Youth entrepreneurs to get funding to run stalls at next year's River Hongbao (5 December 2018)

"SINGAPORE - Youths who emerge top in an entrepreneurship competition - River Hongbao Hackathon - will get to run their own stalls at next year's River Hongbao event.

The Feb 3-10 event to celebrate the Chinese New Year has been on Singapore's annual festive calendar since 1987. It typically attracts more than a million visitors during its run."


Two home-grown companies donate $30,000 to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (5 December 2018)

"SINGAPORE - For the past 33 years, Mr Alan Lee has been running a company that provides eco-friendly urban landscaping, waterproofing, drainage, green roofs and more..

But he thinks it is high time he contributes to sustainability in another area - youth and education."


Kaplan division told to stop offering some SkillsFuture-funded courses (6 December 2018)

"A division of private school Kaplan Singapore has been told to stop offering some of its courses accredited under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) system from Dec 1, after some trainers were found to have flouted SkillsFuture Singapore's (SSG) guidelines on assessment practices.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, Associate Professor Rhys Johnson, chief operating officer and provost of Kaplan Singapore, said that SSG had found "isolated instances" where students were given the same assessment questions used in prior group discussions for their tests."


Degree of concern: Are Singapore universities chasing rankings? (9 December 2018)

"A new National University of Singapore (NUS) scheme, offering "internationally competitive" salaries and million-dollar research grants for young academic stars, has sparked a debate on whether Singapore's two leading universities prefer foreign academics and if they have embarked on these "aggressive" recruitment schemes to chase rankings.

The Presidential Young Professorship (PYP) scheme being launched this month does not specify the salaries, but academics say if NUS intends to match the salaries paid to talented young faculty academics in the United States, then it would have to fork out as much as US$200,000 (S$273,000) a year in some fields."


Brain science shows why children learn differently: Expert (10 December 2018)

"The brain of a child with autism is similar to a war veteran's. Both have a heightened sensitivity to things around them, such as facial expressions, because of how their brains are wired.

Their behaviour, said world-renowned occupational therapist and teacher Kim Barthel, can be explained by a part of the brain called the amygdala, which takes in information and determines if anything is a threat."


3D-printed organs aid medical students (10 December 2018)

"As a medical science student in India about 20 years ago, Assistant Professor Reddy Mogali studied the human anatomy by working on cadavers and organs donated for medical research and educational purposes.

But the head of anatomy at Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine has come up with an alternative for students - replicas of human organs, made with 3D printers."


Three Big Reasons to Read (5 November 2018)

"He’s worked with top-flight investment bankers, and funded several tech start-ups. One thing he finds common among the most successful people: They have good reading habits.

Reading may not be as fashionable as it used to be, but David Toh feels its benefits are timeless. The Chief Technology Officer of NTU’s business incubator fondly remembers being brought by his parents to the libraries and bookstores every few weeks to get a new book, and sharing with them what he learned. He offers the following reasons for why you should consider doing the same with your children:

1. To discover interests at an early age

What does your child want to do when she grows up? Chances are it’s something she’s seen people do in real life or on television. Maybe she wants to take after her own daddy and mummy. But why limit her thinking to her own immediate experience? “As children grow, they may develop an obsession for different things,” says David. “When I was young, I wanted to be an airline pilot, but it was just a phase. To make sure children aren’t overly fixated on one thing, encourage them to explore other areas. Get them to read widely and develop their curiosity quotient.”

2. To open up more opportunities at work

Eventually, your child may graduate in a specific field like computing, philosophy or social work. Her studies may serve her well in her first job, but what happens if a fantastic opportunity opens up in a different area, or her employer goes out of business? “People who are well-read are better able to switch and move careers. If you have no knowledge, there is fear. If you have some knowledge, you can build on that and do different things.” David has no shortage of examples of well-read individuals who have excelled, from the telephone salesman who became the top performer at his company in an investment bank, to computer enthusiasts who won MIT global competitions in programming, despite not having degrees in the field."


Creativity is not enough (12 November 2018)

"From grounds-up student suggestions to organising an innovation festival, Miss Toh Pei Min is challenging her students to come up with ideas that work.

Toh Pei Min, Seng Kang Primary School, Outstanding Youth in Education Award 2018 finalist

Music and board games

Our school’s Innovation Programme started with a cardboard “robot”. We placed it in the canteen and students would “feed” it with suggestions for the school.

I started this programme to give every student a voice. They could identify problems around the school and think of possible solutions. The Prefects’ Innovation Team would then select some suggestions based on a set of given criteria to implement.

One of the suggestions was to set up interest groups. The prefects conducted a survey on students’ interests and decided to start interest groups for music and board games. The response was overwhelming! There were 70 applicants for the two groups.

This was new territory for my prefects. To help them manage their peers during the groups’ activities, a colleague and I coached them in getting music participants to go onstage in an orderly manner, and in managing conflict among those playing board games.

Most of the prefects were initially very shy about standing in front of the music participants to give them instructions. However, after a few sessions, they began to speak confidently and even sang and danced with the participants.

The prefects also noticed that the board game participants usually played with their own friends and did not interact with others. They shared their ideas on how to improve the situation with me. The eventual solution – participants are rotated and required to play board games with students from a different race, class, or level."


Who Needs a Career Ladder? Go Sideways (16 November 2018)

"Not sure of what you want? Ginette Chittick’s life is an example of what we can achieve, simply by being open to people and opportunities

Ginette Chittick will try everything once.

In her teens, a friend invited her to play bass guitar in an all-girl rock band. She had no idea how to, but her friend assured her it would be easy, so she dived in.

After years in Singapore’s rock music scene, she set up a fashion label with looks inspired by her favourite bands. Neither she nor her two business partners were trained in fashion—they couldn’t draw or work with fabrics. But they had a clear vision and pressed ahead, learning along the way.

Their efforts caught the eye of the Dean of Design at LASALLE, where Ginette was teaching design communication. She suggested that Ginette head the school’s Diploma in Fashion instead, since she had practical experience.

Ginette said – you guessed it – yes.

“I often find I end up doing something because I did something else related before,” she says. It’s worked for her. From bass-playing to t-shirt printing to deejaying in clubs, the mother of one has always been open to meeting people and accumulating new experiences. Sometimes, it ends up being a hobby. But in the case of fashion, it has become her life."


Three art activities for learning the Chinese language (19 November 2018)

"Children are like sponges. Their young minds have an astounding ability to absorb and learn from their surroundings quickly. With guidance and encouragement, children can learn language and communication skills from the people they meet and the things they see and do – and that includes art and craft.

Besides encouraging your child to read widely, art can be a great way to teach a young child the vocabulary and sentence structure of the Chinese language. When children actively use the language in their everyday activities, they internalise it naturally.

Mr Patrick Yee, a children’s book illustrator and lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, shares three simple art activities you can try:

Talk and draw it out

Introduce Chinese characters for nouns whenever you can. This can be done at any time of the day and even at home. For instance, mealtimes are great opportunities to teach your child the names of cookware and cutlery, or even the different types of food on the table. Sit down with your child after the meal for an art jam session, and together, doodle pictures of the cutlery and food you’ve just had."


Taking risks: the path to growth and success (21 November 2018)

"A polytechnic lecturer and a mother of two shares why letting your children take measured risks is important to their development.

Crispina Robert freaked out when her son, then 18 years old, told her he was going hiking in Selangor with his friends – a day before the trip. They had not made any arrangement for accommodation or transport, and their plan was to “wing it”. She tried but failed to talk him out of going for the hike.

As Crispina had predicted, her son and friends hit a few roadblocks. At the end of their hike, her son called home for help to negotiate with a driver they chanced upon, to get them out of the hiking area (as none of them could speak Malay). All these could have been avoided if they had planned beforehand.

But in hindsight, Cripsina said that she was glad that she decided to let It (and him) go. “It was a transformative experience for him because he now knows all the things that could go wrong,” she says. “He would never have encountered [these problems] in the safe confines of his classroom or my home.”

As parents, how can we protect our children but also learn to “let go”? Crispina shares her experiences."


Character development in the great outdoors (23 November 2018)

"Kayaking, rock climbing and pitching tents - how often do we get out of our comfort zone for such activities?

Beyond the outdoors and sports at Zhenghua Secondary School, students also learn valuable life skills during their PE lessons. Beyond getting them to be out and about, the aim of the these activities and lessons is to inculcate confidence, teamwork and leadership skills in the students.

The Learning for Life Programme (LLP) is for the Secondary One to Three students. Secondary One students will attend a three-day-two-night orientation camp to familiarise themselves with the school and their peers, and it is planned and led by their seniors in Secondary Two and Three. As the year progresses, students learn life skills such as map-reading, navigation, first aid and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques. These lessons take place during their PE lessons.

In Secondary Two, students attempt kayaking, rock climbing and challenge rope courses. These experiences in the wilderness will culminate into an expedition in Secondary Three, where students will plan their own camp and trek with their classmates around Singapore, at places including Labrador Park, Changi Chapel and Pasir Ris."


Are you projecting your stress on your child? (26 November 2018)

"All parents want the best for their child. But unrealistic expectations can affect a child’s mental wellbeing. Dr Irena Kit, lecturer and psychologist at the National Institute of Education (NIE), shares five tips on how managing a child’s stress begins with managing our expectations as parents.

Will it be ballet or badminton? Chess or computer? Dance or dragonboat? Could my child possibly do all these after-school activities?

When other parents boast about the long list of activities they have enrolled their children in, some parents can’t help but feel a slight pang of envy – or anxiety. After all, we fret that our children are losing out.

Dr Irena Kit knows this all too well. The National Institute of Education (NIE) lecturer and psychologist is also a parent of an 11-year-old son.

“When other parents talk about what they do for their children, or how well their children are performing, I would think, ‘Maybe my child should do it too’,” said Dr Kit.

But she allows this thought to creep in for only a brief second."


Could success mean being a good dog groomer? (30 November 2018)

"Why not? A mother of two shares her reflections on why parents should see success differently.

Recently, I have been thinking hard about this question: what exactly is success in Singapore?

We often link our ideas of “success” to our assumptions of what a good life entails. In our context, a “good life” often has these two elements: title (power of some sort) and money (displayed for others to see). If the two are present, success exists. This is why we feel doctors, lawyers, civil servants are successful. They tick these two key boxes.

I think that’s the heart of many parents’ anxieties for their children. When what our children are doing do not seem to fall within these parameters of success, we feel our panic level rising.

But perhaps, we should pause and think again. How else can success look like in our children’s lives?

I can share about my dog’s groomer,a young woman who runs a successful business and who is often fully booked. I stumbled upon her online and found her at the heart of an old HDB estate."


Pay It Forward: Mentor the Future (6 December 2018)

"Christian Eber, a father of one shares what the ups and downs of his life have taught him about building trust with young people.

When Christian saw his results for his O-Level preliminary exams, he thought it was a joke. He had scored ‘F9’ for all his subjects. His dad told him plainly that he was never going to amount to anything. So he said, “Dad, you wait and see.” For the next few months, he “studied like crazy”, and managed to do well enough to enter Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Christian wanted desperately prove his Dad wrong. To do this, he had to be successful, fast. So he decided to put his studies on hold to enlist for National Service (NS), and started working after he served in the army. He learned to fix air-conditioners, and was earning $200 a day; he soon saved up enough money to get a car, and dreamt of becoming a multi-millionaire by the age of 25.

“My pride soon puffed up like a giant marshmallow,” Christian admitted. He became a “monster” who was arrogant to his Dad and the people around him. But his plans were disrupted when he met with a terrible car accident. He was almost crushed by a bus, and nursed a fractured arm for 6 months.

During his recovery, he realised he had to balance things up to remain grounded. He decided to joined SIA as an aircraft technician, and went back to polytechnic to get his diploma part-time. Then, his dad was struck with cancer. When his father passed away, it was a low moment in Christian’s life."


How to help your child come to terms with bullying (13 December 2018)

"Being a victim of bullying can often be a painful and emotional journey. As parents, taking the right steps can ensure that your child feels safe as they overcome this difficult phase.

Whenever Dr Wong Hwei Ming is tasked with handling a bullying case, the first thing she normally does is to sit down with the bully and recount the “Two Apples Story”.

It goes like this.

A teacher stands in front of a classroom holding two identical apples, one in each palm. She repeatedly drops one from a height while firmly holding onto the other.

After a while, she asks the students if either of the apples have changed from their original state.

Since there are no noticeable differences at first glance, they reply by saying that both apples look exactly the same as before.

But when the teacher takes a knife and cuts into both the apples, the one that has been dropped several times reveals a badly bruised flesh while the other remains perfectly intact.

“The reality of bullying is that victims tend to seem normal on the outside even though they might be experiencing great trauma on the inside,” said Dr Wong, educational psychologist and school counsellor."


Changes to Direct School Admission Exercise for Secondary Schools (DSA-Sec) from 2019 (7 November 2018)

"Direct School Admission for Secondary Schools (DSA-Secondary) provides students an opportunity to enrol in a school based on their talents, potential and achievements that cannot be demonstrated through the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). At MOE’s Committee of Supply Debate in 2017, several changes to DSA-Sec were announced to better support students in finding a match between their strengths and interests on one hand, and a secondary school that offers suitable programmes on the other."


Simplification of UAS Computation for Polytechnic Graduates (7 November 2018)

"From the Academic Year (AY) 2020 admissions cycle (commencing in February 2020), the UAS for polytechnic students applying to all AUs, including NUS and NTU, will comprise only their polytechnic GPA - i.e. the current requirement for their ‘O’-level results to comprise 20% of their UAS will be removed. This change will therefore standardise the treatment of O-Level grades for polytechnic graduates applying to all AUs."


Release of 2018 PSLE Results and Secondary 1 Posting Exercise (15 November 2018)

"The results of the 2018 Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) will be released on Thursday, 22 November 2018. Students may obtain their results from their respective primary schools from 11.00am on 22 November 2018."


Release of the 2018 PSLE results (22 November 2018)

"Students collected their Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results from their respective primary schools today.

Performance of 2018 Primary 6 Cohort

A total of 39,672 Primary 6 students sat for the PSLE this year1. 39,041 students (or 98.4%) are assessed suitable to proceed to secondary school. 66.6% are eligible for the Express course, 20.6% for the Normal (Academic) course, and 11.2% for the Normal (Technical) course.

Amongst the 631 students (or 1.6%) who did not qualify for the Express, Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical) courses, those who attempted the PSLE for the first time may re-attempt it in the coming year or apply to Assumption Pathway School (APS) or NorthLight School (NLS). Those who have made more than one attempt at PSLE will be preferentially offered a place in APS or NLS."


Release of 2018 Singapore-Cambridge GCE N(A)- & N(T)-Level Examination Results on 17 December 2018 (10 December 2018)

"The results of the 2018 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Normal (Academic)- [N(A)] and Normal (Technical)- [N(T)] Level Examinations will be released on Monday, 17 December 2018."


2018 Secondary 1 Posting Results (12 December 2018)

"The Secondary 1 (S1) posting results will be released on Wednesday, 19 December 2018 at 9.00am."


Why graduates from S'pore's newer universities find it easier to get jobs (16 October 2018)

"According to the 2017 Joint Graduate Employment Survey that was released last month, graduates from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) were more likely to find employment within the first six months of completing their final examinations, compared to their counterparts from other universities.

Furthermore, the overall employment rate of SIT graduates was 92.3 per cent in 2017, up 3.3 per cent from 2016.

This is significantly higher than the overall employment figure for graduates from the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU), which stood at 88.9 per cent, a slight dip from 2016’s 89.5 per cent."


24-year-old creates card game to get over failed relationship and help others deal with broken hearts (23 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Rather than mope over her failed relationship, one 24-year-old channelled her heartbreak into creative energy which she hopes will benefit others.

Banding with two of her friends, Ms Teh Jo Ey created a new card game called Broken Hearts to inspire others in the same boat to love again.

On Wednesday (Oct 24), the trio will launch their campaign on crowdfunding site Kickstarter to raise S$15,000 to produce the card game. The target sum is the minimal needed for them to break even, said Ms Teh."


Govt can do more to reduce concentration of disadvantaged and privileged students in some schools: Ong (24 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Singapore's education system continues to spur social mobility for students from poorer backgrounds, but Education Minister Ong Ye Kung acknowledged that more can be done to counter the “unhealthy trend” of disadvantaged and privileged students being concentrated in certain schools.

Among other things, there can be a better mix of students in every school, and all schools should also continue to be well-resourced and -supported, said Mr Ong, who was speaking on Wednesday (Oct 24) at a dinner by non-profit organisation Equal-Ark in the Shangri-La Hotel.

It was previously announced that from next year’s Secondary 1 posting exercise, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will reserve one-fifth of school places for those without affiliation to a secondary school."


Streaming of students has ‘unintended side effects’, ‘labelling’ has to be addressed: Indranee (30 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Singapore society has to find a way to deal with “labelling” or stereotyping students, Second Education Minister Indranee Rajah said, conceding that the streaming system in schools has had an “unintended side effect” on how pupils view themselves and are perceived by others.

She was responding to a question on Monday (Oct 29) about what the Government plans to do to alleviate the stigma of students in different streams and classes, during a dialogue session that followed a screening of the Channel NewsAsia documentary Regardless of Class at a Shaw Lido cinema.

The dialogue, co-presented with Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, was attended by about 100 participants including students, teachers and social-enterprise workers."


New tests useful, but important to maximise diverse attributes, say scholars and public servants (1 November 2018)

"SINGAPORE — While new tests can capture more attributes of potential scholars, the Public Service Commission (PSC) needs to interpret the results carefully and place public servants in roles that maximise a diverse range of attributes, said recipients of government scholarships.

They were weighing in on PSC chairman Lee Tzu Yang’s open letter on Wednesday (Oct 31). Among other things, Mr Lee said the commission will encourage diversity in the scholars’ choice of courses and countries of study, and explore tools such as game-based assessments to assess attributes such as perseverance.

Ex-civil servant and government scholarship holder Hoe Yeen Teck, 38, said he understands the games-based assessments to include group assessments that allow assessors to evaluate how candidates interact with one another in different scenarios."


VivoCity library to open on Jan 12 next year (1 November 2018)

"SINGAPORE — VivoCity will house the city-state’s latest mall library when Library@harbourfront opens on level three of the shopping mall at Harbourfront on Jan 12 next year.

The new library will replace the existing Bukit Merah Public Library located at Bukit Merah Central, which will cease operations from Dec 1 this year, the National Library Board (NLB) announced on Thursday (Nov 1).

The relocation of the Bukit Merah library is part of a wider move by the NLB to locate its libraries with other community facilities or shopping malls near major transport nodes, it had said in July last year during the reopening of Bukit Panjang Public Library."


Taskforce to help children from disadvantaged families not a reactive move, says Indranee (2 November 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Dismissing suggestions that the recent move to set up a taskforce to help children from disadvantaged families was reactive in nature, Second Minister for Education Indranee Rajah stressed on Thursday (Nov 1) that the Government had recognised the problem of inequality early on.

The Government's focus is to tackle the problem “vigorously” and improve the lives of Singaporeans who might “have not been able to do as well” as the country progressed over the years, she told reporters on the sidelines of her visit to an Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) programme at East Coast."


25-year-old pursued part-time degree with her own savings to ease burden on father (3 November 2018)

"SINGAPORE — After finishing her polytechnic diploma in biomedical science in 2013, Ms R Abirami took a leap of faith, electing to pursue her undergraduate studies part-time as she did not want to further burden her father’s finances.

“If you’re rich, you can go for a full-time programme without an issue, but even though I took a part-time programme, that actually gave me an edge over others because I also gained work experience,” she told TODAY at her home in Chua Chu Kang.

Ms Abirami, 25, comes from a family of six. She has three younger sisters aged 14, 18 and 20, and her mother, 45, is a housewife."


Make the best of what you have, says young Singaporean from lower-income family (3 November 2018)

"SINGAPORE — As a young child growing up in a three-room flat in Toa Payoh, Mr Eric Lee was aware that finances were tight for his family of five. His father, a blue-collar worker in a fibreglass company, was the sole breadwinner, and his homemaker mother occasionally took on babysitting jobs to help supplement the family’s income.

Recounting his childhood to TODAY, Mr Lee, 25, said: “We couldn’t splurge. We wouldn’t buy things that were unnecessary, and would get really what was mandatory or needed.”

“Simple things”, such as turning off the fans when they were not in the room, and not wasting water helped the family live frugally."


Teachers, friends help Normal (Tech) student in his journey to NUS (3 November 2018)

"SINGAPORE — A nudge from his older brother and family friend, and prodding and support from his school spurred Mr Tan Wang Ren, 25, to pull off something that no one in his school had done before: Move up to the Express stream from Normal (Technical).

Mr Tan, who comes from a low-income family of six, found himself in Normal (Technical) at St Andrew’s Secondary School after a poor Primary School Leaving Examination scorecard.

At home, Mr Tan faced a “disruptive and chaotic” environment where bitter quarrels often broke out."


Introducing a slice of Finnish fun to Singapore (6 November 2018)

"VANTAA (Finland) — Toddlers learning how to walk were accompanied by their parents as they climbed towers and crawled through tunnels at one section of the park, while their older siblings tried out the trampolines. In another section, some teenagers were skating and scooting on the ramps.

Such a scene is just a normal day at SuperPark Vantaa.

The 72,000 sq ft hybrid model indoor park in Vantaa, about 14 km away from the capital city of Helsinki, has 32 activities divided into three themed areas, catering to people of different ages and fitness levels."


Teachers in Singapore command high pay but work long hours, says international survey (8 November 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Teachers in the Republic have the second longest working hours — topped only by New Zealand — a global survey of 35 countries has found. But they are also paid almost twice as much as the public think.

In fact, Singapore is one of only three countries — alongside Italy and Finland — in which the actual wage received by teachers is significantly higher than what the teachers themselves perceived to be fair.

According to the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Status Index 2018 that was released on Thursday (Nov 8), the actual starting salary for a secondary school teacher here is US$50,249 (S$68,954). The public, however, estimates the annual starting salary to be US$28,021 — resulting in the largest gap between estimated and actual wages of teachers of any country polled."


Grab, NUS trial e-scooter sharing service on campus (23 November 2018)

"SINGAPORE — A three-month trial has begun for Grab's e-scooter sharing service GrabWheels at the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Kent Ridge campus.

E-scooters have been deployed across eight parking stations on campus in the pilot, which sees the new GrabWheels service being tested for the first time in Singapore, Grab said in a joint news release with NUS on Friday (Nov 23).

The number of stations will progressively increase to 30 by the end of December."


Kindergarten students, teachers hit by food poisoning at camp, caterer under investigation (28 November 2018)

"SINGAPORE — In the third major case of food poisoning this month, children and teachers at a learning camp fell ill on Monday (Nov 26) after they consumed food prepared by FoodTalks Caterer and Manufacturer.

A total of 131 people — including kindergarten students and teachers — were hit by gastroenteritis, although none were hospitalised.

The camp, which was organised by Learning Horizon, a subsidiary of global childcare chain Busy Bees, was immediately suspended after the incident."


Woodgrove teacher trial: Principal did not know money was collected from students, says defence (29 November 2018)

"SINGAPORE — The principal of Woodgrove Secondary School did not know that teachers have been collecting money from students for learning materials for the various subjects, said the defence in the trial of a teacher accused of misappropriating students’ money.

When questioned by the defence on Thursday (Nov 29), principal Chee Chit Yeng admitted that he found out money was collected for various learning materials, only after the case involving Maslinda Zainal was brought to his attention in March 2017.

Maslinda, 44, stands accused of criminal breach of trust by misappropriating about S$40,000 meant for learning materials known as Excel packages. This allegedly happened between January 2016 and April 2017, while she was the Head of Department (HOD) for English."


Painted faces: 15-year-old Nanyang Girls' High School student stands out in traditional Teochew opera (2 December 2018)

"SINGAPORE — As a young child, Tan Wei Tian remembers watching “live” Teochew opera performances with her grandmother at the Kreta Ayer People's Theatre in Chinatown, and Bukit Gombak community centre.

Watching the performers on stage in their elaborate headdresses and costumes, she was so inspired that she tried to sing the opera songs and mimic their movements on stage, using her father's long sleeve shirts as a substitute for water sleeves, the flowing detachable sleeves used by performers in Chinese opera."