NTU 'regrets' holding career fair targeted at top students (9 October 2018)

"Nanyang Technological University (NTU) said yesterday that it "regrets" holding a career fair last month mostly for top-performing students, adding that it will open the event to the entire graduating cohort next year.

From next year, regardless of grades, students will be allowed to submit their resumes in advance by posting them on a website for employers to consider. The employers taking part in the NTUtopia career fair will then draw up a shortlist of students to be invited to the event."


Generation Grit: Forced to be 'man of the house' at young age, he now helps troubled youth (9 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE - As a child, youth worker Kevin Chia sometimes found himself having to shield his mother from beatings by his father.

His father, who was involved with gangs and jailed repeatedly for drug offences, often returned home drunk and would beat up his wife over money."


SUSS unveils initiatives to recognise non-academic excellence (10 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE - Graduates from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) did not just collect their degree certificates on Wednesday (Oct 10).

A batch of 168 full-time students also received physical and digital records of their other achievements at the institution that showcased their non-academic skills, such as creative thinking and decision-making, and aim to boost their chances of finding work."


Part-time mother, part-time student: SUSS grad juggled job, family and studies (10 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE - While most parents would be sitting down to help their children with their homework, Ms Angela Goh had schoolwork of her own to do.

Ms Goh, 37, a part-time Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) student, received her Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics degree on Wednesday (Oct 10) at the university's campus in Clementi."


Employability boost for SUSS students at graduation (11 October 2018)

"Graduates from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) did not collect just their degree certificates yesterday.

The pioneering batch of 168 full-time students also received records of their other achievements that showcased their non-academic skills, such as creative thinking and decision-making, and are aimed at boosting their chances of finding work."


New space to live and learn for SMU students in the heart of the city (11 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE - Singapore Management University (SMU) undergraduates have a new space to call home on campus - the Prinsep Street Residences (PSR).

The 5,000 sq m living facility in the heart of the city has housed 255 students since August, after undergoing a $10 million facelift."


9 teachers recognised in 11th edition of the Inspiring Teacher of English Award (11 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE - The winners of this year's Inspiring Teacher of English Award cited the importance of cultivating critical thinkers in the classroom, and encouraging students to think of multiple perspectives and to voice their own views.

The annual award, in its 11th year, honours outstanding teachers of the English Language, English Literature and General Paper."


NTU launches mobile app offering courses to working professionals (13 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE - Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has launched a mobile app with eight learning courses aimed at working professionals.

The courses are open to alumni and the public, and cover topics such as data analytics and cyber security."


Uncertain world offers many opportunities: Ng Chee Meng (14 October 2018)

"While we live in an uncertain world today, it is also exciting and offers many opportunities, said Mr Ng Chee Meng, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress.

He reassured young graduates at the Sikh Graduates Tea Reception yesterday, telling them that they just need to seize the opportunities ahead."


"New start for merged JCs come 2019 (14 October 2018)

Instead of spending his Saturday playing with toys at home in Bukit Batok, six-year-old Hon Hock Rong was hard at work selling keychains in Pasir Ris.

He was taking part in a fun fair at Downtown East, organised by Star Learners Child Care, yesterday to raise funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) and Business Times Budding Artists Fund."


Pre-schoolers raise $15,000 for less fortunate kids (14 October 2018)

"Preparations for the new school year have been made especially complex for the eight junior colleges (JCs) in Singapore as they prepare to merge into four.

As well as developing new facilities and upgrading existing ones, the merged JCs have also been designing new uniforms and school crests, after months of deliberation and feedback from students and staff."


2 Singaporeans win big in Commonwealth essay competition (15 October 2018)

"As a primary school pupil, Janine Shum felt like she was invisible, and frequently overlooked.

Her grades were not outstanding, she said, and neither was she particularly talented in sports or music."


New scholarship for entrepreneurial NUS students (15 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE - National University of Singapore (NUS) students hoping to become entrepreneurs can apply for a new scholarship, thanks to a gift from renowned philanthropist Stephen Riady.

The bond-free scholarship, which is open to freshmen from all disciplines, covers tuition fees and living allowances for four years of undergraduate studies."


Singapore Institute of Technology alumni to receive $2,000 worth of credits for courses (17 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE - Alumni from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) will each receive $2,000 worth of credits which they can use to take courses at the university.

The move by SIT will allow its current pool of 8,000 former students to enrol in courses offered by its lifelong learning division, starting next year."


Helping students pick a CCA they love (7 September 2018)

"Miss Chan Wen Hui’s sports journey as a student has driven her to introduce wide-ranging changes to her school’s co-curricular activities as a teacher.

Chan Wen Hui, CHIJ (Kellock), Outstanding Youth in Education Award 2018 Recipient

My CCA journey

As a child, I had dreams of becoming a beautiful dancer. When I was in Primary 6, I watched my friends dance gracefully on stage and I wished I could be among them. However, at the time, I had to focus on my studies. Extra-Curricular Activities (ECA), as they were called back then, were not compulsory. So my dream took a back seat.

In secondary school, I became interested in netball so I joined the Netball Training Squad as my Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) and I hoped to represent my school one day. No matter how hard I trained, my peers who played the sport since primary school were way too skilful and I was no match for them. Even after four years of intensive training, I could not make it into the school team.

As the saying goes, the third time is the charm. In junior college (JC), I decided to choose an activity that placed everyone on a level playing field, which gave me a better chance to represent the school in inter-school competitions. There it was! My time had come. Finally, I could be part of the school team, representing my JC in Touch Rugby. Imagine my joy!

When I reflect on my own CCA journey, I realised that my CCA experiences formed such an important part of my school life. I strongly believe that CCAs are wonderful avenues for students to explore their interests and develop their skills but how can students be guided to make more informed CCA choices?"


Real world, real learning: Geography internships (19 September 2018)

"Being work-ready is not just preparing for one’s resume and interview, but having real experiences through internships, work attachments, industry partnerships and job shadowing opportunities.

Megan Chin inspected trees, assisted in landscaping efforts, and helped in national initiatives to enhance Singapore’s green recreational belts. She is no professional arborist or horticulturist, but a 17-year old on a 2-week work attachment with the National Parks Board (NParks).

By working in the field, young Geographers like Megan gain insights into real-world phenomena, and they learn to ask important questions about the world we live in. What is the relationship between humans and the natural environment? Why are some places so meaningful to certain communities? How are physical or human processes interrelated?

To nurture aspiring Geographers, the Geography Talent Development Programme by the Ministry of Education connects students with public agencies and industry associates for work stints. Pre-University Geography students in the programme would learn more about academic research, contemporary world issues, disciplinary interests, careers and fieldwork in Geography.

Facing Real-World Issues

Up close and personal with the operations of NParks, Megan and fellow Geography student Foong Ru Hui began to understand how their garden city came to be, and the greening initiatives required to intensify the integration of greenery with high density developments."


Reel to real (24 September 2018)

"When her students struggled with Chinese, Madam Ng Wan Jun took a TV show they were watching and turned it into the lessons they needed.

Ng Wan Jun, Rivervale Primary School, Outstanding Youth in Education Award 2018 Recipient

Loving the job and the language

Teachers have always been held in high regard by my family. “Never question or disrespect the learned, they are here to teach you” (尊师重道) was my parents’ mantra. They influenced me to see teaching as a highly respectable profession.

In Primary 3, I had a Chinese language teacher who had a huge impact on me. I was touched by her caring nature and learnt a lot about values from the stories that she shared during lessons. She inspired my passion for Chinese, and the desire to pass on my love for the language.

After I started teaching, I realised that many of my students could not write well in Chinese. They lacked the vocabulary to express themselves, and this affected the quality of their work. What could I do to help them?"


Who says you can't become a leader? (8 October 2018)

"Madam Tang Li Tang wants to groom students to be confident, resilient leaders capable of making a positive impact on the community.

Tang Li Tang, Teck Whye Secondary School, Outstanding Youth in Education Award 2018 finalist

Making leaders out of students

Are leaders born or made? If this question was posed to me twenty years ago, my answer would have been: leaders are born. In school, I was always a follower, but that did not bother me as I felt I was not cut out to be a leader. I was shy and soft-spoken and I believed that all leaders should be outgoing and socially confident.

Today, my answer to this question has changed. Leaders are made. Everyone can be a leader given the right experiences and coaching, and through observation and learning. My journey as a teacher has convinced me to reach this conclusion.

Six years ago, when I was starting out as a teacher, I oversaw the development of student leadership in my school. This involved recruiting student councillors and training them to be effective and confident leaders. It dawned on me during the recruitment process that I was not looking for students who were confident or had good leadership qualities. Instead, I was looking for those with good character – I hoped that the student councillors would be good role models for their peers.

A few of the students I recruited did not want to be student councillors. They felt compelled to attend the recruitment drive because their form teachers nominated them. When I probed further, they explained that they were introverts and were uncomfortable in leading others. I won them over by giving them examples of famous leaders who were introverts."


Are you sure this is real? (15 October 2018)

"With the advancement in technology over the last few decades, information is widely available in cyberspace. However, ever so often, the information that we are exposed to in the form of news, articles or pictures, may not be accurate or ‘real’. This is what we term fake news or online falsehoods. Children are exposed to such information online at the click of a mouse or a tap of a screen. Essential information literacy skills, such as checking the reliability of and evaluating sources of information taught in Social Studies help cultivate the habit of verifying information before making judgements. This will help the individual be less impulsive and reduce the tendency to uncritically accept information at face value.

Our children would need guidance as they navigate through tons of information online. How, then, can we guide our children in doing so? Using National Library Board (NLB)’s S.U.R.E campaign to promote Information Literacy, we have come up with some possible ways you can help your child develop these skills further.

Determine the source of information provided

What can we do? Remind your child to check the origins of the websites that they obtain information from. There are times your child may cry foul over certain articles or pictures they come across online. Headlines such as “Government to increase schooling hours because students do not study hard enough” or “There will be no more bus concessions for students because of constant misuse” may stir emotions because these headlines would impact them as students. This could sway judgment of the issue discussed. Before jumping to conclusion, your child could be guided to determine if the source or website is credible. This will help them make better decisions on whether to believe the article or picture."


Preparing for the future, by learning from history (17 October 2018)

"Did you catch yourself hesitating in that moment when your child mentioned the possibility of pursuing an education in the Arts and Humanities? Would your anxieties about the future have been more settled if he or she expressed interest in courses related to Science and Technology?

Parents of Martin Li shared similar concerns at first. But Martin went on to demonstrate the benefits and relevance of his Humanities training from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in a working world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (or commonly known as VUCA).

Influenced by his father who had a career in freight forwarding, Martin was initially keen to join the logistics industry. After his GCE ‘O’ level examinations, he pursued a diploma in International Business at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. He felt assured then, knowing that he met his parents’ expectations of him pursuing a commercially viable and clearly defined career path.

“In the International Business course, we were challenged to consider social, political and cultural perspectives when seeking to understand the local commercial practices in different parts of the world,” shared Martin.

It opened his mind. So when he was able to apply for a place at university, he chose to pursue his interest further through the Humanities, specifically History. It was not an easy decision for the family to agree on, but he was grateful when they chose to respect his decision."


President’s Award For Teachers 2018 (29 August 2018)

"Eight outstanding educators received the 2018 President’s Award for Teachers (PAT) from President Halimah Yacob at the Istana during the Teachers’ Day Reception on Wednesday, 29 August 2018."


Singapore Students Pursuing Their Passions at International Competitions (12 September 2018)

"Congratulations to our students for pursuing their passions and flying the Singapore flag high at the International Young Physicists’ Tournament and the International Olympiads for the Sciences, Mathematics, Informatics and Geography, held from July to September 2018 at various host cities around the world."


Meeting Demand for New Schools in Punggol (13 September 2018)

"MOE will establish two new primary schools and relocate Yusof Ishak Secondary School to Punggol in 2020 and 2021 respectively. This is to meet the growing demand for school places in this newer housing estate."


Singapore Schools Sports Council Colours Awards 2018 (21 September 2018)

"More than 8,700 students from secondary schools, junior colleges, and centralised institute will be awarded the Singapore Schools Sports Council (SSSC) Colours Awards this year. This is in recognition of their sporting achievements and display of good sporting character and values."


Two more Schools to Participate in Joint Admissions Exercise from 2019 (21 September 2018)

"As part of ongoing efforts to encourage greater diversity in our schools, Dunman High School (DHS) and River Valley High School (RVHS) will participate in the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE) from 2019."


'Learn For Life’ – Preparing Our Students To Excel Beyond Exam Results (28 September 2018)

"Building on efforts to move away from an over-emphasis on academic results, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be adjusting school-based assessment structures at the Primary and Secondary levels from 2019. To meet the challenges of an increasingly complex world, our students need to be lifelong learners. To nurture lifelong learners, we need to help our students discover more joy and develop stronger intrinsic motivation in learning."


Open for Nominations: 2 Categories of National Awards for Outstanding Teachers (1 October 2018)

"Do you know teachers who have made outstanding contributions in moulding the future of our nation? The Ministry of Education (MOE) invites you to nominate them for the following national awards:

President’s Award for Teachers (PAT) 2019

2. The President’s Award for Teachers recognises excellent educators for their dedication and hard work in developing our young. These teachers must believe in preparing students for life, as well as embody the commitment to continuous learning. In addition, they should inspire their students and act as role models for the teaching fraternity. They should also be reflective practitioners who demonstrate deep pedagogy.

3. The PAT is now open to teachers from primary and secondary schools, Junior Colleges (JC) and Millennia Institute (MI), as well as educators from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnics. Since the establishment of the award in 1998, it has recognised 92 teachers for their teaching excellence, dedication and hard work."


NUS student gets caning, 9 months' jail for molesting fellow student, peeping in hall toilet (30 July 2018)

"SINGAPORE — After a night of working on her final year project, the 24-year-old National University of Singapore (NUS) student was taking a nap in the computer laboratory with her boyfriend when she was molested.

The culprit was her classmate, who, unknown to her, had been issued a conditional warning for peeping into a hall toilet one-and-a-half years ago.

On Monday (July 30), the molester was sentenced to nine months' jail and three strokes of the cane. The 26-year-old, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victim's identity, pleaded guilty to two charges of molest and insulting the modesty of a woman."


Sota looks to draw more students from lower-income families (30 July 2018)

"SINGAPORE — To draw more children from lower-income families and identify and nurture students with a flair for the arts, the School of the Arts (Sota) will improve its outreach to primary schools.

Without providing a timeline, the school said it plans to roll out targeted and intensive arts enrichment programmes for those with an aptitude for the arts.

Presently, its outreach to primary schools serves to raise awareness of the school and its application process."


O-Level exam cheating case: Student claims he was afraid to tell tuition teachers he did not want to cheat (1 August 2018)

"SINGAPORE – In the ongoing trial of tuition centre principal Poh Yuan Nie and two accomplices, who allegedly helped six students from China cheat at the GCE O-Level examinations, one of the students claimed he “did not dare” tell the defendants that he did not want to be part of the ruse.

Two years ago in 2016, Poh, together with her niece Fiona Poh Min, 30, and China national Feng Riwen, 25, allegedly helped the six students cheat during the O-Level exams. Two of the students testified during the first three days of the trial in April.

Mr Zhang Jinlu, 21, the prosecution’s fifth witness, took the stand on Wednesday (Aug 1). He told the court that Poh Yuan Nie – also known as Pony Poh – and Fiona Poh had called him to Zeus Education Centre’s office on Oct 18, 2016, a day before his Physics/Chemistry practical exam to discuss cheating."


Some teachers unhappy over insufficient parking lots, MOE steps in to allow them to park in bus bays (3 August 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Ahead of the imposition of parking charges on teachers on Wednesday (Aug 1), the move gave rise to an unexpected problem in some schools: A lack of parking lots due to high demand for season parking, which caused unhappiness among some teachers after they were unsuccessful in ballot exercises for parking spaces.

Previously, teachers in some schools were allowed to park at undesignated parking lots, but were unable to do so after the Ministry of Education announced in March that all teachers would have to pay for parking from Aug 1 in line with the Public Service Division's clean wage policy.

The issue was resolved after some schools wrote in to the authorities to allow staff to use the bus parking lots, although these cannot be permanently converted into car park lots due to government stipulations."


Wiping clean the ‘mixing pot of viruses’: Lessons from a flu outbreak in a primary school (4 August 2018)

"SINGAPORE – Contaminated surfaces such as a water cooler and toilet door could have played a role in a flu outbreak at a primary school in north-western Singapore last year, experts from the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported in findings published last month.

While not possible to pinpoint if that was the main mode of transmission, the experts called for hygiene and cleaning standards to be stepped up to control outbreaks."


NATIONAL DAY SPECIAL 2018: Propelling his father’s Japanese language school to new heights (6 August 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Mr Yutaro Kitahara may be only 27 years old, but he has single-handedly helped boost the business at his father's Japanese language school by five times over the past five years.

Revenue of the 35-year-old Hougang Japanese Language School — purportedly the first of its kind to be set up in Singapore back in 1983 — hit six digits for the first time last year. The number of newly-registered students also doubled and the school has about 15 teachers working both full-time and part-time."

This year, to give back to the community, the school also started giving free Japanese lessons to students from low-income families, with five children aged 12 to 16 enrolled in the programme for now."


Police report filed against debate coach accused of sexually harassing students (8 August 2018)

"SINGAPORE — A police report has been filed against a debate coach for alleged sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour towards secondary school students he was mentoring five years ago.

The man, believed to be an employee of a statutory board, committed the alleged offences in 2013, when he was already in public service.

The statutory board did not respond to media queries and, as the case involves minors, TODAY is withholding the person's identity and details of his occupation."


Ngee Ann Poly raises S$20,000 for Lombok villagers affected by earthquakes (10 August 2018)

"SINGAPORE – A group of lecturers from Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) have helped raise about S$20,000 since Monday (Aug 6) for Lombok residents affected by the major earthquakes that recently rocked the Indonesian island.

The sum is double the S$10,000 target, which they had initially hoped to reach by Sept 3.

For them, news of the disaster hit close to their hearts. After years of visiting two villages in east Lombok as part of a Youth Expedition Project (YEP), they had developed strong bonds and friendships with the locals."


Aware calls for free childcare, financial incentives to help low-income mothers break out of poverty (11 August 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Trends such as more unstable employment are making it increasingly harder for lower-income families to balance work and care, the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) said in a new document based on interviews with 47 low-income mothers.

In the report titled "Why Are You Not Working?", released ahead of a panel discussion on Saturday (Aug 11), the gender equality advocacy group called for measures to stimulate social mobility by "dramatically" improving the financial circumstances of low-income families.

Among its recommendations: Free childcare for families with monthly household income of less than S$2,500, improving the Government's ComCare assistance for needy families after the beneficiaries find employment, and enhancing laws barring employers from discriminating workers based on family responsibilities."


New National Instructors and Coaches Association to be set up by NTUC (13 August 2018)

"SINGAPORE — As the gig economy continues to take flight here, concerns over the welfare and career development of freelancers will see the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) setting up a national association for freelance coaches and instructors in fields such as sports, dance and fitness.

Tapping the labour movement's network and resources, the National Instructors and Coaches Association (Nica) aims to address the major issues this group of workers face — from the loss of income due to illness or injury, payment-related disputes, to professional development to help improve their work prospects. For instance, association members will get access to insurance packages from its insurance partners that mitigate against income loss due to prolonged sick leave."


Arctic trip changed 19-year-old’s views on animal hunting (15 August 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Yale environmental studies undergraduate Victoria Lim, 19, had previously taken a dim view of seal hunting. But having returned last week from a trip to the Arctic, she found her view challenged.

A ban or boycott of seal products would impoverish the Inuit, said the self-professed environmentalist, who also developed a better appreciation of the need to have diverse views on environmental issues.

Last month, Victoria became the first Singaporean to join more than 100 youths from 16 other places, including Ecuador and Micronesia, on a 16-day expedition to the Arctic to witness climate change where it is most apparent."


President’s Scholars devote time to society, family and the environment (16 August 2018)

"SINGAPORE — At a Chinese New Year event his school hosted for senior citizens when he was 13, Alden Tan Ming Yang said, "See you next year!" when bidding goodbye to one of the participants.

The woman quipped: "Can we see you tomorrow?"

The casual remark made the Secondary One student at Raffles Institution think hard about community service."


Young Singaporeans don’t know enough about South-east Asia and follow rules too much: Panel (27 August 2018)

"SINGAPORE – The lack of knowledge about their South-east Asian neighbours and a tendency to "follow rules too much" are some weaknesses that may work against young Singaporeans, said a panel of private sector executives and policymakers on Monday (Aug 27).

The positive attributes of young Singaporeans, however, include bilingualism and the ability to adapt to other cultures, said the panellists at a business forum on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China organised by Business China and Singapore Business Federation."

"I think lots of young people in Singapore are global, but not necessarily regional," said Mr Li Jianggan, chief executive of Momentum Works, which builds and manages tech ventures and has a particular focus on South-east Asia."


Number of polytechnic courses for 2019 intake to be cut by 20 (7 September 2018)

"SINGAPORE — The number of polytechnic courses for next year’s student intake is set to be cut by about 20, as the Ministry of Education (MOE) moves to streamline courses to ensure students develop relevant skills for an evolving workforce. This is double the number that was reduced this year.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, MOE said that the total number of polytechnic courses offered to students will go down from 220 this year to 200 next year. Back in 2017, the figure was 230.

Speaking on behalf of the five polytechnics in Singapore, MOE said that the streamlining process — done primarily by merging courses — will not reduce the overall polytechnic intake. There will also be “no impact on the number of teaching jobs in the polytechnics”, it added."


For some people, home is where the office lies (14 September 2018)

"SINGAPORE — In tuition site founder Lai Weichang’s Punggol flat, there is no family sofa, no dining table, and no toys strewn across the living room, even though he has a two-year-old son.

Instead, the sparsely furnished living room of the four-room flat has five “workstations”. Three surround a conference table and two more sit against a long wall.

The only embellishment is a tiltable screen that is mounted high on the wall to facilitate presentations."


Outdoor educator’s quest to impart life lessons from Rifle Range Nature Park ‘classroom’ (14 September 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Mud, leaves and twigs are the teaching tools, while canopy-shaded areas serve as the classroom.

There is no lesson plan at the Forest School Singapore. The children, aged three to 11, decide what they want to do and where to roam. The adults, coaches from the school, serve as watchful facilitators.

When former preschool teacher Darren Quek was scouting around for a forested area to conduct an alternative children's outdoor education programme in 2015, he stumbled on the 67-hectare Rifle Range Nature Park and knew it was "meant to be"."


Local personalities pitch in for photography campaign to help the hidden poor (19 September 2018)

"SINGAPORE — A one-room rental flat shared by a family of five was the location of a recent photoshoot for Member of Parliament Louis Ng.

Stacked plastic boxes, a wardrobe, a rack and a bunk bed show the cramped living conditions of the family — a 38-year-old mother who works at a fast-food chain, her three children and a granddaughter.

The setting was not unfamiliar to Mr Ng, who walks the ground in his constituency."


Muslim scholars, religious leaders say repeal of Section 377A has ‘worrying implications’, a threat to family values (19 September 2018)

"SINGAPORE — A day after the Catholic Archbishop of Singapore spelt out his position on Section 377A of the Penal Code, Muslim scholars and religious leaders here have also expressed publicly their support for the law.

In a media statement on Wednesday (Sept 19), the Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (Pergas) said that a repeal of Section 377A could cause “several worrying implications” and “threaten the importance of the traditional family unit as the foundation of a society”.

The statement said that Pergas does not support the attempt to repeal the law."


The Big Read: As Asean economies take off, young S’poreans need to shed misperceptions about the region (21 September 2018)

"SINGAPORE — Dilapidated. Poor infrastructure. Backwards.

These were some of the first things that came to mind when TODAY asked young Singaporeans what they thought of South-east Asia.

But contrary to their perceptions, the region is flourishing economically and socially, charting exponential growth over the past one to two decades."


S’pore shouldn’t overcorrect education system and undermine its rigour: Ong Ye Kung (28 September 2018)

"SINGAPORE — While Singapore is making major steps to reduce stress in schools, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung warned against “overcorrecting” the system, to the extent that academic rigour is undermined.

Announcing sweeping changes to school-based assessments on Friday (Sept 28), Mr Ong nevertheless was confident that the Republic will not go down that route — by learning from Japan’s experience.

Starting from the 1980s, the East Asian country had introduced drastic changes under what it called the Yutori (loosely translated as “relax”) policy to its education system."


Changes made, now the next challenge: Transforming mindset of parents, teachers and students (28 September 2018)

"SINGAPORE — The removal of certain exams and graded assessments are a step in the right direction, said educators, industry professionals and Members of Parliament (MPs), but they stressed that parents, teachers and students have to change their mindset in order for the society to overcome its fixation with academic grades.

On Friday (Sept 4), the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced sweeping changes to school-based assessments for primary and secondary students in an attempt to reduce an emphasis on grades. Aside from doing away with some exams and graded tests from next year for students at selected levels, report cards will no longer reflect students’ class and level positions as well as overall scores."


Parents issue mixed report card for latest changes to education scene (29 September 2018)

"SINGAPORE — While some parents and students are cheering the latest move by the Education Ministry (MOE) to cut back on examinations, other parents are concerned that the changes will make it difficult to track their child’s progress, and might even lead to complacency.

Another change that divided parents is the one where a student’s position in class and at their cohort’s level — determined by their academic performance — will no longer be reflected in their report books."


MOE to review intake guideline for polytechnics through aptitude-based admission, after record number of successful applicants (3 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE — With the highest number of students set to enter polytechnics next year through aptitude-based admission, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will review the intake allowance for polytechnics under the Early Admissions Exercise (EAE).

Close to 20 per cent of admissions to the five polytechnics for next year — or 4,600 students — is expected to come via EAE, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on Wednesday (Oct 3).

The scheme, which allows schools to admit students based on their skills and talents apart from grades, currently has a 15 per cent intake allowance guideline, though polytechnics have the discretion to vary their intake accordingly."


Start-up aims serve up nutrition to those too busy to eat (13 October 2018)

"SINGAPORE – His idea of a meal replacement shake was rejected as a final-year project in university.

Even after he started working and was earning a comfortable salary of over S$6,000 a month, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) graduate Gautam Param did not give up on it.

In fact, as a management consultant, he travelled overseas frequently and would sometimes rely on meal replacement powders to keep him going through the day."


‘Studying hard’ not a sure-win to investment success (13 October 2018)

"Education Minister Ong Ye Kung recently announced that mid-year examinations will be scrapped for certain primary and secondary school levels. Most of us remember how we used to think that our exam results could determine our future.

We studied hard, so that we could snag that place in one of the coveted schools, believing that this was the first step to achieving what was needed to ensure success in life.

Because of our ingrained "exam and study" culture, it is hardly surprising that many of us equate studying hard and doing well with most aspects of our life."


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."