Enrichment activities, lessons at tuition centres won't resume (20 May 2020)

"Parents hoping that tuition centres will reopen to help their children prepare for examinations, will have to wait longer.

The Ministry of Education (MOE), which announced that schools will be opening in phases from June 2, said tuition lessons and enrichment activities run by private centres, as well as programmes run by self-help groups, will not resume."


Back to school: What measures will be put in place when students return on June 2? (20 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE - Schools will reopen on June 2, but daily classes on school premises will be held only for the graduating cohorts of students in Primary 6, Secondary 4 and 5, who will wear masks or face shields while attending their lessons.

All other students will alternate weekly between home-based learning and classes in school. All student care centres will also open from June 2."


Parents welcome school plans but some concerns remain (20 May 2020)

"The adjustments that schools will be making when they reopen from June 2 - such as alternating home-based learning and classes in school to thin out the student population - have reassured parents, although some concerns remain.

Parents with children of different ages, who may have varying school arrangements, said it could be a stressful period to manage."


No positive Covid-19 cases yet in pre-school testing (20 May 2020)

"No pre-school and early intervention staff have tested positive for the coronavirus so far in mass testing ahead of the sector's reopening.

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee said yesterday that some 8,500 staff have been swabbed as of Sunday, and are in the process of being tested. "As of now, we've not got any positive cases, but given that we are going to swab some 30,000 staff, we do expect that there might be some cases," he said."


Pre-school children, students to get face shields and hand sanitiser from Temasek Foundation (22 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE - Pre-school and primary school pupils will receive a reusable face shield each, as an alternative to face masks, as they prepare to head back to school from June 2.

Temasek Foundation said on Friday (May 22) it is partnering the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and the Ministry of Education in this initiative."


NUS plans to keep students within zones on campus (24 May 2020)

"The National University of Singapore (NUS) is planning to reopen its campus for the new academic year on Aug 10. It will hold some classes on campus, and others online.

To minimise intermingling of students, it intends to divide its campuses into different zones. Students and faculty will have to keep within their designated zones for all activities, including attending classes and eating at canteens."


Concerns over fewer tangible measures in DSA exercise (24 May 2020)

"No school sports competitions or Olympiads to showcase how good a student is. And no face-to-face trials or performances in front of assessors for this year's Direct School Admission (DSA) exercise.

These have raised concerns whether the exercise will be fair."


700 paid R&D traineeship places created for fresh grads (25 May 2020)

"In the last three months, final-year mathematics and economics student Lynette Lua, 23, has applied for jobs in more than 60 companies.

Ms Lua, who is graduating from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) this year, said she got through to the final stages of interviews with at least two companies."


Turning his tech passion into purpose at Republic Polytechnic (25 May 2020)

"While most O-Level students might spend their free time watching their favourite TV series or catching up with friends, Bryan Koh spent his leisure moments diving into the world of cyber security.

“It was purely out of interest and some level of passion back then,” he says. He mostly watched online videos about hacking and how to use it to counteract cybercrime, which led him to try the techniques with the tools that were available to him."


Primary 1 registration for 2021 cohort goes entirely online from July 1; new cap on PR children intake for some schools (27 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE - Registration for children starting Primary 1 next year will start on July 1 and end on Oct 30, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Wednesday (May 27).

In the light of the Covid-19 situation, there will not be any in-person registration at schools for the upcoming exercise this year, said the ministry in a statement."


Coronavirus curbs delay school upgrading (28 May 2020)

"Precautionary measures to contain Covid-19 have affected upgrading works at Bukit View Primary, Mayflower Primary, Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary and St Margaret's Primary schools.

Bukit View Primary was slated to move to a holding site from January next year, while its permanent site undergoes upgrading."


Coronavirus: Singapore Institute of Management to offer traineeships for graduates and enhance students' bursaries (29 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE - Private education provider Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) will give its graduating cohort opportunities to get additional qualifications and new skills to boost their employability, and also enhance its bursary support for students with financial difficulties.

The institute will be participating as a host company under the SGUnited Traineeships programme to offer traineeship opportunities for graduates, its president and chief executive Seah Chin Siong said on Friday (May 29)."


Pre-schools step up preparations for reopening from June 2 (29 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE - From getting back-to-school resource kits ready to marking out designated seats for children, pre-school centres are preparing to welcome the children back from June 2.

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee visited My First Skool @ Block 491 Admiralty Link on Friday (May 29) morning to observe the "Covid-safe ABC" measures on access, behaviour and classroom management being put in place."


NSF cyber specialists can now attend classes at NUS (29 May 2020)

"Full-time national servicemen (NSFs) under the work-learn Cyber NSF scheme will now be able to pursue their part-time tertiary studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS) after the school and the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) inked an agreement yesterday.

This follows a similar tie-up between Mindef and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) in 2018, when the Cyber NSF scheme was launched."


What I learnt during Home-Based Learning (1 May 2020)

"While our children picked up new tech skills and got used to Home-Based Learning, what did the parents learn? Michelle Wee, mother of six children (three in primary and secondary school) reflects.

Over the past three weeks, I have been observing how six of my children have been handling their remote learning. Three of the younger ones are doing Home-Based Learning (HBL), while the older ones are on full online learning in Polytechnic and University.

With so many children, one of my top priorities has always been to make them independent from a young age. From the time they entered Primary 1, they were fully in charge of their homework, spelling and tingxie revision, and tests.

HBL would be the litmus test as I do believe that remote learning comes easier for those who are organised and independent.

Otherwise, parents have to step in a lot to handhold them, remind them or nag at them.

The importance of independence

At the end of the three weeks, I can say that my five girls have managed their remote learning wonderfully. I can’t say the same for my son.

HBL works well for a child like my seven-year-old daughter, #6. It took me two weeks to teach her how to log in, where to check for her assignments, how to take photos of her offline work and air drop it to the computer and upload it into SLS."


We saw our children in a new light (2 May 2020)

"As HBL winds down and the school holidays begin, parents from Teck Whye Primary School share what they have learned about their children, and about parenting, over the past three weeks!

While it is indeed challenging to juggle work from home and the family’s needs, parents also got to witness first-hand how their children have learnt to manage themselves and take charge of their own learning!

Here, parents from Teck Whye Primary School share their experiences of HBL.

Mr Kelvin and Mrs Worly Chua, parents of Kylie (P6-4) and Wayne (P1-7):

Kylie always completes her work independently and even helps her brother when he needs it. She tries to wake up early in the morning and takes her temperature. Even though she is weak in Chinese, she still tries her best to complete her work on time. On top of that, she spends some time at night to revise Chinese on her own. We are very proud of her!"


EAE: Playing to a strength – Wrestler, judo-ka…physio? (8 May 2020)

"As an aspiring wrestler and physiotherapist, Nadiah hopes to be equally capable of meting out damage as healing it. Here, she shares her journey via Early Admissions Exercise to Republic Polytechnic. By Goh Hong Yi.

Many of us probably have a favourite television programme growing up – be it Power Rangers or Pokemon. But for Nadiah Alani, a second-year student at Republic Polytechnic (RP), the television programme that she enjoyed as a child was not a cartoon, but the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) matches that she watched with her father and sister every week.

There’s much more to wrestling than just fighting, says Nadiah.

“People do not realise that in professional wrestling, the opponents are not supposed to seriously hurt each other. So, there is a lot of technique and control involved. I’m also into the stunts they do. There is an element of acting as well, when the wrestlers express the rivalry they have with their opponent. It is actually very enjoyable to watch!”

She and her sister used to have fun wrestling matches under the supervision of her father, who served as the referee. Naturally, they had to stick to the safer moves too!"


EAE: Playing to a strength - James Lim, Self-taught programmer (8 May 2020)

"James Lim has been programming since childhood – and he’s not stopping. Here, he shares his journey via Early Admissions Exercise to Singapore Polytechnic’s Diploma in Computer Engineering Course. By Goh Hong Yi.

It all started with a simple question.

“What happens if I click on this button?”

For James Lim En Hui, who just graduated from Singapore Polytechnic last month, this curiosity about computers and how they work began when he was seven years old.

“I was blown away when I realised that the games I enjoyed were just lines of letters and numbers in the background,” shared James.

Curiosity drives learning

It was this curiosity about what goes on behind the computer screen that got James to experiment and read up on programming on his own while he was in primary school. Well, that and a young boy’s desire to impress his friends.

“I remember I managed to change the text on a Facebook page as a prank,” James recalled. “My friends were amazed!”

His teacher was not too amused though and taught him that it was wrong to use his new-found skills to misinform others."


Freed up space: how schools are innovating learning (11 May 2020)

"The removal of mid-year exams for some levels frees up time for teachers to innovate by modifying the curriculum or relooking the pedagogy. We asked four schools on how they are planning to engage, excite and educate their students with these extra hours.

In the last two years, schools have been removing mid-year exams (MYE) for P3 and P5, Sec 1 and Sec 3 students. And there is the oft-touted statistic that this frees up 3 weeks of time over 2 years. It’s what you get when you no longer have to prep students for exams, set and mark papers and invigilate, among other things.

So what has this meant for your fellow teachers? A chance to get creative with their curriculum? An opportunity to encourage passion projects for students? Time to engage their students to learn beyond the scope and depth of textbook content?"


Back to School Arrangements for schools and IHLS (21 May 2020)

With the end of the Circuit Breaker period on 1 June, we enter the phase of safe opening. We will progressively bring students back to schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) from 2 June, in a careful and safe manner.

2 June will mark the beginning of Term 3. Primary school, secondary school and Pre-University students will return to school in two phases, with priority given to students from graduating cohorts and students who need additional support."


Back to School Measures to safeguard students (22 May 2020)

"Schools will ensure that safe management measures are in place to keep students safe.

To ensure that students remain active and keep healthy, schools will resume Physical Education (PE) lessons when they return to school, with strict adherence to safe management measures. During PE lessons, students and PE teachers will not be required to wear masks when engaged in strenuous physical activities such as running and workouts."


EAE: Playing to a strength – Bringing the lab to the real world (27 May 2020)

Crime-solving science lured him in, but John Liu stayed on for his dream of bettering the world through biotechnology. He shares his journey through EAE – and some tips on how to prepare for the interview. By Goh Hong Yi.

"What do hunting down crooks and saving coral reefs have in common?

They are both real-life applications of Molecular Biotechnology. Combining knowledge of biochemistry, genetics and microbiology, this is a growing field of Science that has the potential to solve many problems that we face today – such as food security, diseases, crime… and bleached coral reefs.

This was precisely what attracted John Liu, a recent graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), to the field of biotechnology in the first place.

John always had a keen interest in Science. In his secondary school Biology lessons, he was intrigued by the concept of genetic engineering and how medicinal products could be derived from micro-organisms. The possibilities of biotechnology excited him."


EAE: Playing to a strength – Speaking to a larger audience (27 May 2020)

"Karisha thought that her dream of becoming a radio deejay was out of her reach – until she discovered a thriving student-run campus radio station in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Here, she shares how EAE helped her secure a place in NP’s Diploma in Mass Communication course, where her voice, and aspirations, were amplified. By Goh Hong Yi.

“I have a voice, and I intend to use it.”

Indeed, 20-year-old Karisha Partabrai is not afraid to speak up and be heard.

Since she was young, she’s loved talking to people and sharing her opinions with others. Her favourite lessons were those in which she could discuss and debate with her classmates. Naturally, she always volunteered when it came to class presentations!

Karisha’s enthusiasm and flair for public speaking was also noticed by her teachers in secondary school, who nominated her to be the emcee for various school events. She also represented the school in speech and debate competitions, which further honed her oratorical skills and increased her confidence.

Although Karisha cherished these opportunities, she was not sure how she could take her talent further and make a future for herself with her voice – would anyone pay to listen to her speak?"


A Recipe for Collaboration (28 May 2020)

"With the help of a supportive online community of teachers, Ms Syafiqah from Sembawang Primary School found a way to sweeten the experience of Math for her young students – in the form of a mystery dessert on the Student Learning Space. By Goh Hong Yi.

For Ms Nur Syafiqah Binte Eddie Yusof, a new teacher at Sembawang Primary School, designing lessons for Full Home-Based-Learning (FHBL) was challenging yet exciting.

She taught a Primary 1 class, and her students were more dependent on the teacher’s guidance when it came to learning and technology.

This is where the Singapore Learning Designers Circle (SgLDC) Facebook group came in handy with their plethora of lesson ideas.

A Learning Community

Set up in 2017 by MOE’s Educational Technology Division, the SgLDC has more than 15,000 educators from different schools as members, all sharing ideas on teaching with the use of technology."


Supporting Students in Financial Need: School Meal Subsidies to Continue Till End of Circuit Breaker Extension (3 May 2020)

"The Ministry of Education (MOE) had earlier provided school meal subsidies in the form of School Smartcard top-ups to all Primary and Secondary students from low-income families during the period of Full Home-Based Learning. This coincided with the original Circuit Breaker (CB) period which was up to 4 May 2020. MOE is grateful that the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) had come in as a partner for this effort earlier."


Launch of #IAmBilingualSG Call for Projects (6 May 2020)

"To build on continuous efforts to promote the teaching and learning of our Mother Tongue Languages (MTLs), the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism (the "Fund") launched a #IAmBilingualSG Call for Projects to support the nurturing of bilingualism in young children at home."


Start of 2020 Direct School Admission Exercises (11 May 2020)

"The Direct School Admission (DSA) exercise for admission to secondary schools and junior colleges (JCs) in 2021 will open for applications on 12 May 2020."


Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 Restrictions on MOE Instructors: Restructuring of Contracts to Provide Initial Payments Ahead of Work Done (14 May 2020)

"As part of MOE's precautionary measures for COVID-19, Co-Curricular Activities (CCA) and activities that involve mingling of students across schools have been suspended since Term 2. The prolonged suspension of these activities has affected the income of instructors who are paid based on services delivered."


Start of 2020 Early Admissions Exercise for the Institute of Technical Education and Polytechnics (18 May 2020)

"The Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) for the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and all five polytechnics will open in May and June respectively."


Arrangements for Schools and Institutes of Higher Learning at the End of Circuit Breaker (19 May 2020)

"With the end of the Circuit Breaker (CB) period on 1 June 2020, we enter the phase of safe opening. The Ministry of Education (MOE) will progressively bring students back to schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) from 2 June 2020, in a careful and safe manner."


Joint MOM-MOE-PSD Press Release on Support for local jobseekers through SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package (26 May 2020)

"26 May 2020 – Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had announced the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package to support close to 100,000 jobseekers during his Ministerial Statement. This Package aims to expand job and traineeship opportunities in both the public and private sectors for jobseekers, and provide enhanced training support. These efforts will support Singaporeans in acquiring job-related skills and capabilities, and in accessing expanded employment opportunities."


2020 Primary One Registration Exercise (For Admission to Primary One in 2021): Updates & New Developments (27 May 2020)

"The registration of children for admission to Primary One (P1) classes in 2021 will open from Wednesday, 1 July 2020 to Friday, 30 October 2020. The dates for the different phases of registration can be found at: https://www.moe.gov.sg/admissions/primary-one-registration/phases."


Covid-19: More than a third of GCE coursework subjects to have assessment tasks reduced (6 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE — More than a third of GCE coursework subjects will have their assessment tasks reduced, in light of the shift to full home-based learning and adjustments to school holidays amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) said reduction will now apply to 12 out of 34 subjects with a coursework component, including N(A)-Level Food & Nutrition, O-Level Design and Technology and A-Level H2 Theatre Studies and Drama."


Children bored during the Covid-19 circuit breaker? Try these family-friendly online activities (8 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE — Framed maps, artefacts placed in shining glass cases and a voice guiding you through the display halls.

These are physical elements of the National Heritage Board’s (NHB) An Old New World exhibition, now painstakingly replicated online for anyone to enjoy.

Located on NHB’s heritage portal Roots.sg, the virtual exhibition offers a 360-degree pan of the exhibition hall and a guided tour exploring Singapore’s story up to its founding in 1819."


Covid-19: Parents go back to preschool for online workshops during circuit breaker (16 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE — On a regular day, Odyssey The Global Preschool’s executive chef Mohamed Khaled Shrafodden can be found whipping up meals in the school kitchen and conducting culinary activities with preschoolers at its Orchard campus.

But after the circuit breaker kicked in, leaving all schools shut, he moved his class online to cater to a different group of students — the parents.

The former Mandarin Oriental chef’s culinary workshop is one of the initiatives rolled out by a few preschools for parents of preschoolers.

At Small Wonder preschool, parents looking for some downtime may sign up for baking, cooking or yoga workshops conducted by its teachers. The 45-minute long sessions kicked off after lunch on May 11, to encourage parents to stay active."


Covid-19: Schools to reopen in stages from June 2; graduating students first to be back in the classroom full-time (19 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE — Schools will reopen on June 2 as the Government eases the circuit breaker measures, but only students from graduating primary and secondary school cohorts will attend full-time initially, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Tuesday (May 19).

Students from other cohorts — Primary 1 to 5 and Secondary 1 to 3 — will rotate weekly between home-based learning and returning to school for lessons, so as to reduce the number of students at school at any one time for “better physical distancing”, it said.

For junior college and Millennia Institute students, a rotation system will mean only 50 per cent of them to be back at school at any one time to ensure that all students have “more than adequate face-to face time with their teachers, particularly the graduating cohorts”, said MOE."


Missing time spent in school, selected students who returned for classes say they’re glad to be back (20 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE — It is the school holidays, but in what is probably an unusual sentiment, students in graduating cohorts who returned to school this week told TODAY that they were glad to be back for supplementary lessons.

Others, who are from these cohorts but were not called back for lessons, are relieved that school will resume soon on June 2.

The main reason? They preferred taking lessons in class rather than online."


3 preschool staff test positive for Covid-19 out of about 10,400 tests so far (21 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE — Three preschool staff have tested positive for Covid-19 while about 10,400 staff have tested negative so far, said the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) on Thursday (May 21). It said last week that all 30,000 staff members would be required to take a one-time swab test.

“During this proactive testing of all staff, we would expect some positive cases to be identified,” said an ECDA spokesperson.

The three preschool staff to test positive are among seven new cases picked up from the “active surveillance and screening of nursing home residents and preschool staff”, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Thursday. In total, MOH reported 448 new infections."


Student designs retractable paper stick to press lift buttons, uploads template for users to make their own (22 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE – After noticing that his father had to carry disposable chopsticks around and use them to press lift buttons so that he could avoid touching them directly, undergraduate Jedaiah Chen decided to come up with a better solution.

The 24-year-old, who is in his second year doing a business administration degree course at the National University of Singapore, started experimenting at the start of this month to create a retractable stick made of paper that can be used to press buttons in lifts or at traffic lights.

Touching these surfaces carries a risk of coming into contact with germs, including the coronavirus, which can then enter the body when the hands come into contact with the eyes, nose or mouth."


Tuition centres embrace online tools as parents and students adapt to new normal (22 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE — Having gone online since the circuit breaker started on April 7, tuition and enrichment centres seem unfazed by the news that they would have to remain closed until further notice.

In fact, some said that they would continue providing lessons online, even post-Covid-19.

While Education Minister Ong Ye Kung announced on May 19 that schools will be re-opened in stages from June 2, tuition and enrichment centres are not allowed to resume physical classes yet as they would bring students from different schools together."


2 preschool staff among 642 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore on May 23 (23 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (May 23) confirmed an additional 642 Covid-19 infections in Singapore, including two preschool staff who tested positive for the disease.

This brings the total number of cases here to 31,068.

In a media statement, MOH said the two preschool staff are a 54-year-old Singaporean woman and a 24-year-old Filipino woman. Both did not develop any symptoms previously and tested positive on Friday and had gone to work after taking swab tests."


Toilets at coffee shops, hawker centres have become dirtier since 2016: SMU study (26 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE — The cleanliness of toilets at hawker centres and coffee shops has worsened in the last few years since 2016, and one in four patrons do not want to use these facilities at all if they have a choice.

These are the findings of a nationwide survey named Project Waterloo published by the Singapore Management University (SMU) on Tuesday (May 26), based on a study by SMU senior lecturer of statistics Rosie Ching and 157 undergraduates.

They reported that there was a 11.4 per cent decline in the cleanliness index of hawker centre toilets from 2016 to early February this year, and coffee shop toilets have stayed dirty and largely unchanged over the same period. Observations from customers and evidence collected by the students also pointed to the general dismal state of these public toilets."


49-year-old preschool staff among 373 new Covid-19 cases (28 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE — Singapore confirmed 373 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday (May 28), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement.

This brings the total number of infections here to 33,249.

In its daily update, MOH said there was one case in the community — a 49-year-old Chinese national whose case was picked up as a result of “proactive screening of preschools staff”.

The woman — identified as Case 33,092 — is a “local unlinked case” and was asymptomatic, MOH said."


Covid-19: Applications streamlined for youths to tap funds for projects to help society (29 May 2020)

"SINGAPORE — Amid the Covid-19 crisis, a streamlined application process has been rolled out to enable young people to seek funds that can be used for ground-up initiatives to help with jobs, supporting vulnerable groups and the mental wellbeing of youths.

The revised application process for what is known as the Young ChangeMakers (YCM) grant includes a shortening of the lead-time for making an application ahead of the project’s proposed start — from at least six weeks to at least one week. The so-called Covid-19 edition of the grant application process began in March and runs until Dec 31.

Another key short-term revision to streamline the process, given the restrictions arising from the circuit breaker period, is that applicants are no longer required to perform at an “open mic” session to audition, in effect, as part of the application process. This also lasts until Dec 31."