight after completing her business degree at the Singapore Management University in 2011.

Instead, she joined the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and became a senior assistant director overseeing productivity.

But the “nagging thirst” to work with children did not go away."

LINK



KidStart pilot to be ramped up after ‘promising’ feedback (21 August 2017)

"SINGAPORE — A pilot programme to help children from low income and vulnerable families could be scaled up, following “promising” feedback after its first year of implementation, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday at the National Day Rally.

Currently, about 400 families are on KidStart, which was introduced by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) in July last year. Under the initiative, trained officers visit the families even before a baby is born to support the expectant mother and impart skills and knowledge on health, nutrition and child development. The officers will continue to coach the parents after the child is born, all the way through pre-school.

On the early feedback from parents on the programme, Mr Lee said: “Parents say their children are more talkative and expressive, and interact much better.” If the results are confirmed, the initiative will be ramped up to benefit more children, Mr Lee added."

LINK



Govt to oversee two-thirds of pre-school sector by 2023 (22 August 2017)

"SINGAPORE — By 2023, around two-thirds of the early childhood education industry will be controlled by the Government, Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin said yesterday.

This segment includes pre-schools under the Anchor Operator (AOP) and Partner Operator (POP) schemes — which dole out grants and require operators to commit to quality improvements, among other things — as well as kindergartens with the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Mr Tan told TODAY that this move would allow the Government “to influence the space better”, particularly in managing the costs of early childhood education."

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More career guidance for SIT, SUSS undergraduates (23 August 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Undergraduates at two universities will now receive more career guidance from the early days of their degree programmes, under a tie-up with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

It will be compulsory for all first-year undergraduates at the Singapore University of Social Sciences to undergo the NTUC youth wing’s programme, which includes career mentorship and coaching.

NTUC’s volunteer career guides will come from social services, banking and healthcare, and the SUSS students will be able to meet different industry partners every quarter."

LINK



MOE to open 13 kindergartens in high-demand areas in 2019 and 2020 (24 August 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Thirteen new Ministry of Education (MOE) Kindergartens will open in various estates with high demand over two years, in 2019 and 2020, mostly located in the Sengkang, Punggol and Yishun areas.

About 20 to 30 early years centres — pre-schools run by anchor operators catering to infants up to four years old — will open and partner the upcoming kindergartens, the ministry said during a media briefing yesterday.

Speaking to reporters after the briefing, Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng said that the ramping up of MOE Kindergartens is not to nationalise the pre-school sector. Instead, it is to uplift the quality of the whole early childhood landscape."

LINK



NIEC to welcome first early childhood education trainees in 2019 (24 August 2017)

"SINGAPORE — The new national training institute for early childhood educators will admit its first batch of teacher trainees in 2019. It will also be funded and overseen by the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Announcing this at a media briefing yesterday, the MOE said that the National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC) will be set up under the National Institute of Education (NIE), which is the national institute for teacher education and educational research in Singapore.

This means that the new academy can tap the expertise of staff members at the NIE when planning its curriculum, pedagogy and teacher training, for instance. "

LINK



19 pre-schools prepare for Early Years conversion (25 August 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Nineteen kindergartens run by PCF Sparkletots will enrol their final batch of K1 students in 2019.

This is because these kindergartens, spread across the island, will be converting to Early Years Centres, which cater to infants from two months to four years old.

Children graduating from N2 in these centres will have places reserved for them in MOE kindergartens located nearby."

LINK



Teachers awarded for using innovative teaching methods in school (25 August 2017)

"SINGAPORE — As an aircraft technician and computer service engineer, Mr Jahangeer Mohamed Jahabar used to troubleshoot and identify problems with machinery, looking at the smaller components for analysis and repair.

Today, the 45-year-old mathematics teacher at Endeavour Primary School also breaks complex tasks into smaller parts when teaching upper-primary students, to inject some fun during learning.

For his lessons, he makes it a point to browse through reading materials and pick up interesting bite-size facts about the topics he covers. For instance, when they were on the topic of geometry, he told them about the ancient Greek mathematician Eratosthenes, who made the first accurate measurement of the Earth’s circumference by measuring the angles of shadows and distances between poles. Then he challenged them to find the answers using the same method themselves."

LINK



PCF pre-schools to drive passion for arts, sports (28 August 2017)

"SINGAPORE — The PAP Community Foundation (PCF), the largest pre-school operator here, will be going beyond the curricular norms and providing additional opportunities to develop children in areas like arts and sports through enrichment programmes.

These include speech, drama, aikido, table tennis, gymnastics and painting.

This is how the PCF will play its part in developing children’s interests and passions, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Sunday (Aug 27) at the PCF Family Day."

LINK



Singaporeans spend twice the global average on children’s local education: HSBC (30 August 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Parents in Singapore spend on average US$70,939 (S$96,196) a year for their children’s local education, almost double the global average of US$44,221, according to a report by HSBC.

Of the over 8,400 parents in 15 countries and territories surveyed, parents in Singapore rank third globally in the amount spent on their children’s local education costs. This includes school and university tuition fees, educational books, transport and accommodation – covering primary, secondary and tertiary education, up to the undergraduate level."

LINK



Sparking curiosity through ‘purposeful play’ (2 September 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Brows furrowed in concentration, 10 six-year-olds in chef’s hats and aprons chopped broccoli, corn cobs and carrots, while five peeled cabbages. Then, they took turns to gingerly put the chopped vegetables into a large pot of boiling water, and watch them being simmered into fragrant-smelling vegetable soup.

It was “Marvellous Monday” at the Ministry of Education (MOE) Kindergarten at Riverside, located at 110 Woodlands Crescent, where a cooking class was part of an “experiential class writing” exercise for a class of Kindergarten 2 pupils after they finished reading Uncle Tang’s Cabbages."

LINK



HDB-SUTD study aims to find ways to create new urban kampungs (7 September 2017)

"SINGAPORE — How residents move around in their neighbourhoods could soon have a big say in how town planners add or tweak features to the area.

Using data captured by motion sensors on smart lighting, for example, the decision could be made to have Wi-Fi at void decks for residents to study. Or perhaps, identify under-utilised spaces so planners can rope in residents to re-design them."

LINK



Republic Polytechnic team finds way to ‘clean’ incineration ash (9 September 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Fly ash produced from burning garbage could soon be used to make concrete, reducing the amount of waste that will have to be dumped in landfills.

A research team from Republic Polytechnic (RP) has come up with a new nano-silica product that “cleans” incineration ash, building on a similar product created in Europe to deal with waste management. Silica is a common mineral found in many materials, such as sand."

LINK



Chinese language teachers called to bring recitation into classroom (11 September 2017)

"SINGAPORE — Recitation of the Chinese language is not emphasised as much as it should be in the classroom, and more teachers should make it part of lesson time, Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Education) Low Yen Ling said on Sunday (Sept 10).

Speaking at a textbook recital performance involving primary and secondary schoolteachers, Ms Low said that because of its four intonations, the Chinese language can be better appreciated "if you pick up the sounds and techniques of recitation".

"Today's recital is really (about) integrating the learning of Chinese language by leveraging the fact that it's a very melodious language, through expressions of poems," she added."

LINK



Going beyond academic pursuits (13 September 2017)

"After completing his National Service in 2014, Tan Sheng Yao had planned to work for a couple of years before furthering his studies.

“I didn’t meet the required cut-off points to enter the accountancy degree programmes of the three local universities at that time,” said the 25-year-old.

But Sheng Yao changed his mind when he discovered that the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) had started a Bachelor of Accountancy programme."

LINK



9 secrets to college success (15 September 2017)

"EXPAND YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK AND SHARPEN SOFT SKILLS

1) Get involved in campus

Whether it is joining the varsity dance team or being part of the student council, these extra-curricular activities offer a great way to make friends and have fun while learning something new.The need for compromise and teamwork will also help build a network of contacts whom you may need later in life.

And as daunting as it is to take on a leadership role, the challenges presented will sharpen your interpersonal skills, giving you an edge in your future career."

LINK



Start your new chapter in life (15 September 2017)

"This is it. You have completed your A-Levels or diploma programme. Are you ready to embark on your next phase of life?

As your family members start asking “What’s next?”, you might feel lost because you aren’t sure either. Whichever step you decide to take next, it feels scary knowing that your decision is going to affect your career, financial stability and future."

LINK



Helping your child cope with exam anxiety (16 September 2017)

"SINGAPORE — With exam season just around the corner, it’s no surprise that a majority of students here — and parents too — are feeling anxious right now.

Earlier this year, an international study concluded that Singapore students suffer from high levels of anxiety."

LINK



Former offender now a coach for at-risk youth (18 September 2017)

"SINGAPORE — At the age of 13, Albert Silvaraj started to mix with bad company. School was an afterthought, and he often played truant, before dropping out in the following year.

From then, his life spiralled out of control. He took drugs, sniffed glue and joined a gang, declaring his loyalty to them with tattoos inked on his neck and arms."

LINK



MOE bans schools from using foldable goalposts for football games (18 September 2017)

"SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Education (MOE) has issued enhanced safety guidelines to all schools on the use of football goalposts, banning foldable ones, and it is getting them to implement these by the end of the year.

This comes after a student from Geylang Methodist School (Secondary), 12-year-old Muhammad Hambali Sumathi, was killed in April after a crossbar of the goalposts collapsed and struck him during a match.

During the inquiry into Hambali’s death on Monday (Sept 18), State Coroner Marvin Bay said that Hambali grabbed the crossbar in frustration, and along with his likely struggle to untangle his legs from the net, these would have destabilised the structure and caused the crossbar to buckle."

LINK



New scheme aims to better protect parents who pre-pay for school bus services (18 September 2017)

"SINGAPORE – A new accreditation scheme for school bus operators has been set up to better protect parents who pre-pay the fees, sometimes up to several months in advance, in light of the growing amounts of money reported lost due to the abrupt shut down of service providers.

Under the scheme jointly launched by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) and the Singapore School Transport Association (SSTA) on Monday (Sept 25), participating bus operators will be required to purchase a S$300,000 performance guarantee bond against closure, winding up or liquidation.

Consumers will be entitled to recover the unutilised portion of the prepayment made to a school bus operator via an insurance payout, which would be activated if the service provider shuts down."

LINK



Smoking to be banned in universities, private education institutions (26 September 2017)

"SINGAPORE — From Sunday (Oct 1), smokers at all autonomous universities and private education institutions will not be able to light up on the school compounds except at designated smoking points, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday.

In a media release announcing extensions to the smoking ban, the NEA also announced that smoking will not be allowed within a five-metre radius of all educational institutions, including kindergartens, child-care centres, primary and secondary schools, madrasahs, autonomous universities and private education institutions."

LINK