Need for more teacher training and less stigma as demand for inclusive pre-schools grows (7 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - While there is a push for more inclusive education in pre-schools here due to demand and an overall emphasis placed on inclusion by the Government, there are several challenges hindering this effort, said early childhood experts.

These include the need to adequately train teachers so they are able to effectively cater to children with special needs, as well as addressing the misgivings of parents who are wary of children with special needs learning alongside their typically developing children."


Demand for inclusive pre-schools in Singapore grows as more are aware of benefits (7 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - More pre-schools here have been offering children an inclusive education in response to growing demand, since the first inclusive pre-school, Kindle Garden, was set up here in 2016.

They are also stepping up teacher training and recruitment in a bid to meet demand from parents and open more centres."


Parents say all children benefit from inclusive pre-schools, have better social skills (7 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - When five-year-old Agil plays with his pre-school classmates, he does not treat them differently despite how they might interact or behave.

His father Muhammad Izhar Abdul Rahman attributes this to Agil's experience attending Ilham Child Care since he was 18 months old. There have always been children with special needs in his class, as Ilham is an inclusive pre-school that promotes equal learning opportunities for all."


Parents of Yale-NUS students ask to meet NUS president over college's closure (8 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - More than 260 parents of Yale-NUS College students are asking that National University of Singapore (NUS) president Tan Eng Chye hold a townhall meeting with them to discuss the reasons for the college's closure.

Professor Tan has agreed to a series of individual face-to-face meetings with parents of both Yale-NUS students and University Scholars Programme (USP) students in the later part of September."


New P1 registration rules from 2022: What are the key changes? (9 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Forty places will be set aside for children who do not qualify for priority admission in the Primary 1 registration exercise from next year, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Thursday (Sept 9).

This is double the current 20 places reserved in Phase 2C of the annual exercise, which is the open phase for those who have no links with the school. Priority is given to those who live nearby."


New P1 registration rules from 2022: More places to be set aside under Phase 2C to ensure more kids attend school near home (9 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - More Primary 1 places will be set aside from the next registration exercise to take in children who do not qualify for priority admission.

From next year, the number of places reserved for this group will be doubled to 40, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Thursday (Sept 9)."


Single phase for children of alumni under new P1 registration rules from 2022 (9 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Children of alumni will have only one phase reserved for them in the Primary 1 registration exercise instead of separate phases for those who have joined alumni associations and those who have not.

The change will take effect next year, said the Ministry of Education (MOE), which announced this along with other changes, such as an increase in the number of places in phase 2C, on Thursday (Sept 9)."


New way to calculate school-home distance to help more P1 kids to qualify for nearby schools (9 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - A new way to calculate the distance from a school to homes will enable more children to qualify for Primary 1 places in schools near where they live.

When a primary school has more applicants than vacancies, priority is given based on a child's citizenship and how far he lives from the school."


Will primary school registration changes lessen stress and competition for places? (9 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - No sooner had the Ministry of Education announced changes to the Primary 1 registration scheme than parents got busy on chat groups and forums, discussing how to get around the new rules.

Those who supported MOE's reasons for the change - to help more children obtain a place in a school near their home - wondered if the tweaks will indeed result in less competition and stress during the annual exercise."


Parents accompanying newly enrolled children at pre-school must be vaccinated (9 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Parents accompanying their children who are newly enrolled in pre-school will need to be vaccinated, in line with new rules issued by the authorities on Thursday (Sept 9), according to a document seen by The Straits Times.

A parent is considered vaccinated if he or she has received a full regimen of a Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnatry, Moderna or World Health Organisation's (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL) vaccine, with an additional two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective."


NUS president to hold online townhall meeting with parents of Yale-NUS students to discuss closure (10 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - National University of Singapore (NUS) president Tan Eng Chye has agreed to an online townhall meeting with parents of Yale-NUS College students to hear their questions about the school's closure.

The meeting will also be open to parents of students in the University Scholars Programme (USP), he said in an e-mail response to parents on Thursday (Sept 9)."


Home sale and rental prices may rise after changes to P1 registration: Property experts (10 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Sale and rental prices of homes near popular primary schools may rise following changes to the Primary 1 Registration framework to help more children secure a place in a school near their home, say property experts.

OrangeTee & Tie senior vice-president of research and analytics Christine Sun told The Straits Times that prices of homes near top schools - already high - are likely to rise even more following the Ministry of Education's (MOE) announcement on Thursday (Sept 9)."


Overseas student programmes by S'pore universities to resume as early as October (10 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Overseas student programmes by local universities will resume as early as next month but only for those who are fully vaccinated.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, Singapore universities said on Friday (Sept 10) that students will soon be able to travel to countries including Sweden, China, Australia and Britain."


Eight Chinese-language teachers honoured for exemplary effort in teaching (11 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - During the Covid-19 pandemic, teachers had to adjust to moving their lessons online and finding ways to engage students in a virtual classroom.

At the same time, Chinese-language teachers face another challenge, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Saturday (Sept 11)."


Fun with kids: Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, buy S'pore children's books in mother tongue languages (12 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Make family time all the more special with these ideas and activities.

Gardens by the Bay's annual Mid-Autumn Festival event returns on Wednesday (Sept 15) and runs till Oct 3."


Hybrid tuition classes here to stay in Singapore (12 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - For 16-year-old Sheryse Siah, online tuition saves about three hours of travelling time, which means getting some precious extra sleep.

As the Covid-19 situation worsened in March 2020, Sheryse's mathematics tuition classes at Mad4Math pivoted from in-person group lessons to virtual classes."


Pandemic habits are harming your child's development (12 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - When Ms Germaine Yeoh took her son, Zavier Loh, for his routine vaccination in June, she expected it to be a short visit.

Instead, the check-up revealed that the 19-month-old was lagging behind in his milestones."


Primary school children to get 3 Covid-19 self-test kits after September holidays (12 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - All primary school pupils will be given three antigen rapid test (ART) kits from Monday (Sept 13), as they return from their September holiday break.

This is part of a four-pronged approach set out by Education Minister Chan Chun Sing in a Facebook post on Sunday to keep schools safe. It also includes keeping children at home if they are unwell, safe management measures in schools, and ring-fencing known Covid-19 cases and contacts."


More young kids diagnosed with developmental delays in Singapore (13 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - More young children have been diagnosed with developmental delays, with new cases rising by about 25 per cent in the last five years and doubling since 2010.

The trend is set to grow, with experts observing disconcerting signs among children because of pandemic-induced habits."


Yale-NUS closure part of NUS interdisciplinary road map, cost not the main motivation: Chan Chun Sing (13 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - The merger of Yale-NUS College and the University Scholars' Programme (USP) into the New College is part of the National University of Singapore's (NUS) road map to more interdisciplinary learning, said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on Monday (Sept 13).

It comes after the creation of the College of Humanities and Sciences by bringing together the arts and science faculties and the College of Design and Engineering, which will merge the School of Design and Environment and the Faculty of Engineering."


Concerns about academic freedom following Yale-NUS merger are unfounded: Chan Chun Sing (13 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Concerns that the merger of Yale-NUS College with the University Scholars' Programme (USP) will have an impact on academic freedom in Singapore are unfounded, said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on Monday (Sept 13).

He said there were similar concerns when Yale-NUS was established 10 years ago, which also proved to be baseless."


The parenting secret to stress-less nights, confident kids and a tighter-knit family (14 September 2021)

"Picture this: It is the end of a long day and you are trying to get the children settled in their beds but they are bouncing off the walls, throwing tantrums and refusing to put on their pyjamas. You are exhausted as it is, and the notion of spending any extra time with your spouse flies out the window. Sounds all too familiar?

For many families in Singapore, bedtime is a real struggle. It may even be the most stressful time of the day for parents. That is why it is useful to establish a soothing bedtime ritual to calm the chaos, especially one that includes the wind-down activity of reading."


Crunch time: How do I ramp up my PSLE revision? (15 September 2021)

"The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) has long been a rite of passage for students in Singapore. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, presents unprecedented challenges for this year’s graduating cohort, who must also contend with a new scoring system.

Nonetheless, there are ways to help students – and their parents – ride out these disruptions. Dr Sandra Wu, a lecturer in policy, curriculum and leadership at the National Institute of Education, and Ms Fa’izah Ahmad, head of Early Literacy Programmes and Exhibitions at the National Library Board (NLB), discussed PSLE revision strategies during the school holidays with Straits Times correspondent Venessa Lee at the askST@NLB talk (May 28)."


First-year Yale-NUS students will receive refunds if they withdraw by Sept 17 (16 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE - One student has quit Yale-NUS College and the school will refund first-year students' fees if they withdraw by Friday (Sept 17).

They will receive a tuition waiver for the first semester and a pro-rated return on residential fees, said Professor Joanne Roberts, executive vice-president (academic affairs) at Yale-NUS, in response to queries from The Straits Times."


What makes a teacher inspiring? (2 September 2021)

"What does it mean to be an inspiring educator in the digital era? Freelance writer and mum-of-two Eveline Gan pens a Teachers’ Day tribute to the teachers who have made a difference in her children’s lives.

When my older daughter started preschool at the age of four, she cried almost every day.

“Noooo, I don’t want to go to school. Let me stay at home with you, please Mama,” she would plead with me the night before every school day.

The struggle went on for some time before I uncovered the source of her terror: She was terrified of the teacher assigned to her class, a no-nonsense type who yelled indiscriminately in class.

With my child’s terror of her teacher not letting up, but intensifying, over the months, I decided on a change of learning environment and enrolled her in a kindergarten near our home.

Fortunately, her unpleasant first preschool experience was an exception rather than the norm. In her new kindergarten, she settled in comfortably after several weeks, thanks to some amazing teachers who went the extra mile.

I never forgot how one of them would patiently sit with my daughter for 10 minutes every morning, holding her hand and reassuring her that school would be fun (she was right about that).

Another teacher took the time and scheduled extra reading moments with her, when my daughter had trouble identifying common sight words.

Needless to say, I sent my younger child to the same preschool. She too, thrived in the caring and supportive learning environment."


Looking Into the Heart of Data (2 September 2021)

"For Iman Tang, behind the number crunching lies the power to impact, transform and help people make good decisions.

Tang Iman, Temasek Polytechnic, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Recipient

Last year, several hundred adults in Singapore became more data literate, thanks to Iman Tang and her team of 15 trainers at Temasek Polytechnic (TP).

Iman, who teaches subjects such as logic and mathematics, and data visualisation and analytics, has been conducting short courses on data analytics for adult learners since 2016. Over the years, she expanded some of the existing courses into a series of stackable courses, which would take participants through the entire data analytics life cycle – from data interpretation to visualisation, data storytelling and predictive analytics.

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, Temasek Polytechnic’s courses caught the attention of companies looking to upskill their employees’ data capabilities. There was a significant increase in enrolment for introductory courses such as Basic Business Analytics @ Work. From doing 15 runs of the course in 2018, Iman went to doing 36 runs in 2020. She also trained a team of 10 instructors to cope with this increased demand.

Iman, a data specialist, is thrilled.

She says, “I want people to know that data can help them make better decisions. I want to help people find passion in what they do.”

And that’s exactly what she sees through the experiences of her former students.

A group of social service sector employees used their newfound data knowledge to do a geographical mapping of cases in Singapore to learn how to better allocate resources; an aircraft maintenance personnel compiled handwritten texts from pilots and engineers to aggregate the most common problems so as to improve his maintenance schedule and order the right amount of spare parts; a telco executive predicted churn rates—industry speak for rate of customer loss—so the team could retain customers with the right campaigns."


Making the Classroom a Second Home (2 September 2021)

"Students who step into Chua Siew Kheng’s class know that they have entered a safe, nurturing space where their views and opinions are respected and heard.

Chua Siew Kheng, Sengkang Green Primary, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Recipient

It was a chance recommendation from a friend’s mother to do a stint of relief teaching that launched Miss Chua Siew Kheng on her path as an educator. Since then, she has gone on to carve her niche in teaching English and PE at a primary school for more than 30 years. Her secret to longevity in the profession is simple; she just enjoys working with children.

However, the road to success has not always been smooth as she recalls an exchange at a bus-stop with an ex-student who remarked that she had always stood out as a firm disciplinarian in his memory. This set her reflecting on the legacy she wanted to leave as a teacher and how going forward she would need to rethink her interactions with her students.

“As much as what you teach them and how you teach them are important, a good relationship matters a lot between a teacher and a student.”

Hence in her substantial span of time as an educator, she has learnt to constantly reinvent her methods to kindle the flames of curiosity and passion in her students through positive classroom culture.

Making the classroom a safe space

Siew Kheng sets out to build positive relationships with her young charges, starting with a safe and welcoming learning environment where students are eager to speak up. She tells her students that they should treat their classroom as a second home, since they spend a big part of their time there with their teachers and classmates.

“If this is your home and you care for it, you will want to do your best,” she added."


Engineering the Mechanics of Kindness (2 September 2021)

"Being motivated to be their best selves and to serve the community are a major part of Jeff Koh’s lesson plans.

Koh Hock Tong, Institute of Technical Education, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Recipient

A smart walking cane for the elderly that “sees” and “warns” its user when the floor is wet and slippery.

A wheelchair with self-locking wheels inspired by airport trolleys.

A handy device equipped with a hydraulic lift and a lateral slider that allows for the safe and easy transfer of a wheelchair-bound person between a car and a wheelchair.

These state-of-the-art, brainy inventions may sound like they came out of some high-tech engineering lab run by Elon Musk, but they are really the brainchild of ITE students at the Assistive Technology Makeathon.

Emblematic of ITE College Central’s push towards social-conscious engineering and innovation, these three award-winning devices make daily life easier for the elderly and those with disabilities. It is also the perfect showcase of the fabrication skills and knowledge of the college’s Mechanical Technology students, mentored by their Section Head and Makeathon organiser, Koh Hock Tong (better known as Jeff among his ITE College Central colleagues and students)."


Laptop-down, Hands-on Approach to Building Connections (2 September 2021)

"At-risk students often find their turning point – even stepping up to become mentors — after attending the after-school programme conceptualised by Edwina Cheng.

Edwina Cheng Wei Na, Compassvale Secondary, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Recipient

Long-term absenteeism, low motivation, lack of family support.

These are some of the problems that Edwina Cheng tackles head on as one of the teachers overseeing her school’s Gear-Up programme, which provides after-school support and care for students, some of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Attendance at the programme was low initially, hovering around the single digits, due mainly to the stigma associated with it.

“Some of them think that Gear-Up is for ‘naughty’ students and do not want to be labelled as such,” said Edwina, an Elementary and Additional Mathematics teacher who has been teaching at Compassvale Secondary School for 15 years. “Others do not find the planned activities appealing and would rather go home.” There are also those who have to support their family by working part-time after school. For these students, the school aims to occupy them after school with healthy activities after helping them make adjustments to their work schedule or obtaining financial aid for the family.

So what did she do when she helmed the programme in 2019? She rolled up her sleeves, as she usually does, by “doing things with” her students rather than “to them”. Since refreshing its strategy and activities, attendance has jumped over two-fold.

Edwina is an advocate of the Social Discipline Window, a concept aimed at helping those in positions of authority – such as teachers – to build a more positive and restorative community.

Through this direct, pragmatic and solution-focused approach, she finds ways for her students to answer their own questions."


Communicating starts with asking the right questions (2 September 2021)

"Training up confident communicators is the passion of language advocate Siah Siew Ling, who is also driven to share teaching techniques and knowledge to groom industry-relevant skillsets in students.

Siah Siew Ling, Corporation Primary, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Recipient

One thought-provoking question; a flurry of ideas and activities. This is the magic that happens when you light that spark for inquiring young minds. For Siah Siew Ling, the question that got her class all excited was: “Do you think animals should be kept in captivity?”

This question, meant to be a lesson for English Oral practice, captured the students’ imagination, and Siew Ling was quick to maximise the learning opportunities presented.

Students debated passionately about animal rights, they wrote pieces, created posters, and discussed attendant issues, like poaching and endangered animals. Students went on to do their own research as well.

“There was so much thinking and deep learning going on,” said Siew Ling.

Posing open-ended, thought-provoking questions to inquisitive young learners is a conscious move on Siew Ling’s part to build her students’ oracy and thinking skills. It is also based on the premise that students learn best in teams, where they can tap the rich diversity of ideas and talents of every member to debate and resolve an issue.

The success of this particular lesson caught the attention of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where Siew Ling was doing a course, and they asked to use it as a model in their outreach for teachers."


The Science of Bonding through Social Media (2 September 2021)

"Instead of chasing likes or followers, teacher-influencer Leung Yulun leverages social media to spread messages of positivity, care and Chemistry.

Leung Yulun, Yuan Ching Secondary, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Recipient

At Yuan Ching Secondary School, students follow an influencer of a very different sort. The influencer in question? None other than their school’s Head of Character and Citizenship Education (CCE), Leung Yulun.

Yulun, who is also a subject teacher for Chemistry, stumbled into the role of a social media influencer. As a young educator busy with the daily demands of his teaching job, he was looking for a way to marry his love of music with his work.

An avid guitar and er-hu player who loves to sing and compose his own songs, Yulun’s solution was to create songs infused with key Chemistry concepts. He explained his rationale, “Articulating the lyrics will help the students remember all the facts, but I make sure that every verse is conceptually connected, like a mind map. This helps to deepen their understanding of the topic.”

Set to the catchy melodies of Taiwanese singer Jay Chou’s pop hits, each of the audio compositions that he wrote and sang himself was a runaway success among his students. “Learning Chemistry Is So Fun” made his students look at kinetic particle theory in a different light. Another song unpacked Collision Particle Theory to the soulful tune of a Mandarin pop song.

It was a breath of fresh air. “The feedback from my students was very encouraging and heartening,” he recounted.

Being digital natives, Yulun’s students suggested that he turn the audio recordings into videos for greater impact. Yulun obliged by conceptualising, storyboarding and shooting a set of Chemistry music videos with the help of his school’s ICT staff, and uploaded them onto YouTube."


Let’s talk about the world (2 September 2021)

"No topic is off-limits in Khairiah‘s History and Social Studies class as she helps her students make sense of the world through stories and open conversations.

Khairiah Bte Hairoman, Peirce Secondary School, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Recipient

It was a beautiful day. This was pre-Covid, and some 38 Secondary 4 students from Peirce Secondary School were out on the school field. Everyone had a paper airplane in their hands and a cheeky grin on their faces.

At the cue from their History teacher Khairiah Bte Hairoman (also known as Khai), they gleefully tossed their planes into the air, hoping their own plane would glide the longest distance. Once satisfied, they picked up another plane that wasn’t theirs, unfolded it, and read its contents.

The activity may seem puzzling or even frivolous to passers-by. However, what the students had written on their paper airplanes were actually their personal responses to a question raised by Khai in class earlier: “Do you think America did the right thing in dropping the atomic bombs in Japan in 1945? Why or why not?” By reading someone else’s response, the students gained a perspective that was different from their own.

Khai, who has been teaching History and Social Studies to upper secondary school students for some 17 years, said, “A humanities education allows you to gain multiple perspectives and develop empathy by looking at history, and by discussing contemporary societal issues.”

The power of storytelling

Personal stories are a key part of Khai’s lessons. It’s one of the ways in which she brings her subjects to life.

For example, when discussing the topic of racial prejudice in Singapore, Khai would recount how she and a fellow Malay-Muslim friend were once called out as terrorists by a group of American boys on a public bus in Singapore."


Creativity blooms in Special Education classrooms (4 September 2021)

"From helping students to learn about measurement by growing beansprouts to teaching them to improve their badminton strokes by hitting plastic bottles, these Special Education (SPED) teachers go the extra mile to help their students learn and be heard. This Teachers’ Day, we celebrate their creative ideas that energise our SPED classrooms.

Role-playing their way to better speech

Alice Tay Bee Poh, better known to her students as Mrs Ng, joined Canossian School in 2010 as a Teacher, the same year her daughter was enrolled in the school. Her daughter has hearing loss. “I know the struggles my daughter has, and I too, hope to help other children like her,” says Mrs Ng, who is also a source of support for her students’ parents.

In class, Mrs Ng finds role-playing to work especially well for teaching students with hearing loss, particularly to hone their communication skills and build their confidence in expressing themselves verbally in front of an audience. It’s also a fun way for them to expand their vocabulary and improve their sentence structures. She assigns roles according to her students’ abilities and interests, and works with them individually to practise their lines and expressions, before they come together as a class to act out the story."


Virtues in action (6 September 2021)

"Through an international character-building framework developed in the 1990s, James Han has turned everyday student-teacher interactions into opportunities for learning.

James Han Choon Boon, Blangah Rise Primary School, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Finalist

The idea of cultivating a virtuous student body may seem like a lofty ambition, but thanks to James Han, even seven-year-olds at Blangah Rise Primary School are now embodying traits like responsibility, moderation and self-discipline.

This was the result of the schoolwide implementation of The Virtues Project, a popular international framework of 52 virtues, that has been adapted for the school in 2020. The framework was intended to reshape teacher-student relationships, help students be more engaged in school, and solve student management issues.

At the heart of it, James and his peers are striving to be better mentors to their students.

Beyond all this, it also became clear that the need to impart strong virtues was becoming increasingly urgent. “We’re trying to help students build a strong moral compass in the digital age so that their sense of worth is not defined by superficial likes and dislikes,” said James, who helms the project.

“Every child has innate virtues. It is our role as teachers to awaken them,” he adds."


Teaching independence in a sighted world (6 September 2021)

"Penny Chong, who is herself visually impaired, constantly challenges her visually impaired students to venture out of their comfort zone, seize opportunities and give back to the community.

Penny Chong Chew Luan, Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Finalist

It is a sea of change for most visually impaired (VI) students when they enter Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School, after spending their early years in a special school.

For starters, they need to navigate far bigger premises, and learn alongside sighted students, many of whom are making friends with persons with disabilities for the first time.

Within a year or two, however, the differences between them are smoothed when those same students could be attending camps, performing for the public, and serving the community together.

The woman at the centre of these integration efforts is Penny Chong, who is herself visually impaired and an alumnus of the school."


Powering change through innovative thinking (6 September 2021)

"Through the adoption of the flipped classroom and other new ways of teaching, Koh Weining models the spirit of authentic learning.

Koh Weining, Temasek Junior College, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Finalist

Most educators will agree that more than achieving stellar grades, it is crucial that students find joy in acquiring new knowledge and skills. For Koh Weining, the Head of Department for Economics at Temasek Junior College (TJC), he walks the talk with his infectious embrace of technology and its applications.

Among his students and co-workers, Weining is known for his gung-ho approach to blended learning. Since 2018, the forward-thinking educator has begun the “flipped classroom” model with some classes, applying technology to teaching in a way that his peers had not attempted before.

‘Flipping’ the learning process through instant feedback

Weining explained how traditionally, college students were required to collect and read their notes prior to lectures to improve content retention, before going away to apply what they had learned when tackling their homework. However, students come to lectures with different levels of preparedness, and many end up not grasping the concepts from the large-group presentation.

This makes the application of knowledge more difficult when students attempt their homework, and they will have to wait for tutorials before the feedback loop is closed, by which time, some discouragement may have set in.

Weining looked into improving the process by turning what would have been taught in a 50-minute, 400-pax lecture, into bite-sized videos hosted on the Student Learning Space (SLS), the home-based learning platform developed by MOE."


Art plus autonomy equals Confidence (6 September 2021)

"Statistics graduate-turned-art teacher Radin Rafeah Binte Ali embeds opportunities in her students’ learning journeys to grow in responsibility and mutual respect.

Radin Rafeah Binte Ali, Evergreen Primary School, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Finalist

Radin Rafeah Binte Ali remembers her primary school days well, when she was battling self-esteem issues which affected her studies. It took a teacher to shine a light on what seemed like dark clouds ahead.

“My Primary 5 form teacher Mrs Khoo, who was also my Art teacher, saw my passion in Art,” said Radin “She helped me in my studies, and she also encouraged me to take part in art competitions in school.” The results were lifechanging for Radin, who is today the Head of Department (HOD) of Aesthetics & Special Projects at Evergreen Primary School.

“When I started winning at the competitions, I finally felt I was good at something,” shared Radin. “That motivated me to study very hard and I got a decent score for PSLE.” She would later graduate from the National University of Singapore with a degree in statistics.

Art as a springboard

Art was the springboard to her newfound confidence in life, so when Radin became an educator, she held on fast to the belief that art can change lives.

This belief is evident in Evergreen Primary where Radin has taught for 14 years. Setting foot into the school, one can sense the buzz of vibrancy in the air with various Art-related activities taking place. At first glance, they seem like regular art lessons that impart art knowledge, techniques and skills. However, Radin ensures that they have been infused with topics on environmental and social issues. These issues seek to prompt a response from students that engender the values of respect, responsibility, integrity and empathy."


Bringing language learning and laughter together (6 September 2021)

"From using humour and sharing personal stories, to driving interest in the Tamil language through the arts, veteran teacher Jayasutha Vijaya Kumaran ensures there is never a dull moment in her class.

Jayasutha d/o Vijaya Kumaran, Seng Kang Primary School, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Finalist

A Primary 5 student stood nervously in front of a classroom. He took a deep breath and recited a tongue twister in Tamil out loud, which drew appreciative laughter from his classmates. He smiled, pleased at having met the mini challenge set by his teacher.

Recounting the incident, Mdm Jayasutha Vijaya Kumaran – better known as Vijay or Mrs Vijay among her Seng Kang Primary School colleagues and students – shared, “This student of mine is of mixed parentage. He hardly speaks Tamil at home and he doesn’t speak up at all in my class. So I tasked him to memorise a tongue twister because I knew his classmates would enjoy it, and that would make him feel more confident.

“I was so proud of him because he managed to say the phrase!”

All over the world, there is evidence that children gravitate towards the language of their peers and larger community as they mature. For many in Singapore, that language is English.

As such, some students may resist speaking their mother tongue, but Vijay hopes to change that by bringing laughter into the classroom. She believes that fun and learning need not be mutually exclusive, and that teachers do not always have to be serious to be effective."


Driven to digitalise (8 September 2021)

"His desire to improve the lives of young people prompted him to make a career switch. By creating tech tools like the AskCher bot and Revision Buddy, Dennis Lim leverages technology to make learning easier for all, especially the disadvantaged.

Dennis Lim Chee Wei, Institute of Technical Education, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Finalist

It’s past midnight and you have a burning question about a topic learnt in school. What should you do? Tell it to AskCher.

Introduced in 2019, AskCher is an online chatbot ideated and co-developed by Dennis Lim, ITE Lecturer-Mentor of Service Management at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West. It is currently available to his Higher Nitec students via the school’s learning portal, but there are plans to encourage wider adoption across the campus.

Students can easily access this chatbot platform via their mobile phones or laptops. AskCher is trained to answer queries for specific modules. This helps to reduce barriers for students to seek help —seeking and empowering them to take ownership of their own learning, says Dennis.

He explained, “In a class of 40, we have students with different personalities. Some are quiet and shy, so when they have doubts, they hesitate to ask questions in class. Students also prefer to message the teachers privately to clarify their doubts."


A World of Difference (8 September 2021)

"Sowmya Sathish creates opportunities for young minds to come up with bold ideas by inculcating a sensitivity towards the environment, community and even themselves.

Sowmya Sathish, Temasek Polytechnic, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Finalist

When a primary school approached green building professional Sowmya to take a look at what was causing the heat and discomfort in their auditorium, and propose solutions, she decided to rope in her Year 2 Temasek Polytechnic students.

A hundred of them.

The school was game, so, as Sowmya said, “We arranged a field visit for the students to observe the issue and engage with the users before proposing solutions.”

For Sowmya, who believes that sustainable building design is about a thoughtful response to the context of the building, such opportunities for students to problem-solve in the real-world are vital."


Think Like a Boss (8 September 2021)

"Through interdisciplinary collaborations and high-impact projects with industry partners, Jason Khiang prepares his students to hold their own in the real world.

Jason Khiang Jian Hao, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Finalist

Many of Khiang Jian Hao’s students may be fresh out of secondary school, but he fervently believes the sky is the limit to what they can achieve.

“As much as they are young, I don’t see them as kids,” enthused Jian Hao (better known as Jason among the Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) community), the force behind the curation and launch of NP’s interdisciplinary Diploma in Design a couple of years ago.

“Today, even 12-year-olds can be successful entrepreneurs. It is up to us educators to give them the exposure and help them connect the dots,” he added.

Jason’s conviction is apparent in the way he structured the diploma course. From day one, his intention was to simulate industry conditions while helping students master the fundamentals of design skills. This involved prepping students for pitch presentations and making their creations marketable.

He is also quick to bolster confidence in his young charges. “We tell them from Day 1 that they’re going to be the next generation of innovators and disruptors, and we are here to enable them to do that. This includes cultivating the mindset that it’s better to fail fast, fail early. Most importantly, never stop trying,” said Jason.

As a result, even before graduation, many aspiring designers from NP are legitimate practitioners with commercialised products—some have even started their own business."


Keen Eye for Diagnosing Learning Problems (8 September 2021)

"Switching from a career as a medical doctor to teaching, Dr Ramanujam Paramanantham’s thirst for learning has led him to leverage technology to better deliver lessons and engage students.

Ramanujam Paramanantham, Nanyang Polytechnic, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Finalist

As a young general practitioner in India in the 1980s, Dr Ramanujam Paramanantham observed how appreciative his patients were when he took pains to explain their health issues in ways they could understand. Some three decades on, after doing his PhD in Singapore and moving into teaching, he is doing the same for his students, explaining complex concepts in ways that help them learn better.

Dr Param not only “diagnoses” their issues but is also a bit of a gadget guy when deploying technology and other alternative ways to solve a problem.

“It’s a combination of curiosity as well as need,” said Dr Param, who credits his medical training for the observation skills he applies in his classroom at Nanyang Polytechnic. “As students ask questions and construct their knowledge, I can see that there are a lot of ways that teaching can be improved in terms of content as well as delivery. Then I go and explore the tools available.”

In Anatomy class, for instance, he noticed his students struggling to understand concepts about muscles, the same way he did as a medical student. A brainwave came and he brought a piece of rope to class the next day and attached it to the skeleton model, demonstrating how muscles pulled bones across joints."


‘Be Good, Do Good, Be Grateful’ (9 September 2021)

"Physical Education Subject Head Teo Yong Chin’s philosophy in life shines through as she leads her students to give 101% in all that they do, whether in sports or when paying it forward.

Teo Yong Chin, Queensway Secondary School, President's Award for Teachers 2021 Finalist

At the end of each semester, form teacher Teo Yong Chin tasks her students with writing a note of appreciation to a classmate. In the process, they learn not only to thank but also to receive thanks.

Her effort to cultivate values such as empathy and gratitude in her students pays off when the students start writing these notes for people outside of their class too, including their teachers and school staff.

As Subject Head of Physical Education and Outdoor Education at Queensway Secondary School, Yong Chin also works values into the skills inculcated on ball courts and football fields, because sports should not only be about winning.

Having taught at Queensway Secondary since 2007, and as teacher-in-charge of the boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams for the past 14 years, the former Combined Schools netball player has been motivating her students to be disciplined, resilient, and to give back, even in the face of challenges."


One kind deed at a time (10 September 2021)

"Living with a rare genetic metabolic disorder has posed definite challenges to 16-year-old Sage Tan, who underwent two liver transplants before he was four years old.

But he remains undaunted, thriving on the circle of support provided by his family, school and the community, and seeks constantly to pay it forward. His latest gig? Cycling for charity.

The life of 16-year-old Sage Tan, a student at Spectra Secondary School, has been marked by uncertainty on multiple fronts since young.

A few weeks after Sage was born, he was diagnosed with a rare and potentially fatal genetic metabolic disorder, Maple Syrup Urine Disease. The condition, where the body is unable to process certain amino acids, led to years of surgery, blood tests and treatment – including two liver transplants before his fourth birthday.

It exacted a heavy toll on his health, leaving him to grapple with language and fine motor difficulties, but all these have in no way deterred Sage from living his life to the fullest.

Paving the way through parental support

From the beginning, Sage’s parents, Cindy and Thomas Tan, placed a strong importance on inculcating the right values in their two sons, Sage being the younger boy.

“It goes beyond how our child performs in school. He must have a good attitude, understand people, and to help as much as they can within their means”, says Cindy. Despite the inherent physical and social challenges, they hope for Sage to develop an empathetic worldview and look out for others."


Parent Support Group that supports students through loss (10 September 2021)

"When a family goes through divorce or the loss of a parent, children may feel like a dark cloud is hanging over them. At Greendale Primary School, the Parent Support Group plays a part to help these children and their families see that there can be rainbows after the storm.

By Neo Wen Tong

In Mr Michael Lim’s first years as Greendale Primary School’s counsellor, one of the students he was counselling was a boy whose father lived overseas. “He was telling me how excited he was to be able to see his father soon during the school holidays,” Mr Lim says.

But before the reunion could happen, the boy’s father passed away. “He looked so forlorn, and I could tell he was in great pain,” Mr Lim shared.

He could relate to the boy’s feelings of loss, as he too, had lost his father when he was eight years old.

“I remember how I felt. It was 1978, and no one really knew how to help me with it in school. I was insecure, had low self-esteem, and felt that I was different from the rest of my classmates. When I found out about others who went through similar loss, I felt inclined towards them,” he says. “The boy made we wonder if there was a peer support group for students like him.”

It prompted a search, and in 2010, Mr Lim found Rainbows, which offers grief support and peer support to children affected by loss of a loved one, be it through death, divorce, separation or abandonment. Offered by HELP Family Service Centre, the programme aims to give children a safe space to talk about their fears and worries, go through lessons on forgiveness, and learn about different kinds of families and coping tools.

Mr Lim signed up for the nine-hour training programme to be a certified Rainbows facilitator. Later that year, he conducted the first run of the 14-week programme for a small group of five students."


Prepping for Primary 1 in the time of Covid (16 September 2021)

"Is your child starting primary school next year? How can parents help to get their child ready, since many orientation activities have been stalled by the pandemic? Teacher and mother of three, Lavinia Denise Selvakumar, shares the many ways she has been prepping her second child for Primary 1 at home, to bridge any gaps and start school with confidence.

It is that time of year again when parents of six-year-olds start to think of the new chapter ahead – primary school.

After long discussions on our preferred schools and taking steps to finally secure a spot in our school of choice, many of us then sit back until late November when primary school orientation happens.

Meanwhile, we trust that our children’s preschool will prepare our child academically and socially for their first step into formal education.

That was me when I eased Aanya, my eldest, into primary school life three years ago. But we now live in a new normal with COVID-19, and I realised that many preschools have had to cut back on the conventional activities that help ease the transition.

They cannot visit a primary school to observe school life or buy food in a school canteen. Parents too, cannot attend school open houses to familiarise themselves and their children with the school grounds and facilities.

In fact, Primary 1 orientations may be entirely virtual and our children will step into their new schools only when term starts in January. This is a big jump for a little six-year-old, isn’t it?"


Resumption of Activities in Schools and Institutes of Higher Learning from 10 August (6 August 2021)

"As Singapore transits to the endemic state with the gradual easing of community safe management measures (SMMs), the Ministry of Education (MOE) will resume selected activities in primary and secondary schools, Special Education (SPED) schools, junior colleges (JCs), Millennia Institute (MI) and the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) from Tuesday, 10 August 2021."


Safe Management Measures for Private Tuition and Enrichment in Phase Two (Heightened Alert) (8 August 2021)

"In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, MOE strongly encourages that all tuition and enrichment classes be conducted online, and telecommuting be the default arrangement."


School Terms and Holidays for 2022 (11 August 2021)

"The school year for 2022 for all MOE primary and secondary schools will start on Tuesday, 4 January and end on Friday, 18 November 2022."


Moving Towards a More Targeted and Sustainable Approach to Keeping Schools Safe (13 August 2021)

"To keep schools safe while ensuring our students can continue learning without disruption, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will adopt a more sustainable, risk-based targeted approach towards school cases, as we learn to live with COVID-19 as an endemic disease."


Safe Management Measures for Private Tuition and Enrichment in Phase Two (Heightened Alert) (19 August 2021)

"In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, MOE strongly encourages that all tuition and enrichment classes be conducted online."


206 Special Awards Given Out to Recognise Our Students' Holistic Achievements (24 August 2021)

"This year, 206 Special Awards were given out to recognise students' diverse achievements in both academic and non-academic spheres, including their contributions to the community."


Preschools, Primary Schools and SPED Schools to Receive Antigen Rapid Test Kits (27 August 2021)

"As Singapore transits to being a COVID-19 resilient nation, prompt testing for COVID-19 infection would become a key measure in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for the preschools and primary schools where most of our student population are not yet medically eligible for vaccination. As part of the enhanced testing efforts to ensure the school environment remains safe, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) will conduct a one-off distribution of Antigen Rapid Test (ART) kits from 13 September to all students and staff in ECDA-licensed preschools, Early Intervention (EI) centres, primary schools and SPED schools (primary/junior sections). Each student and staff will receive three ART kits, in addition to those that each household will receive as part of the nationwide distribution exercise."


Updated Arrangements for the 2021 National Year-End Written Examinations (28 August 2021)

"For the upcoming national year-end written examinations, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) have updated the arrangements so that as many candidates as possible can sit for their papers while keeping candidates and staff safe."


10 Pre-School Teachers Recognised at the 10th Mother Tongue Languages Symposium (30 August 2021)

"Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Mr Heng Swee Keat, launched the 10th Mother Tongue Languages (MTL) Symposium on Saturday, 28 August 2021. Held annually since 2012, this year's event took on a hybrid format with a physical event involving a small audience, while members of public were invited to attend virtually via live stream on"


President's Award for Teachers 2021 (2 September 2021)

"Seven outstanding educators received the 2021 President's Award for Teachers (PAT) from President Halimah Yacob at the Istana during the Teachers' Day Reception on Thursday, 2 September 2021."


Ministry of Education Congratulates Students for Outstanding Performance at International Competitions (3 September 2021)

"The Ministry of Education congratulates all students for their outstanding performance at the International Olympiads for Geography, Informatics, Mathematics and the Sciences, and the Online Young Physicists' Tournament, which were held virtually from June to August this year. Through a variety of online activities, students had the opportunity to connect with peers from all around the world who shared a common passion for the different subjects."


Changes to the Primary One Registration Framework to Ensure Our Schools Remain Open to All (9 September 2021)

"The Ministry of Education (MOE) is committed to ensuring that our mainstream schools remain accessible to children from all backgrounds, while preserving strong ties to the community and culture that our schools have built up over the years."


Studies on about 260 children who had Covid-19 in Singapore show half had no symptoms, none had serious ailments (6 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Studies conducted by the National University Hospital (NUH) and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) on 259 children and adolescents who have contracted Covid-19 have found that nearly half had no symptoms and the rest had “generally very mild” symptoms.

Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, director of medical services at the Ministry of Health (MOH), said: “None of the children had breathlessness, nor did they require oxygen supplementation, and none of the children required care in intensive care units (ICUs).”

He added that at present, there are 89 children below the age of 12 who have contracted the coronavirus and are being cared for in the hospitals. Another 35 children are being cared for in community care facilities."


Other universities, institutes of higher learning not planning to follow NUS move to test students regularly (6 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — While the National University of Singapore (NUS) plans to roll out swab-testing for its students from next week when the new semester begins, other universities will not be doing the same.

In a response on behalf of the other universities, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Wednesday (Aug 5) that institutes of higher learning, including universities, will require staff members working in higher-risk mask-off settings to be regularly tested for Covid-19.

TODAY understands that these universities have no plans to roll out testing for students and there are no plans by the authorities to have such a measure for students."


216 students got Covid-19 from May to July; most contracted disease from household: Chan Chun Sing (13 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — From May to July, 216 students out of Singapore’s student population of 600,000 came down with Covid-19, with the vast majority contracting the disease from their households, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said.

Of those infected with the coronavirus, 103 of them were primary school pupils.

More than half the cases were issued quarantine orders or isolated via leave of absence from school before they tested positive, he wrote in a post on Facebook on Friday (Aug 13)."


Inspired by Sun Xueling’s letter to younger self, Nafa teacher produces artwork to reach ‘struggling’ students (14 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — As an adjunct lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa), Mr Josef Lee teaches illustration and his classes mainly consist of students aged between 18 and 20.

“Every year, I'm seeing so many of them struggling with self-confidence issues and trying hard to fit in,” the 42-year-old said.

It is precisely this reason why he felt that the experiences penned and posted on Facebook recently by Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Education and Social and Family Development, struck such a chord with him."


The Big Read: Singapore’s endless love affair with private tuition just got deeper with Covid-19 (14 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Housewife Santi Choo’s two children briefly had Chinese tuition but by and large, she never believed in sending them for private tuition — not even when her older daughter sat for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) some years ago.

Covid-19, however, changed all that.

Despite the pandemic causing her husband to lose his job as a project manager in the middle of last year, they decided to spend about S$700 a month from January to hire two home tutors for their younger son, who is taking the PSLE this year, after seeing his maths and science grades plummet last year."


Singapore needs to re-evaluate teaching, testing in schools to allow greater self-learning and discovery: Chan Chun Sing (16 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — How students are taught and tested in school will need to be re-evaluated, so that both students and their teachers will have sufficient space for self-learning and discovery.

Education Minister Chan Chun Sing, who said this on Monday (Aug 16) in a speech to over 1,500 public officers, added that teaching and testing more “does not necessarily equate to learning more”.

“What matters is not how much our students know, but how fast they learn, how able they are to adapt to an ever-changing environment,” said Mr Chan at a Social-Economic Nexus Speaking Engagement Forum, which was organised by the Public Service Division and the Civil Service College Singapore."


Society must broaden ‘definition of success’ beyond academic goals to reduce stress on students: Chan Chun Sing (16 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Society needs to adopt a broader definition of success if it hopes to relieve some of the stress that students feel from being put through Singapore’s education system, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said during a virtual forum on Monday (Aug 16).

To illustrate his point, he recounted a conversation he had with some secondary school and junior college students and the answers they gave him were very revealing about the “culture behind education” in Singapore.

He had asked the students how they would feel if the Ministry of Education (MOE) decided to cut their subject syllabus by half."


Being outdoors 2 hours a day keeps myopia away, but some Singapore parents say ‘no way’ (17 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — To save your children’s eyesight, let them have at least two hours of outdoor time every day.

That is the main message that eye experts from Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) want to drive home as a new Myopia Centre in Bedok opened on Friday (Aug 16) and SNEC launched a new children's book, titled Amanda the Panda: Outdoor Play Keeps Myopia Away.

However, squeezing time out for outdoor activities daily is easier said than done, parents interviewed by TODAY said."


Covid-19: NTU faces criticism for not allowing students, faculty staff stuck overseas to do lessons online (18 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — When international student Amber (not her real name) got accepted into her master's programme at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in May this year, she immediately applied to enter Singapore under a student pass.

She knew that the process of entering Singapore would not be straightforward given the Covid-19 travel restrictions due to the rising number of community cases here at that time.

But days turned to weeks, and Amber, who did not want to be named so as to not jeopardise her relationship with the school, still had not received her entry approval from the Singapore authorities."


‘Train’ the brain to slow down cognitive decline, with workouts you can do at home (21 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — In case anyone needs even more reasons to keep healthy and fit during the Covid-19 pandemic, here is one more.

Social isolation, too much time spent looking at computer and mobile phone screens, and a lack of physical exercise are all contributing to a decline in brain function, medical researchers found.

That “brain fog” people are talking about? It may not just be a passing experience or happening only to Covid-19 survivors after a severe infection."


Adulting 101: How feasible is a mid-career switch? It takes sacrifice and courage, say those who've done it (21 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Call me nosy, but I have always been interested in the lives of others, and my role as a journalist offers plenty of opportunities to sit down with people to hear about what they do. It is a privilege I enjoy.

Earlier this year, I was working on a series of reports about jobs that are typically overlooked by most of us, such as those in the landscaping or farming sector, and I was inspired by the conviction and passion of my interviewees.

Even though I love my job, I couldn’t help but muse over the possibilities. Perhaps I could be raising the fry for the next sea bass your mum serves for dinner, or maybe arranging that flower exhibition your girlfriend drags you to on a date?"


Yale-NUS College student body hits out at ‘top-down’ decision to merge school with scholars programme (27 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Student leaders at Yale-NUS College, who are still “shocked” and “grieving”, have hit out at what they saw was a unilateral decision made on the merger of their school that was done without consulting students first.

On Friday morning (Aug 27), the National University of Singapore (NUS) announced that this year's cohort of students to enrol in Yale-NUS College will be its last, and the college will soon be merged with the University Scholars Programme (USP) to form a new college.

Following the news of the merger, a memo was sent to students from the college’s Student Government (StuGov), which is an elected body of student representatives."


The Big Read: Not for the faint-hearted — parents jump through hoops, go great guns to secure Pri 1 spots (28 August 2021)

"SINGAPORE — When six-year-old Kate Ong recently secured a spot in Anderson Primary School during this year’s Primary 1 registration exercise, she had her father to thank for it.

Mr Ong Jun Da, a self-employed mobile app developer, had spent close to 80 hours last year coding an e-open house website and an art gallery microsite for the school, on top of providing technical know-how to support the live streaming of the school’s National Day celebrations that year.

But even this opportunity to help out at the school did not come easy. Mr Ong, 38, had earlier been rejected by three different schools when he tried to join their parent volunteering programmes."


ITE educator who failed his O-Levels among recipients of President’s Award for Teachers (2 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Growing up, Mr Jeff Koh Hock Tong always saw himself as a failure. He barely passed his Primary School Leaving Examination and failed his GCE O-Level Examination.

Mis parents, both primary school dropouts, did not help matters. They encouraged him to start working early so that he could supplement his father’s meagre earnings as an air-conditioning repairman and ice-cream seller.

The oldest of three children then started working part-time — as a salesman, surveyor and a waiter — while studying to retake the O-Levels as a private candidate."


Decision to merge Yale-NUS and scholars programme a ‘considered’ one endorsed by MOE, board of trustees: NUS (3 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE — The National University of Singapore (NUS) has come out to reiterate that its decision to merge its University Scholars Programme (USP) with Yale-NUS College was a “considered” decision, and it had consulted the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the chairman of the university’s board of trustees two months before the announcement was made.

Both MOE and the NUS board of trustees chairman then supported the move, the university said in response to TODAY’s queries.

Last Friday, after the announcement of the merger, a memo was sent to students from Yale-NUS College’s elected body of student representatives, saying that they felt betrayed and were all surprised to hear about the decision that was “taken from a top-down, governing board level”."


NTU, TTSH scientists develop glaucoma diagnosis system powered by artificial intelligence (7 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Scientists from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and clinicians from Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) have developed a new method of screening for glaucoma using artificial intelligence (AI).

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness through damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye.

It can be treated but not cured. The disease is the principal cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, NTU and TTSH said in a joint news release on Tuesday (Sept 7), adding that it affected 76 million people in 2020."


Yale-NUS College student body seeks more transparency over school merger, calls on NUS to explain decision (7 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Student leaders at Yale-NUS College have urged the administration of the National University of Singapore (NUS) to provide greater transparency and accountability on the decision to merge the college with the University Scholars Programme (USP)."


Pri 1 registration spots for pupils living near school, but with no prior links, to double from 2022: MOE (9 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE — From next year, the number of places reserved for incoming pupils under Phase 2C of the Primary 1 registration exercise will double from 20 to 40. This registration phase is for children who live closest to a school but do not have links with it such as a parent being an alumnus.

Phases 2A1 and 2A2 will be merged into a single Phase 2A from next year as well, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Thursday (Sept 9).

Phase 2A1 gives priority admission to children whose parents are members of the school alumni or advisory or management committee. Phase 2A2 is for children in MOE Kindergartens under the purview of a primary school, have siblings who studied in that primary school, or parents who had attended or now work at the school."


Pri 1 registration changes: Parents mull back-up plans, others see fresh hope in getting places for children (9 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE — When Mr Ng Chi Wee and his wife found out that they were having a daughter, his wife signed up for an alumni membership at CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School to boost their girl’s chances of getting enrolled there.

That was five years ago even before the child was born. The couple were keen for their daughter to have the same schooling experience as Mrs Ng, who completed her secondary school education there.

It also helped that the school is located in the Ang Mo Kio area where they live."


Talks on fate of Yale-NUS involved only universities’ senior leadership, boards due to sensitive nature: Chan Chun Sing (13 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE — The National University of Singapore (NUS) did not consult the student body and staff members of Yale-NUS College on its recent decision to merge the college with the University Scholars Programme (USP) under NUS because the move involved discussions on “sensitive issues of strategy and finances”, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Monday (Sept 13).

These talks were between the senior leadership and boards of NUS and Yale University in the United States.

Responding to eight Members of Parliament (MPs) who filed questions on the planned merger, Mr Chan told the House that in July, when NUS initiated discussions with Yale University, the issue of timing was also discussed and determined jointly."


NUS, SMU planning to resume overseas programmes for vaccinated students, earliest by October (13 September 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Public universities here will resume their overseas programmes for students as early as next month, and the first to head abroad would be some 80 National University of Singapore (NUS) students.

They will be going to Munich in Germany, New York and Silicon Valley in the United States, Stockholm in Sweden and Toronto in Canada in the next four months.

Border controls were imposed in March last year to curb the spread of Covid-19 and the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced a suspension in the same month of such programmes, which include internships and exchanges."