The Circle of Care programme for disadvantaged children to be expanded (19 August 2019)

"The Circle of Care (CoC) programme, piloted seven years ago at two pre-schools, has shown how building strong support systems around children from disadvantaged backgrounds can change the outcomes for them.

Piloted by philanthropic group Lien Foundation and welfare organisation Care Corner, the programme brings together pre-school teachers, education therapists, social workers and health professionals to support underprivileged children and their families. It has been shown to improve school attendance and raise literacy and numeracy skills for the children."

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Couple looking forward to pre-school subsidy boost (20 August 2019)

"Sending their three-year-old son Joern to a childcare centre costs Mr Jason Low and his wife Julia Koh about $500 monthly, about 20 per cent of their total expenditure.

More help is on the way for the couple, who now draw a combined monthly income of just above $7,500, as the Government is raising the monthly income ceiling from $7,500 to $12,000 starting next year, for parents to enjoy additional subsidies for pre-schools."

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Lower tuition fees at polys, universities for needy students from next year as higher bursaries kick in (22 August 2019)

"SINGAPORE - Most needy students in universities and polytechnics will see a big portion of their tuition fees slashed, with bursary amounts set to go up next year.

Once the higher bursary kicks in, polytechnic students who come from the lowest 20 per cent of household income groups will pay no more than $150 of the $2,900 annual fees - $400 less than what they now pay each year. All in, 33,000 polytechnic students are expected to benefit for the bursaries."

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All ITE graduates will be able to upgrade beyond Nitec qualification by 2030 (22 August 2019)

"SINGAPORE - Graduates from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will have more opportunities to upgrade themselves in future, with wider pathways being opened up for them.

All Nitec graduates from ITE will have the chance to attain a higher qualification by 2030, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Thursday (Aug 22)."

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Needy students to pay significantly less for medicine and dentistry university courses from next year (22 August 2019)

"SINGAPORE - Needy students in the medicine and dentistry university courses will pay just a fraction of the current fees from next year.

Currently, 11 per cent of medicine and dentistry students come from families in the lowest 30 per cent income bracket."

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Needy students to get more help for tertiary education (23 August 2019)

"A series of measures announced yesterday will make tertiary education more accessible and affordable for needy students and give an added push to social mobility.

Most students from lower-income households in universities and polytechnics will see a big portion of their tuition fees slashed, with bursary amounts set to go up next year."

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Unis already using endowments to help needy students: Ong Ye Kung (23 August 2019)

"The multibillion-dollar endowment funds of local universities came under the spotlight yesterday when Education Minister Ong Ye Kung was asked why these should not be used to fund more bursaries for needy students. Mr Ong said the universities were already doing this.

Pointing out that endowments play an important role in supplementing the Government's financial aid to needy students, he said that many of these bursaries come from the donations received by universities. This is evident in the bursaries that carry the names of the donors."

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Early-childhood education: Shaking up pre-school scene with measures to ensure affordability and raise standards (25 August 2019)

"Earlier this year, Mrs Gwendolyn Tan's youngest daughter, two, started attending a government-supported pre-school in Jurong.

It costs her $800 a month for full-day childcare - about 10 per cent of the family's monthly expenditure."

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On the timetable: Field trips, creative writing, speech and drama, swimming (25 August 2019)

"With a wide variety of options, childcare fees here vary widely, from about $700 to more than $2,000 monthly. Insight takes a look at the pre-school sector - from government-supported pre-schools that aim to provide a high-quality curriculum at low prices, to more upmarket private ones catering to a niche market.

The biggest players in the market are the anchor operators such as the PAP Community Foundation's (PCF) Sparkletots and NTUC First Campus' My First Skool, the two largest operators here. PCF Sparkletots has more than 350 centres, while My First Skool has 143."

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Bilingualism helps Singapore spread its wings: Ong Ye Kung (25 August 2019)

"Asia's growing potential is one of several reasons why Singapore needs to continue promoting the learning of mother tongues, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said yesterday.

"Our region is the fastest growing in the world, and knowing our MTLs (mother tongue languages) well allows us to access valuable economic opportunities around the region," he said at the 8th Mother Tongue Languages Symposium, where he was guest of honour."

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Picking His Path, Guided by Passion (15 July 2019)

"Mr Mohammad Abdillah, 25, shares the choices he made that shaped his educational journey, one that is full of twists and turns.

In 2007, 13-year-old Mohammad Abdillah was at a low point in his life. He had taken his PSLE twice, and failed it. Abdillah is 25 years old this year. He’s at a completely different station in life from where he was a decade ago. He had just graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic with a diploma in motion graphics, and he is fulfilling his childhood ambition, doing design work with an advertising agency.

Stay behind or move on?

So what were Abdillah’s turning points? He had two. The first came when he was offered the option of enrolling in Northlight, then a newly-established school for students who have difficulties coping with mainstream curriculum.

The other alternative was to stay on another year in Primary 6, and attempt the PSLE for the third time. Abdillah wasn’t sure if he could cross the PSLE hurdle if he gave it another try. His older sister encouraged him to give Northlight and himself a chance.

“The idea that I could progress to a new school motivated me,” Abdillah said. “I thought to myself, ‘This school might bring me somewhere.’”

As it turned out, it was here, Abdillah found that it was his difficulty in processing long texts that had gotten in his way. A mostly visual learner, he had struggled with English lessons before, but in Northlight, to Abdillah’s delight, his teacher would screen movie clips to teach the class new words and phrases."

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Tenacity in the Face of Adversity (20 July 2019)

"Tennis boys are off to a strong start despite initial setbacks, scoring a clean win against Cambodian counterparts in the preliminaries.

Semarang, Indonesia – Focus and a never-say-die attitude paid off for our Tennis boys at the preliminaries of the 11th ASEAN Schools Games (ASG) this morning.

Despite being pinned down by their opponents initially, our boys stayed resolute and managed to swing the game back onto their court.

Captain of the Tennis Boys’ team, Timothy Lim Tze Hsien, was an inspiration for his team during his match against Cambodia’s Khleang Ponlok, in the men’s singles.

Despite being down by two games initially, Timothy radiated calm and leaned on his training to level the set with a score of 5-5.

“I tried to go for too much for the first few games, and ended up making a lot of errors. I slowed down my pace and was able to catch up,” said the 16-year-old Raffles Institution student.

Timothy’s perseverance paid off. With a precision in his serves and fueled by cheers from his teammates, coach and team manager, Timothy eventually sealed the match with a score of 8-5."

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Into the Zone with Kampton Kam (22 July 2019)

"With his final jump at the 11th ASEAN Schools Games (ASG), Kampton Kam leaves behind an indelible mark on the Games.

Semarang, Indonesia – For a moment, the world seemed to fade away. After months of training, it had boiled down to this final jump.

Kampton Kam collected himself, ran through the steps in his head and visualised himself clearing the bar.

“Before every jump, I try to find a way to center myself and focus only on what’s in front of me. By concentrating on my steps, I am able to enter my special zone,” said the Victoria Junior College student.

With a jump of 2.10m, Kampton matched his performance at last year’s ASG to secure the gold medal at this year’s boys’ high jump final.

Coming in second and third place were Thailand’s Chaimongkol Songpa and Vietnam’s Nguyen Quoc Quyen who hit the mark of 2.03m and 1.90m respectively."

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Table Tennis Team Strikes Gold in Semarang (23 July 2019)

"Flying our Singapore flag high - a glowing performance by our table tennis team.

Semarang, Indonesia – It was a rewarding day for Singapore’s Table Tennis team at the 11th ASEAN Schools Games.

With two gold medals in the afternoon for the boys’ and girls’ team finals, and another gold medal in the evening for the mixed doubles finals, the team had surpassed all expectations.

Captain of the boys’ table tennis team, Lim Dao Yi, said: “I think the team played very well today. We didn’t expect to reach the finals, much less win the championship title.”

The 16-year-old had paved the way for his team by opening the boys’ team final with a straight set (3-0) victory over his opponent, Christopher Isaac from Malaysia."

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Swimmers Hit High Notes in Semarang (24 July 2019)

"There is a beauty to a high-level competition like the ASEAN Schools Games which often brings out the best in our athletes.

Semarang, Indonesia – ‘Make history, not just a story’ read a poster at the Jatidiri Swimming Complex, where student-athletes from around the region had gathered to compete on Day 4 of the 11th ASEAN Schools Games.

For Terence Ong, this quote put up by the Semarang hosts really resonated with him. It reminded him of the importance of always putting in his best effort in no matter what he did.

Just like his idol, Michael Phelps, the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student hopes to one day be able to make an impact on this world.

“I really look up to Michael Phelps. Even though he doesn’t swim in the Olympics anymore, people still talk about him and hold him in high regard. I aspire to be like him one day.”

Terence clinched the Bronze medal at the boys’ 1500m freestyle race today with a personal best of 16:34:45."

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Tips for Parents, by Parents to Support your Child in the Transition to Secondary Educatio (25 July 2019)

"Have a child going to secondary 1 soon? Here's how you can play a role in providing positive guidance for him/her.

More than 700 parents and their children attended our “Preparing for Your Child’s Transition to Secondary Education” Seminar over the last two weekends in July. The seminars helped them gain a better understanding of the support their children may need in their transition journey to Secondary education.

Our panellists, consisting of Mdm Choy Wai Yin, Director of Guidance, MOE; Dr Yvonne Lek, Counsellor, Psycare Consultants; Dr Lim Choon Guan, Psychiatrist, IMH; Mr Sanjay Patel, parent of two children; and Mr Tan Chin Hwee, parent of three children, shared their stories and experiences about how parents could help their children maintain positive physical and mental wellbeing, and support their aspirations.

Missed the seminar? Here are some quick soundbites:

1) Equip our children with life skills to handle stress and beyond

“Make use of causal settings such as meal times to start a conversation with your children. When they talk, look out for underlying emotions. We could also share our own stories at work, so that they can relate. It is important to help our children develop social-emotional skills, so that they can face other challenges in life.”

Director of Guidance, MOE, Mdm Choy Wai Yin"

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Making Higher Education More Affordable (23 August 2019)

"From 2020, Government bursaries will be enhanced for all Singaporean undergraduates and diploma students at our universities, polytechnics, ITE, NAFA and LASALLE.

Tuition fees will also be lowered for general courses at Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)

ITE’s SkillsFuture Work-Study Diplomas and full-time Higher Nitec programmes will be increased to provide more upgrading opportunities for ITE graduates."

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2nd Text Recital Competition for Primary and Secondary Schools (3 August 2019)

"This year, more than 900 students from about 110 schools took part in the second edition of the Text Recital Competition for Primary and Secondary Schools. Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Chairperson of the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL), Ms Low Yen Ling, graced the finals of the competition at Anderson Primary School on 3 August 2019."

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Introduction of Inauguration Grant at AUs (6 August 2019)

"The Ministry of Education (MOE) will introduce a new Inauguration Grant under the Singapore Teaching and Academic Research Talent Scheme (START) to attract Singaporean academics to join our Autonomous Universities (AUs) as pre-tenure Assistant Professors. The Grant also seeks to support the development of research leadership in these universities."

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School Terms and Holidays for 2020 (13 August 2019)

"The school year for 2020 for all MOE primary and secondary schools will start on Thursday, 2 January 2020 and end on Friday, 20 November 2020."

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Seminar for Pre-School Chinese Language Teachers 2019 (17 August 2019)

"More than 800 pre-school Chinese Language (CL) teachers and educationists attended a seminar on “Emotional Management for Pre-schoolers” on 17 August 2019. The annual event aimed to enhance pre-school CL teachers professional skills and grow their professional support network. It is organised by the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL) and supported by the Early Childhood and Development Agency (ECDA) and National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC)."

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Enhancing Affordability and Expanding Upgrading Opportunities in Higher Education (22 August 2019)

"Following PM Lee Hsien Loong’s announcements on higher education at the National Day Rally 2019, MOE has followed up with details on the following new initiatives:

(i) Enhanced Government bursaries for MOE-subsidised full-time undergraduates and diploma students, with even more support for Medicine and Dentistry undergraduates;

(ii)Lower tuition fees for Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) undergraduates enrolled in full-time general courses; and

(iii) Expanded upgrading opportunities for Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduates."

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13 Pre-School Teachers Recognised at the 8th Mother Tongue Languages Symposium (24 August 2019)

"Minister for Education, Mr Ong Ye Kung, and Senior Minister of State for Education, Mr Chee Hong Tat, presented the Outstanding Pre-school Mother Tongue Language (OPMTL)1 Teacher Award at the 8th Mother Tongue Languages Symposium on Saturday, 24 August 2019. This year, six dedicated pre-school teachers received the Outstanding Award and seven pre-school teachers received the Merit Award."

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MOE spends S$238 million yearly on scholarships and tuition grants for foreign students (5 August 2019)

"SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Education (MOE) spends about S$238 million a year on scholarships and tuition grants for international students studying in Singapore, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung revealed in Parliament on Monday (Aug 5).

Mr Ong also said that foreign students are admitted into institutes of higher learning on more stringent requirements only after “all Singaporean students who meet the standards have been admitted”.

“No Singaporean is ever displaced from institutes of higher learning because of an international student,” he added. This was in response to a question by Workers’ Party’s Non-constituency Member of Parliament (MP) Leon Perera, who asked about the Government’s spending on foreign students."

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Some Singaporean undergrads pull out of exchange programme to Hong Kong universities amid unrest (13 August 2019)

"SINGAPORE — Some students at the Singapore universities who had been planning to go on exchange to Hong Kong have put their plans on hold following the outbreak of protests in the city.

The protests escalated over the weekend, forcing the cancellation of all flights at Hong Kong International Airport on Monday (Aug 12). Although the airport reopened on Tuesday, protesters continued to occupy the airport and many flights remained cancelled or delayed.

Two universities here reported a small number of students pulling out of their exchange programmes to Hong Kong, while one said that all its students were going ahead despite the unrest."

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Few Singaporean youths aim to be entrepreneurs, most have no plans to work overseas: WEF survey (16 August 2019)

"SINGAPORE — Most youths in Singapore prefer to work here rather than venture abroad, and only a small proportion want to become entrepreneurs, according to a survey by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

In terms of entrepreneurial ambition, Singapore came last of six regional countries in the survey with only 17 per cent of youths expressing this aspiration.

Nearly two-thirds of youths here, or 66 per cent, have no plans to work abroad, according to the WEF report, Asean Youth: Skills, Technology and the Future of Work published on Friday (Aug 16) which surveyed 56,000 people aged 15 to 35."

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NUS, NTU and SMU pull the plug on student exchange programmes to Hong Kong (20 August 2019)

"SINGAPORE — The three main public universities here have stopped student exchange programmes with their Hong Kong counterparts, following an advisory issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on deferring “non-essential” travels.

Students at National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU) received email messages notifying them of the change of plans, and the MFA advisory was attached or mentioned in the notice."

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Researchers in Singapore grow ‘mini kidneys’ in lab, paving way for potential kidney disease therapies (20 August 2019)

"SINGAPORE — Patients with kidney disease could eventually benefit from “mini kidneys” grown in a laboratory by an international team of researchers led by Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the university said on Tuesday (Aug 20).

These mini kidneys — derived from the patient’s cells — could be used to test certain drugs and help researchers better ascertain which treatment plans a patient with kidney disease needs, NTU said in a media statement."

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