Getting down to business: Students learn through running coop clubs (16 April 2018)

"They may be young, but some students are already learning how to run a business.

From sourcing products and doing market surveys to managing accounts and manning counters, students from 13 schools have been involved in a Singapore National Cooperative Federation (SNCF) initiative to learn what it takes to run a social entrepreneurship."

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The compelling case for being an 'intentionally lazy' parent (16 April 2018)

"Last year, I worked with Charlie, a typical kid. He was a bright student, taking a few honours classes and scoring around the 90th percentile on standardised tests. He ran cross-country in the autumn and played lacrosse in the spring. He had a group of close buddies that he hung out with on most weekends.

But every Wednesday when we met, he shared different variations of the same problem: a test that he had bombed because he forgot to study, a missing piece of equipment for lacrosse that caused him to sit out the practice, a paper that he procrastinated writing until really late on Sunday so he had to pull an all-nighter, or a completed homework assignment that he forgot to take to school."

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Bar on SMU campus banned from selling alcohol (17 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE - A bar within the Singapore Management University (SMU) campus in Victoria Street has been banned from selling alcohol while police investigations are under way.

An SMU spokesman told The Straits Times that Smoobar had failed to ensure that alcohol was served only within its premises at all times - a condition for being allowed to sell alcohol there."

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NUS 'cashless campus' initiative draws criticism from students (18 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE - Ambitious plans to make National University of Singapore (NUS) a cashless campus have seemingly been reined in a little in the wake of student protests.

The Office of Campus Amenities said in an e-mail to students on Monday (April 16) that the positive response to a trial has prompted it to move towards cashless transactions in all retail and dining outlets by the upcoming academic year, which starts in August."

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Hwa Chong teachers won't have to pay for parking from own pockets (19 April 2018)

"A school that owns its own land and which directly hires the vast majority of its teachers has reached a compromise with the Ministry of Education (MOE) on the question of whether its teachers have to pay parking fees at the school.

Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) teachers will not have to pay the charges out of their own pockets, come August, when parking fees kick in for teachers in primary and secondary schools and junior colleges (JCs)."

LINK



RGS wins literature quiz, heads to NZ for world finals (21 April 2018)

"What novel by Jane Austen is also a girl's name starting with the letter E? What famous playwright was born in Stratford-upon-Avon?

At the POSB-NLB Kids' Lit Quiz 2018, students were asked questions from a wide range of literature genres, even comics."

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NTUC Income bursary scheme to pump in another $2 million to help needy students (21 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE - Youth who require financial aid for school fees and living expenses will be able to continue to receive aid under NTUC Income's community outreach scheme.

The insurer announced on Saturday (April 21) that it will extend its community development programme, the OrangeAid Future Development Programme, until the end of next year."

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Is early childhood bilingualism a myth? (21 February 2018)

"These days, more Singaporeans are speaking English at home, and may not use their mother tongue languages as often as before.

However, more parents are showing interest in wanting their kids to be bilingual, but can a young child really be proficient in more than one language?

Ms Thesigambigal, a Tamil language educator from MOE Kindergarten @ Frontier, shares her views.

What are some of the issues which young children face today in learning Tamil language?

Children typically do not have problems in picking up languages, but the frequency and exposure to the language is important. When children get exposed to both English and Tamil languages, they are in a better position to learn and use both languages. When Tamil language is not used often enough at home or at school, they don’t have a chance to listen to or speak the language often and it becomes unfamiliar to them."

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Bring Out the Learning Animal In You (23 February 2018)

"The ability to learn is the becoming a highly sought-after quality among global companies—here’s what you can do to cultivate it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it were possible to identify one skill that matters more than any other, in any job? Anyone who had that magic skill would be set for life!

It turns out there might be one, but it’s not a single skill like coding, or communication, or time management. According to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, it is the ability to pick up new skills.

In his 2014 book “How Google Works”, co-authored with the company’s former Senior Vice President Jonathan Rosenberg, he argues that “the world is changing so fast across every industry and endeavour that it’s a given the role for which you’re hiring is going to change.”

While employers typically fill a position by looking for people who have excelled in similar roles previously, Google looks for what they call “learning animals”, or people who are always picking up new knowledge and skills, while not being afraid to ask silly questions."

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Open House Dates of Special Education (SPED) Schools 2018 (27 February 2018)

"Children with special education needs (SEN) require different types and level of support, depending on their conditions. So how do parents choose the school that would be the best fit for their child?

To start off, let’s look at the difference between mainstream schools and Special Education (SPED) schools:

Mainstream Schools: For children with mild SEN and have the cognitive abilities to access the mainstream curriculum, and adequate adaptive skills to learn in large-group settings. At these schools, parents can work with Allied Educators to support their child’s learning.

SPED Schools: For children who require more intensive and specialised assistance in their education. There are currently 19 Government-funded SPED schoolsrun by 12 Social Service Organisations (SSOs)"

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Becoming the anchor for a greener future (28 February 2018)

"Instead of just reading about the need to care for the environment in their science textbooks, Anchor Green Primary School students walk the talk.

The students pitch in to clean their classrooms daily and make the effort to deposit unwanted recyclables into colourful bins around the campus. Primary 1 students also “adopt” a part of the school’s eco-garden, and help to maintain and look after the plants.

These initiatives are part of the school’s Learning for Life Programme (LLP), aimed to help students to not just understand the importance of conserving the environment, but also to put what they learn into practice.

“We hope to inculcate in students the right attitudes and lifestyle habits towards caring for and protecting the environment,” explains Mr Chong Chee Wee, Year Head at Anchor Green Primary School. “We also want to equip students with the skills to be active contributors to the community.”

Environment conservation lessons are not only in science classes. In art classes for lower primary students, students are tasked with designing posters which provide tips to save water. English lessons also incorporate reading materials on water conservation, and Primary 5 and 6 students get to work on group projects related to environmental conservation."

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Drama in the classroom? Yes, please (7 March 2018)

"What can you do with a chair, apart from sitting on it?

This sounds like a trivia quiz question, but for Secondary 3 students of CHIJ Katong Convent, it is time to put their creative juices to the test. They have to come up with a scene from a play, based on a nursery rhyme.

The activity is part of the school’s Drama Elective Programme, where students get a chance to learn about the inner workings of a theatrical production.

At the school, all Secondary 1 and 2 students are first exposed to drama in a foundation programme, and some of them would eventually go on to pursue it as a GCE O-Level Applied Subject in their upper secondary years.

At the foundation level, students learn different play forms and basic acting skills and characterisation, while upper secondary students delve deeper into understanding, structuring and creating drama productions."

LINK



Building children’s confidence and literacy skills at MOE Kindergarten (26 March 2018)

"When young Aidyn was in pre-school, Ms Marianah Kasmin was concerned if her son could transit smoothly to primary school, as he had difficulty conversing in Malay, his mother tongue language.

In 2016, she decided to enrol Aidyn at MOE Kindergarten @ Riverside, so that he could learn in English and Malay languages.

“Many kindergartens and childcare centres offered only Chinese as a second language, and Aidyn was in one of such centres. He was not able to converse in Malay due to lack of exposure to the language in class. And when asked questions in Malay, he would either keep quiet or respond in English,” she explains.

The decision turned out to be one which benefited the young boy immensely, and he enjoyed his time at MOE Kindergarten. “He loved the holistic learning approach and outdoor play. Going to kindergarten was a joy and most of all, he is happier now that he is able to converse in Malay language,” shares Ms Marianah."

LINK



Over-Teaching Not Required (9 April 2018)

"Kindergarten Principal Mrs Dianne Seet has always believed that pre-schoolers should be given the space to explore and grow. Now, she can quote MOE on it.

“A parent once withdrew her child because we don’t have homework at K1,” says Mrs Dianne Seet.

“Others wonder why we don’t have spelling tests. These days, we see two-and-a-half-year-olds joining us with some vocabulary. They’ve played with iPads; they’ve travelled with their families; they know things.”

The Principal of Ascension Kindergarten takes all this in her stride. She understands parents can be anxious, and some see pre-school as an opportunity to prepare their children academically for Primary 1. Some parents even compare the highest number their children can count to.

Such parents, however, may be missing the point: “When children are comfortable, they absorb information better. They can make meaning and connections.”

Thankfully, most of the parents of her school’s 600 children agree. Every weekday, their boys and girls are put into groups of five to draw, act, and play with materials like building blocks and dough."

LINK



A heart for students with special needs (13 April 2018)

“Every child [with special needs] has their own learning needs and abilities. Hence, the kind of assistance we provide differs from child to child,” said Ashveen Kaur Randhawa, Allied Educator (AED) for Learning and Behavioural Support (LBS) at Boon Lay Garden Primary School.

Depending on the needs and support required, some children attend special education schools, and others attend mainstream schools.

Currently, in mainstream primary schools, there is at least one AED (LBS), like Ashveen, to support students with mild special educational needs such as Dyslexia, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. 92 secondary schools also have one AED (LBS) each, and the Ministry of Education is still recruiting to meet longer term needs. There is also infrastructure support, financial assistance and more training for teaching staff.

But what makes all the difference to each child is the heart and skill of that special teacher. Ashveen believes that each student with special needs has his or her own success story to write, and she wants to be there to help them discover it. Now, seven years since starting on this journey, she shares with us how an AED (LBS) can do just that."

LINK



Bringing English language to life (16 April 2018)

"For Primary 2 students at Bedok Green Primary School, the opportunity to visit Jurong Bird Park to observe and learn about nocturnal birds may sound like a science field trip, but the activity is actually part of an English lesson.

After completing the book “Owl Babies” (selected from the STELLAR resources) in their English classes, students would embark on an excursion to Jurong Bird Park. The activity would complement the reading material and enable them to see how language concepts are applicable in the real world.

Such activities are part of the school’s efforts to help students to discover joy in reading and hone their language skills.

Besides heading out of the classroom to learn, various programmes and activities are also available within the school, such as book review contests and literature appreciation."

LINK







Nominations Open for Arif Budiman Malay Language Teachers’ Award 2018 (26 February 2018)

"Students, educators, parents, and members of the public are invited to nominate outstanding Malay Language teachers for the annual Arif Budiman Malay Language Teachers’ Award (AGAB). The award aims to recognise Malay Language teachers in primary and secondary schools, junior colleges and centralised institute who have made significant contributions to the teaching and learning of the Malay Language."

LINK



Many Paths, New Possibilities – Ready for a New World Together: Empowering Individuals, Nurturing Joy of Learning (5 March 2018)

"In line with the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s continuing efforts to develop future generations of resilient, innovative and curious lifelong learners who are empowered to chart their own paths of success, and rooted in sound values and a shared Singapore identity, MOE will:

A. Nurture innovation through Applied Learning;

B. Refresh our approach to National Education;

C. Enhance Financial Support for students at primary, secondary and pre-university levels;

D. Increase the annual Edusave contribution rates."

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Many Paths, New Possibilities – Ready For A New World Together: Supporting Aspirations, Developing Lifelong Learners (5 March 2018)

"MOE will further develop and nurture the passions and interests of our students through broadening pathways that recognise their diverse aptitudes and strengths. By enabling our students to experience the joy of learning and providing them opportunities for learning by doing, MOE will support them in their pursuit of lifelong learning, and prepare them for a dynamic future, together."

LINK



Nominations open tomorrow for Most Inspiring Tamil Teachers’ Award 2018 (19 March 2018)

"Students, educators, parents, and members of the public are invited to nominate Tamil language teachers for the annual Most Inspiring Tamil Teachers’ (MITT) Award. The nomination is open from 20 March to 18 May 2018."

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Refinements to the Primary One Registration Exercise (20 March 2018)

"The Ministry of Education (MOE) will be introducing two administrative refinements to the Primary One (P1) registration exercise. The changes will take effect from the 2018 registration exercise."

LINK



Nathan Hartono continues as CPCLL Ambassador for 2018 (29 March 2018)

"Singer-songwriter Mr Nathan Hartono (向洋)will continue for the second year as Ambassador for the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL) in 2018."

LINK







Teachers to pay for parking at schools from Aug 1 (26 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE ― Teachers at all national schools and junior colleges will have to pay for parking at school premises from August 1, following a carpark policy review for schools.

Teachers TODAY spoke to confirmed that staff at the schools and junior colleges were given a briefing about the new carpark charges on Monday (March 26) morning. The carparks are invariably meant for school staff.

The teachers cannot be named as they are not authorised to comment on the matter in public."

LINK



Free staff parking at schools a ‘taxable benefit’, not in line with clean wage policy: MOE (26 March 2018)

"SINGAPORE – Explaining the move to charge teachers for parking their cars in schools, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said in response to media queries that it has “become increasingly clear that the current treatment of allowing school staff to park for free constitutes a taxable benefit”.

The ministry noted on Monday (March 26) that the “vast majority of school car parks are located near chargeable car parks and the car parks are intended for the use of staff and authorised visitors, with no access given to the general public”.

“As such, in line with (the Public Service Division’s) clean wage policy, an appropriate season parking charge in schools will be imposed,” it added."

LINK



Sharp dip in private school grads who found full-time jobs 6 months after graduation (3 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Only one in two private school fresh graduates secured full-time jobs six months after graduation, a sharp decline from the six in 10 figure achieved by the previous batch, the latest graduate employment survey has found.

Releasing its findings from the latest Private Education Institute (PEI) Graduate Employment Survey on Tuesday (April 3), the Committee for Private Education (CPE) said overall employment rate for private school graduates who graduated from full-time bachelor’s level external degree programmes between 2016 and last year was 79 per cent, down from 84.3 per cent for the previous batch. Full-time employment rate, however, tumbled steeply, from 60.1 per cent for the 2015/2016 graduates to 47.4 per cent for the Class of 2016/2017.

More graduates opted for freelance employment, with the rate going up 1 percentage point year-on-year, to hit 3.7 per cent in the latest survey."

LINK



Faces on the Subway: Eye on winning medal, before he gets into the rat race (4 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE — For a young adult like Mr Gabriel Koh, making a good impression on others is important to him. That was why even though he claimed he used to be “more slack”, he was not about to let go of an opportunity that could help him in that area.

When a friend on Facebook was looking to recruit people into a dragonboat team, he grabbed at the chance. “I decided to join a sport to make it look better on my resume, to show that I am an active and sporty person,” Mr Koh said.

Three years on, he is now a senior in a competitive team called Team Trident, under the Ang Mo Kio-Hougang Community Sports Club, which organises sports activities for residents in the constituency. The team has about 100 members, with 20 to 30 who are regular paddlers."

LINK



Nurse who molested schoolgirls used masking tape to avoid leaving fingerprints behind (6 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE — He would lurk at overhead bridges in the Sengkang area and prey on schoolgirls, distracting them before molesting or exposing himself to them.

Aldrin Illias, 39, stuck masking tape on his fingers to ensure his fingerprints or DNA would not be left on his victims’ clothes.

He would strike at about 6am to 7am when the girls were on their way to school, thinking they would not have time to report the incidents to their parents."

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Survey findings on underemployment show S’pore’s ‘graduate poor’ earn less than $2,000 a month (10 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE — A survey, among the first of its kind, has revealed “worrying statistics of seriously underemployed Singaporean graduates”, in the words of a labour Member of Parliament (MP).

The survey conducted by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute canvassed responses from 1,626 Singapore workers between August and November last year. It found that about 70, or 4.31 per cent, of the respondents were severely underemployed. These were degree-holders earning less than S$2,000 a month, despite holding full-time jobs.

The majority of them were from the health and social services (18 per cent), financial services (12 per cent), transport and education sectors (both 7 per cent). They were mostly female (63 per cent) with a median age of 35, and had 10 to 15 years of work experience."

LINK



Barista with intellectual disability pours her heart into latte art (14 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE — At the Singapore Latte Art Championship held at Marina Bay Sands last month, Ms Nuraqilah Fatin Swat found herself pitted against professional baristas Kinsmen Coffee and House of Robert Timms.

Refusing to let nerves get the better of her, the 23-year-old weaved elaborate designs such as a peacock with coloured feathers, a double winged-swan and inverted tulips.

The "scariest" point in the competition was when she encountered a technical issue when steaming milk. Although Ms Fatin could have called for a time-out, the shy and soft-spoken woman, who has mild intellectual disability, decided not to do so as the pressure of everyone watching was too nerve-wracking."

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6 playgrounds with special themes built in HDB neighbourhoods, 9 more to come (15 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE — At the Keat Hong Mirage neighbourhood in Chua Chu Kang, children can sometimes be seen “driving” a military combat vehicle, or escaping from “enemies” via a 3m-high fireman pole after being tipped off by friends on a lookout at a “watch tower”.

They are spending time at the estate’s military-themed playgrounds, which are part of six playgrounds with special themes that the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has built since August 2016.

Conceptualised based on the historical background and characteristics of the town, they are meant to help promote a stronger town identity and “spark conversation” among neighbours, the HDB said."

LINK



NTU to have driverless bus shuttle service running campuswide by 2019 (16 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE — By the end of next year, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will have an autonomous shuttle service serving the entire campus.

The fully automated Group Rapid Transit (GRT) will operate a minibus service route that connects the halls of residences with the main academic areas, and it is targeted to serve 200 to 300 passengers daily.

The shuttle service, which is on trial for the moment, is expected to be tested further in phases from the last quarter of this year."

LINK



O-Level exam cheating case: Student ‘told to wear thicker clothing to conceal Bluetooth devices’ (18 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE — He was told to wear thicker clothing and a jacket to sit for his O-Level exams, but it was not because of the air-conditioning in the exam hall.

Instead, it was purportedly so Chinese national Zhou Zice, 17, could conceal the three Bluetooth devices taped to him that were connected to the iPhone in the back pocket of his trousers.

The second witness in the trial of Zeus Education Centre principal Poh Yuan Nie and two tutors, who allegedly helped six Chinese students to cheat during the 2016 O-Level exams, Zice largely corroborated evidence given by the first witness, fellow student Chen Xiang."

LINK



NUS plans to go fully cashless by May next year (18 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE — The National University of Singapore (NUS) has set itself the aim of becoming a fully cashless campus sometime in the new academic year — which starts in August and ends in May next year — with all food operators and retailers providing various cashless payment options and no longer accepting cash.

However, the initiative — which was announced to students and NUS staff through an internal email on Monday (April 16) — has triggered concerns among sections of its student population.

A petition has been started against the move, citing worries such as the lack of “inclusiveness” and the unreliable and “erratic nature” of the Wi-Fi connection on campus which could affect access to cashless payments."

LINK



O-Level exam cheating case: Student coughed to get answers repeated over call (19 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Telling the court how he cheated to get answers to the first of five GCE O-Level papers, 17-year-old Zhou Zice said that he secretly answered a call that came in the middle of his Combined Science (Physics/Chemistry) practical examination.

Over the phone, a tutor would narrate solutions to his test questions in chronological order. When he could not hear any of the answers clearly, Zice coughed to have the answer repeated to him.

The teen, a Chinese national, was a witness on Thursday (April 19) testifying during a trial involving Poh Yuan Nie, 52, principal of tuition agency Zeus Education Centre, and two of her accomplices — her niece, Fiona Poh Min, 30, and Chinese national Feng Riwen, 25."

LINK



Take a tumble through 100 years of S’pore playgrounds at National Museum’s latest exhibition (20 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE — From impromptu play spaces, to functional swings and see-saws, and the iconic dragon playgrounds of Toa Payoh, Singaporeans of all ages will be able to take a fun-filled walk down memory lane at the first-ever extensive exhibition by the National Museum of Singapore, called “The More We Get Together: Singapore’s Playgrounds 1930 – 2030”.

Tracing the roots of some 100 years of Singapore’s playgrounds from the early 20th century to the future, the exhibition will take visitors on a “retrospective and prospective journey through four vignettes that encapsulate the important development” of local playgrounds here, said the National Museum and Housing and Development Board (HDB) in a joint press release on Friday (April 20).

Mr Lawrence Wong, who is Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, officiated the opening of the exhibition on Friday (April 20)."

LINK



Delayed milestones, but mum soldiers on to help daughter shine (21 April 2018)

"SINGAPORE — The first time Amor Perez sang “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” at 3.5 years old, she was so tuneless that her uncle jokingly asked if she was reciting a Harry Potter spell.

Born two months premature and with spastic muscles, Amor suffered significant delays in her motor skills, language, cognitive and social developmental milestones. She also experienced frequent seizures, and the way she processed touch and sounds was affected. Her twin brother Nathan has cerebral palsy and autism.

“Since Amor could not hear well due to a hearing sensitivity, she could not sing nursery rhymes properly. But of course, we never told her (how out of tune she was),” said Amor’s mother Christian Perez, 42, with a smile."

LINK