Why choose the junior college route? Eunoia JC principal tackles key questions (11 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - With the release of the O-level examination results today (Jan 11), parents and students will need to decide which post-secondary route to take.

Education correspondent Amelia Teng speaks with Mrs Wong-Cheang Mei Heng, principal of Eunoia Junior College (EJC), to understand the JC option."


Minor Issues: Shepherding my daughter through her PSLE year (11 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - It is only one week into the new school year but my second child, who is taking her Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) this year, is already making post-exam plans.

"I can't wait for PSLE to be over," lamented my daughter, who will turn 12 at the end of the year."


How an optimistic mother discovered the ideal educational route for her child (11 January 2021)

"Jamie Tan, 16, has enjoyed what few other students normally would.

The teenager experienced behind-the-scenes work at a TV studio, learned the art of radio broadcasting, constructed objects for 3D printing and even lifted fingerprint cells."


Why choose the poly route? It suits those who learn by doing (11 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - If you think studying at a polytechnic is more relaxed than at a junior college, Ms Anita Kuan wants you to think again.

The Temasek Polytechnic deputy principal says this is a common misconception."


Polys popular with working adults, including uni grads (11 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - More adults, including degree holders, are enrolling in the five polytechnics here, a pathway popular with N-level and O-level holders as well as Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students.

Figures provided by the Ministry of Education to The Straits Times show that in 2019, 5,900 adults, including diploma, degree, master's and PhD holders, had enrolled in the polytechnics to take up specialised and advanced diplomas."


Half of O-level holders taking poly route (11 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - With a better understanding of their study and career aspirations and encouraged by the increasing number of polytechnic graduates making it to the local universities, more O-level school leavers are taking the polytechnic route.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said that of the 20,300 candidates posted to a post-secondary educational institution last year via the Joint Admissions Exercise, 52 per cent were posted to the five polytechnics here. This is a record in recent years.."


Fun activities for kids on rainy days (11 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - At the Fan household, the three sisters look forward to rainy days as they get to put on their raincoats and head to the playground.

They love being at home just as much, Ms Yvonne Li, 37, says of her daughters Katie, seven, Kayla, five, and Klara, three."


O-level results: 85.4% of 2020 cohort attain 5 or more passes (11 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Students who sat the O-level examinations from June last year while in the midst of a global pandemic saw marginal improvement from the previous year, with 85.4 per cent of the cohort attaining five or more passes.

With this, the class of 2020 secured the best showing at the national exam in at least three decades despite lockdowns and school closures."


Fresh polytechnic grads found it harder to get jobs last year amid Covid-19 pandemic (12 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Fresh polytechnic graduates had a harder time in the job market last year, amid a hiring slowdown brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest graduate employment survey conducted by the five polytechnics in Singapore showed that 87.4 per cent of their graduates found permanent, freelance or part-time jobs within six months of graduation last year."


Skill up to step up: Switching careers from teaching to IT engineering (13 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - During his years as a secondary school teacher, Mr Kenneth Chua frequently spoke to his students about the joys of learning, the importance of upskilling, and the value of resilience.

In 2019, after 10 years of teaching, he realised that "he had not been walking the talk", that he was not fulfilling his potential and that he could learn more and grow further."


How this information systems undergraduate is on the path for a Doctor of Medicine and a career in healthcare (13 January 2021)

"What if you can’t decide which university course to take because you’re interested in two different fields of study? Pursue both.

Ms Geraldine Lee, 21, faced this dilemma in 2019. Fortunately for her, she found an option that let her pursue her interests in science and technology — the SMU-Duke-NUS Medicine Pathway."


More than 50 prison inmates sat the O-levels last year (14 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Expelled from Queensway Secondary School a decade ago, sentenced to eight years' jail in 2018 for drug-related offences, David (not his real name) could not stop the downward spiral.

All that changed when he was given a shot at taking the O-levels while in prison. On Monday (Jan 11), the 25-year-old got his results - 12 points in five subjects, including As in principles of accounts, business studies and mathematics."


O Level results: 80% of student-inmates get at least 3 passes (14 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Of the 53 student-inmates across three prison institutions who sat the O Level exams last year, about 80 per cent attained three or more passes.

Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Faishal Ibrahim visited some student-inmates at Institution Tanah Merah 1 on Tuesday (Jan 12)."


Redesigning education to empower next generation of Singaporeans for a post-pandemic world (15 January 2021)

"When Ms Kim Saxe, director of Innovation Labs at The Nueva School in California, set up a pilot programme called Introduction to Enterpreneurship for her students, she was stunned at the response she received. “We actually had to turn away students,” she recalls. “Clearly, we had hit a chord with today's youth.”

As part of the course, students have to identify needs, create solutions, collaborate, write a business plan, build a business model, create financials and pitch their venture. The results have included soccer shoes that simulate barefoot running and anti-procrastination homework solutions for students, just to name a few."


Driving my kids to school and bonding on the road (18 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - As the new school year begins, I am back to my usual "Grabdad" routine of driving my children to school.

We are out of the house by 6am every school day. I have fewer passengers this year as my second daughter, 18, has just completed her International Baccalaureate and is applying for university admission. My youngest child, six, goes to a nearby primary school and he can wake up later to take the shuttle bus with my helper."


askST: If I can't get into the polytechnic course I want, can I appeal? (18 January 2021)

"Q. What happens if I am not successful in getting a place in the polytechnic course I applied for? Can I appeal? What if I want to get in by switching to another course?

A. Yes, you may submit an appeal from 9am on Jan 28 to 4pm on Feb 2 on the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE) Online Appeal Portal."


5 tips for co-parenting after a divorce (18 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE -Secrets, spying, interrogation.

It sounds like an espionage novel but these are some common mistakes that divorced parents make."


Singapore universities offered 17,500 places last year, 1,000 more than planned (18 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - The six local universities offered around 1,000 extra places last year as the disruption caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic forced students to readjust their plans. The universities will continue to offer additional places this year, if the situation does not change.

This extra enrolment has pushed the student participation rate beyond its stated target of 40 per cent for every student cohort by 2020, which the Government had earlier pledged."


Book Nook: Making free picture books for children (18 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Singapore authors and artists have come together to share their works for children for free. The House Of Mini Picture Books website hosts 20 original stories recommended for kids aged four to 12.

This online resource was initiated by Josef Lee, who wrote and illustrated 10 of the stories. It also features works by the likes of Patrick Yee, illustrator of A Boy Named Harry: The Childhood Of Lee Kuan Yew; and author-illustrator Quek Hong Shin, whose books include The Marvellous Sugee Cake."


The Dad effect: Children gain when their fathers are involved in their education (18 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Mr Sanjeev Sibal, 45, wanted to be more involved in his children's school lives, but his demanding travel schedule as a ship manager - he was home for about 15 days a month on average - meant he could supervise homework only via video calls.

While the pandemic left him grounded, it also presented the opportunity to spend more time with his kids. Since phase two of the reopening of Singapore's economy, he has been cycling to school in the mornings with daughter Deleenaa, seven, on a seat on his bike, while son, Mayank, 13 rides his own set of wheels."


ST Education Forum to discuss how Covid-19 will transform universities (18 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - The impact of Covid-19 has dramatically transformed education systems around the world.

In the higher education sector, the pandemic has caused institutions to challenge deep-rooted notions of when, where and how they deliver education. It also has led to public discussions on the value of a degree education, the role of universities and the distinction drawn between traditional and non-traditional students."


Traditional degree route not a must before going out to work: Lawrence Wong (18 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE - As the pandemic raged, Singapore's six autonomous universities offered around 1,000 extra places last year, taking in 17,500 Singaporeans. This pulled up the cohort participation rate to 42 per cent - instead of the 40 per cent that had been planned.

Some of the additional places were taken up by Singaporeans who had initially planned to study overseas while others went to polytechnic diploma holders who opted to study instead of joining a weak job market."


Choosing for Themselves: What’s next after the N-Levels? (22 December 2020)

"Secondary school has given these students a wealth of experiences. Now armed with their N-Level results, they are ready to embark on different paths. By Don Shiau.

For some, time is a consideration. For others, it’s interest. But one thing is for sure: these N-Level students understand themselves well, and their time in Chua Chu Kang Secondary School has given them clarity on what they want to do next.

Azraa binte Shah Mohiuddin wants to study biomedical sciences in a polytechnic. Based on her results, her teachers have suggested that she apply for the Direct Entry Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP). But Azraa has a different idea about how she'll get there.

"DPP is two years in ITE, versus one year of Secondary 5," she explains. "Also, I think am more comfortable with the school environment here, and I like the teachers." So she'll be wearing her uniform for a while more."


How the school year of 2020 was saved (28 December 2020)

"COVID-19 turned our world upside down. But the entire education fraternity—teachers, staff, students, parents—came together and found ways to keep our students learning. Here, through the eyes of teachers and students – how it took a village to save this school year. By Magdeline Lee.

Washing hands, taking temperature, keeping desks clean. Students were reminded daily to keep up with hygiene habits, and play their part to fight against the spread of the virus. (Photo credit: Lakeside Primary School)

Teaching and non-teaching staff kept a vigilant eye on the thermal scanners every morning, to look out for anyone with higher than normal temperature. (Photo credit: Kent Ridge Secondary School)"


Resuming CCAs safely – why it matters (28 December 2020)

"When COVID-19 struck, most of us feared for disruptions to our students’ learning. What many may not have worried about so much was disruption to CCAs. Secondary school teacher Goh Hong Yi shares what the loss of CCAs in their original form really means for students’ development and why we should get this back on track – while keeping students safe of course.

Come January, or even the last week of December, Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) will resume. Some may continue with e-CCAs, or limit inter-mingling between students of different levels for a while more. However, as Singapore progressively lifts COVID-19 restrictions next year, we can expect more CCAs to return to face-to-face sessions and allow more interaction between students. More events like competitions and camps will also resume.

To those who say: Why can’t we continue to do CCAs online until the pandemic is over, or at least until everyone is vaccinated? Do we really need to resume these non-essential, non-examinable activities? As a teacher, let me tell you why we need to.

To put it simply, the kids are missing out. Schools have been incredibly creative in carrying out e-CCAs this year. The students did drills at home, practised their choreography and did art projects under the guidance of their teachers over Zoom. Some primary schools also conducted class-based CCAs to reduce intermingling and gave students exposure to a variety of skills. But here’s what’s missing:

There’s a limit to what you can do online

However innovative the teachers, e-CCAs are a work-around, and cannot fully recreate the experience of physical CCAs.

It is easy to start thinking that nothing is lost when students are doing CCAs from home. But some experiences can’t be replicated online. For example, students can practise individual sports moves or drills alone, but working together, passing the ball and learning how to react to conditions in the field can’t take place over the screen. For performing arts too - practising one’s instrument or songs at home may help us hone our craft, but it’s only when we come together that the magic happens."


Counting Covid (30 December 2020)

"This year, almost 150 secondary school students tackled their biggest mathematics problem ever — predicting the spread of Covid-19 in Singapore. How did they fare?

On 28 August, Ma Jinghong took to Zoom to present her grim projections of the Covid-19 pandemic.

After analysing three months of data, she concluded that up to 1.7 million people in Singapore — a third of the resident population — could contract the virus.

Along with two teammates, she then shared her recommendations on social distancing, as well as how to make sure the message got out to the entire country. A panel of six evaluators listened intently.

The thing is, Jinghong isn’t a scientist. She doesn’t work with our health authorities. She is a student at Nanyang Girls’ High School.

Yet she and 144 other teenagers had the precious opportunity to analyse the Covid-19 pandemic as it unfolded, mirroring the efforts of our healthcare experts.

This opportunity came in the form of an inter-school competition, the Problem X (PX) Challenge, jointly organised by the Ministry of Education and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)."


No exams, no worry? (4 January 2021)

"This wasn’t something that mum-of-two Eveline Gan bought into initially when exams for P1 and 2 were scrapped. But 2020 changed her mind. She shares why.

2020 was a milestone year for both my daughters – and I am not talking about the impact of COVID-19. My elder one started Secondary school while my younger one started P1.

Looking back on the year as my little one now heads to P2, I can’t help but reflect on how different were my daughters’ P1 experiences. Sure, the two have very different personalities, but the biggest difference? My younger child did not go through any exams, unlike my firstborn. She was among the first two batches of Primary 1 and 2 students, who would not have any weighted assessments in school. (Weighted assessments are tests whose scores count towards a student’s overall result in a subject for the semester or year.)

The irony is that when the Ministry of Education unveiled these changes to school assessments – no exams in lower primary and no mid-year exams in P3 and 5 and Sec 1 and 3 – I was one of the sceptics.

The Ministry’s idea was to provide adequate time and space for students in these “transition years” to adjust to new subjects and higher content rigour. Report books also no longer state certain academic indicators such as class and level positions.

But I was a child of the Singapore education system, and to me, removing exams seemed like a risk. I was worried that the lack of academic indicators would make it hard for me to assess if my daughter was learning at a steady pace. How to tell if she was actually absorbing anything in class without putting her to the test?

And while the changes were intended to rein in unnecessary academic stress, what if my kid’s inability to “acclimatise” to taking exams ended up causing her more stress later on?"


Student inventions to solve environmental problems (12 January 2021)

"A smart recycling bin, a compact biogas machine, and a fridge that tracks food expiry – you’ll be surprised (and impressed) by the solutions our students came up with to deal with today’s environmental problems. They share their experiences and inspirations.

Organised by Science Centre Singapore and supported by Temasek Foundation, the Young Sustainability Champion (YSC) programme started in April this year and attracted over 4,000 participants aged 13 to 17 years old. They came from across 50 schools to work in teams to develop sustainable solutions.

This started with completing the online “I am a Young Sustainability Champion” programme. That had students doing tasks like writing a short paragraph about their country’s efforts towards affordable clean energy, or designing a game to promote sustainable cities and communities.

The tasks exposed students to the range of sustainability issues related to the environment and innovation, and got them thinking of ways they could make a difference.

From this pool, 60 shortlisted participants progressed to the mentorship and prototyping stage, where they underwent workshops on design thinking, business modelling, value proposition and prototyping. Teams were instructed to create prototypes of their solutions. Seven finalist teams further refined their prototypes for the YSC Senior Hackathon Grand Finals, where they presented to a panel of judges including representatives from UNESCO Asia Pacific and UNDP Singapore.

From smart bins that sort recyclable waste to smart fridges that track food expiry, these students have shown that they are more creative than we might imagine."


Opportunities in choppy waters (14 January 2021)

"An accident and an economic downturn didn’t stop Alsyifa Huthami from answering the call of the sea. The Singapore Polytechnic grad explains how she is steadfastly pursuing her dream of becoming a marine engineer with some help from the Graduate Support Package.

Five months into her six-month internship with oil and gas company Apex Ship Management, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) student Alsyifa Huthami, broke her finger. The 21-year old was out at sea off South Korea.

The accident forced Alsyifa to cut short her internship in May 2019. Although she was initially dejected, Alsyifa’s passion to work in the marine sector was not doused.

Five months later, she landed an internship as a purchasing assistant at Bourbon Offshore Asia. This was part of a separate six-month internship she needed to undertake to complete her diploma in marine engineering.

“At Apex, I learnt about the technical aspects of managing and operating a ship,” says Alsyifa. At Bourbon, she learnt the other side of being in the marine industry – the logistics of buying supplies, stocking vessels, and other behind-the-scenes work that went into preparing ships for sail. “It was a great opportunity to see a different side of the industry,” she says.

Finding opportunities in an uncertain job market

Just as when she was about to graduate, in May 2020, the economic climate took a turn for the worse due to the COVID pandemic. But Alsyifa pressed on and looked for opportunities to gain experience. Her determination paid off, and over the course of the next few months, Alsyifa was able to land three jobs.

The first was as a procurement assistant for HSM Far East, a marine supplier she had worked with at Bourbon. “I was lucky because the company remembered me. So when I reached out to them, they brought me on because I had experience working with vendors while I was at Bourbon,” says Alsyifa."


A fresh graduate's script for success (14 January 2021)

"The pandemic was a plot twist that budding director Ong Shu Yang hadn’t foreseen, but he worked his way to a happy outcome thanks to the SGUnited Traineeship. Here’s his story.

Film enthusiast Ong Shu Yang was eager to kickstart his directing career after he graduated from LASALLE College of the Arts’ Bachelor in Film programme in April 2020. Unfortunately, there was an unexpected plot twist – the COVID-19 pandemic.

As news of the worsening economy hit the headlines, the 26-year-old, who majored in film directing, feared that he might have to wait until next year to find a job.

But his pessimism proved to be unfounded. Of the 10 job applications that he sent out over the next few months, mostly via LinkedIn and Cult Jobs, a job site for the creative arts, he was contacted by five media companies for interviews.

His first step proved to be a misstep. Shu Yang was an introvert, and in his nervousness, did not prepare for the interview. “The interviewer, who happened to the founder and CEO of the company, wasn’t impressed,” he says.

Ultimately none of the interviews resulted in an offer.

The LASALLE graduate learnt from his mistakes though. After three months, he bagged a one-year writing position with alice, a media production agency, under the SG United Traineeship (SGUT) programme."


Overcoming the odds for his next act (14 January 2021)

"GurJeevaan Singh Balrose was determined to find work as a filmmaker, even amidst the pandemic. So when a new opportunity arose through the SGUnited Traineeship programme, he jumped at it. By Tung Yon Heong

GurJeevaan Singh Balrose was about to graduate from LASALLE College of the Arts’ Bachelor in Film programme, in April 2020, when the pandemic struck.

Like many of his younger fellow graduates, the 31-year-old watched the situation unfold with a sense of foreboding.

“Some of the video production houses that I had applied to told me they had stopped hiring because of the pandemic,” he says. “I was worried because I was already in my early 30s and I needed to find a job soon. But I did not want to settle for something that was not related to media production.”

Spark of a new passion

GurJeevaan had decided to take up filmmaking as a career only as a young adult. He had already graduated from Singapore Polytechnic (SP) in 2015, where he trained to be an engineer – though he had little intention of becoming one.

“I spent four years studying Computer Engineering at ITE College East before studying at SP for two years. Even at the outset, I was not particularly passionate about engineering; my goal was to simply find a job that paid well,” he says."


TIMSS 2019: Singapore Students Continue to Excel in Mathematics and Science (8 December 2020)

"Singapore's Primary 4 (P4) and Secondary 2 (S2) students continue to perform well in Mathematics and Science by international standards, according to the latest results from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019, a study by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)."


School Fees to Remain Unchanged for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents in Government and Government-Aided Schools in 2021 (9 December 2020)

"The Ministry of Education (MOE) will not be making any changes to school fees for Singapore Citizens (SC), permanent residents (PR) and ASEAN international students [IS(ASEAN)] in Government and Government-aided schools in 2021. There will be moderate adjustments to the school fees for non-ASEAN international students [IS(Non-ASEAN)] in Government and Government-aided schools in 2021. The revised fees for IS (Non-ASEAN) will take effect from January 2021."


7 Special Education Schools Get New Campuses to Provide Quality and Affordable Education to More Students (10 December 2020)

"Seven government-funded Special Education (SPED) schools will progressively begin operations in new campuses at their permanent sites from 2022, as part of MOE's ongoing efforts to enhance accessibility to SPED for students with moderate-to-severe Special Educational Needs (SEN). MOE had, over the past few years, announced the set-up of these new schools – four new government-funded SPED schools serving students who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with intellectual impairment, and three new government-funded SPED schools serving students who have moderate ASD and can access the national curriculum."


Release of the 2020 Singapore-Cambridge GCE N(A)- & N(T)-Level Examination Results on 17 December 2020 (10 December 2020)

"The results of the 2020 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Normal (Academic)-[N(A)] and Normal (Technical)-[N(T)] Level Examinations will be released on Thursday, 17 December 2020, 2.00pm."


2020 Secondary 1 Posting Results (15 December 2020)

"The Secondary 1 (S1) posting results will be released on Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 9.00am."


Release of 2020 Singapore-Cambridge GCE N(A)- & N(T)-Level Examination Results (17 December 2020)

"Candidates who sat for the 2020 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (GCE) Normal (Academic) [N(A)] and Normal (Technical) [N(T)] Level Examinations received their results today."


Arrangements for School Reopening in 2021 (18 December 2020)

"All MOE Kindergartens (MKs), primary and secondary schools will start the school year on Monday, 4 January 2021 while Junior Colleges (JCs) and Millennia Institute (MI) will start on Monday, 11 January 2021. In line with the current national posture, schools will reopen fully with most Co-Curricular Activities (CCA) and school activities allowed, and higher-risk activities suspended or limited to a smaller group cap."


Dual-Use Scheme Facilities to Remain Open Till Mid-March 2021 (28 December 2020)

"Singapore, 28 Dec 2020 – In line with the move to Phase Three of Singapore's reopening, and to continue to provide members of the public with access to sports facilities, selected chargeable fields (CFs) and Indoor Sports Halls (ISHs) under the Dual-Use Scheme (DUS) will remain open for public bookings on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 January 2021 to 14 March 2021. This follows the announcement by Sport Singapore (SportSG) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) in November, to reopen these DUS facilities for the year-end school holidays."


Blended Learning to Enhance Schooling Experience and Further Develop Students into Self-Directed Learners (29 December 2020)

"In this digital era, it is important for our students to be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to thrive in an interconnected, diverse and rapidly-changing world.

COVID-19 has made it even more imperative for us to build on the progress made by our students during full Home-Based Learning (HBL) over the Circuit Breaker period, by making Blended Learning a key feature of the schooling experience to further develop their ability to be self-directed, passionate and life-long learners. Through Blended Learning, regularly scheduled HBL Days will complement teaching and learning in schools. Students' learning during HBL Days will be supported by the National Digital Literacy Programme (NDLP) that was announced earlier this year, which will ensure that all secondary students will own a personal learning device (PLD) by end-2021."


Release of 2020 Singapore-Cambridge GCE O-Level Examination Results and 2021 Joint Admissions Exercise (4 January 2021)

"The results of the 2020 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level (GCE O-Level) examination will be released on Monday, 11 January 2021, 2.00pm."


Release of 2020 Singapore-Cambridge GCE O-Level Examination Results (11 January 2021)

"Candidates who sat for the 2020 Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level (GCE O-Level) Examination collected their results from their secondary schools today."


2021 MOE Kindergarten Virtual Open House and Registration Exercise (13 January 2021)

"43 MOE Kindergartens (MKs) will be participating in the 2021 MK Registration Exercise for Kindergarten 1 (K1) admission in 2022."


Robot vacuum cleaners can be used by hackers to 'spy' on private conversations: NUS study (7 December 2020)

"SINGAPORE — Your robot vacuum cleaner could be picking up private conversations along with the dust and dirt in your home.

Computer scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have demonstrated how a common robot vacuum cleaner and its built-in light detection and ranging (Lidar) sensor could be used to "spy" on private conversations, the university said on Monday (Dec 7).

The method, called LidarPhone, repurposes the Lidar sensor that a robot vacuum cleaner normally uses for navigating around a home into a laser-based microphone to eavesdrop on private conversations."


S’pore students top global benchmarking survey for maths, science, but less confident than peers about learning these subjects (8 December 2020)

"SINGAPORE — Students in Singapore have topped an international ranking for science and mathematics abilities for a third time since 2003, outperforming their peers from 71 other countries, according to a study released on Tuesday (Dec 8).

The International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 however also found that while students here adopted a positive attitude towards learning both subjects, they expressed less confidence in learning them compared to their peers internationally.

The study, conducted every four years since 1995, measures how well students at Grade 4 and Grade 8 — the equivalent of Primary 4 and Secondary 2 in Singapore — understand, apply, and reason concepts in mathematics and science."


NUS student charged with masturbating in school library flees S’pore, tells lawyer he will not return (8 December 2020)

"SINGAPORE — An arrest warrant has been issued for a 28-year-old chemical engineering student from the National University of Singapore (NUS), who was charged last year with masturbating in front of a woman at the university’s Science Library.

Xiong Jiawei, a Singapore permanent resident, absconded to his home country of China and has no intention of returning here, his former lawyer Gino Hardial Singh told TODAY.

Court documents had previously described Xiong as a Singaporean but his lawyer clarified on Tuesday (Dec 8) that he is a permament resident here."


Jobseekers’ Diaries: Dispirited and lost after a long job search, I found a traineeship that I enjoy (13 December 2020)

“Could this be it? Would I finally get a job interview?”

These thoughts crossed my mind every time I received email notifications from the companies that I applied to.

With great trepidation, I prayed for the best and clicked on the email messages."


Teen says bullying led her to try suicide; MOE admits school lapse but ‘effective disciplinary action’ then taken (18 December 2020)

"SINGAPORE — A 14-year-old student and her parents are disappointed with the response from the Ministry of Education (MOE) to what they say was sustained bullying of the girl both online and at school. The incidents caused her to attempt suicide and left her in the hospital for 12 days.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, MOE on Friday (Dec 18) acknowledged one lapse in the school’s handling of a report by the girl regarding a bullying incident. However, it said that the school had taken effective disciplinary action over other bullying incidents affecting the student.

The family has requested anonymity to protect the girl, who is in a fragile state. They said that for almost a year, while the girl was in Secondary 1 last year, she was bullied by at least five boys in separate incidents after being told to kill herself in an anonymous social media post."


Youth in Action: Environmental activist raises climate issues one doodle at a time (20 December 2020)

"SINGAPORE — At nine, environmental activist Woo Qiyun penned a three-page essay when Australian zookeeper and television personality Steve Irwin tragically died after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb in 2006.

She had wanted to be a zookeeper like the “crocodile hunter” and his death devastated her.

“It was something about his passion. You can see from the TV screens that he was not doing it for the money… It was all from the heart,” said Ms Woo."


She left behind life of vice to clinch stellar N-Level results with support from friends, mentors (24 December 2020)

"SINGAPORE — Since she was in primary school, Sarah (not her real name) was caught up in a life of crime — stealing, smoking and selling drugs.

The 17-year-old student recalled recently how she revelled in the thrill of going up against the authorities and liked to see how much she could toe the line before crossing the limits of the law.

The turning point in the teenager’s life came a year ago when her misbehaviour landed her in the Singapore Girls’ Home, a rehabilitation centre for youth offenders. Sarah declined to specify the offences that got her there."


Youth in Action: Building an inclusive society for people with special needs (27 December 2020)

"SINGAPORE — When she was a student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Charmaine Foo encountered a fellow student in her co-curricular activity committee who was often disruptive.

"We were always thinking about how we could control her and stop her from disrupting the sessions," Ms Foo said.

It was only later that she learnt that this fellow student was autistic, and Ms Foo, now 23, began making a concerted effort to learn how to better interact with her."


Selected sec school, JC students to have regularly scheduled home-based learning days from 2021 (29 December 2020)

"SINGAPORE — First introduced in April in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, home-based learning is here to stay, with all secondary schools, junior colleges and the Millennia Institute introducing regularly scheduled days for home-based learning for some students starting from next year.

At the primary school level, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will conduct a small-scale pilot involving upper primary pupils from five primary schools from next year. The selected schools are Chua Chu Kang Primary, Frontier Primary, Junyuan Primary, River Valley Primary and Yio Chu Kang Primary.

The announcement was made by Education Minister Lawrence Wong during the Appointment and Appreciation Ceremony for Principals on Tuesday (Dec 29)."


Gen Y Speaks: I have no regrets quitting the Integrated Programme for top students to chase my nursing dream (3 January 2021)

"From the time I entered the Integrated Programme (IP) in River Valley High School, I had been on a steady journey towards completing my A-Level examination.

But in 2019, I decided to leave the IP and enrol for a nursing course at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP). I am currently in my second year and I have never felt surer about pursuing my passion.

Don’t get me wrong: After working really hard and scoring 255 for my Primary School Leaving Examination, I was excited to embark on my life in the IP track — a six-year through-train programme that is offered only in 17 schools islandwide currently, targeting higher-performing students – and the journey was nothing short of enriching."


Workgroup launches guidelines to help parents manage activities and screen time for children, teenagers (8 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Children and adolescents between the ages of seven and 18 should engage in at least an average of one hour of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily and limit recreational screen time.

These are among a new set of guidelines for children and adolescents in Singapore that recommend activities for them in a 24-hour period and other related advice, covering sleep and eating habits, physical activity and sedentary behaviour.

These complement the national guidelines on physical and sedentary behaviour for children and adolescents that were released in 2013 by the Health Promotion Board."


Inspired by teachers, classmates and social workers, O-Level students pull through in the face of adversity (11 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE — When Anthony Oon Han Wei was in Secondary 1, he skipped school for the entire second half of the year, stayed at home and played games instead.

“I just didn’t have the drive to go to school,” he said.

In his first year at St Gabriel’s Secondary School in 2016, Anthony had few friends, and it did not help that he was an introvert."


Supporting vulnerable groups, ensuring safe reopening top two issues youths want addressed at Budget 2021 (13 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Supporting vulnerable groups of Singaporeans and ensuring a safe reopening from the pandemic top the list of issues that young people here want addressed at Budget 2021.

Other priorities include preparing for climate change, enhancing employability and fostering social inclusion.

A total of 170 participants aged between 15 and 35 were polled at the end of a virtual dialogue on Wednesday evening (Jan 13), where they exchanged views on the five key themes of Budget 2021."


MOE denies stopping transgender student from getting hormone therapy, says it is ‘in no position’ to interfere with medical treatments (16 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Education (MOE) has come out to deny interfering with a transgender student’s decision to go on hormone replacement therapy, after allegations made by the student went viral on social media earlier this week.

In a post on Reddit on Thursday (Jan 14), the 18-year-old junior college student alleged that the ministry had prevented the student from obtaining a doctor’s referral letter to begin hormone replacement therapy.

The treatment is recommended for individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria."


Gen Y Speaks: I felt lost studying overseas. A year of online classes in S’pore due to Covid-19 has changed that (17 January 2021)

"I am a second-year business student at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management. I first went to study in Beijing in September 2019 and came back to Singapore for a semester break in January 2020.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and closure of borders, I have remained in Singapore since and have been attending lessons online.

Here, I would like to share why I went to China to study, my journey so far, and what I have learned."


Youth in Action: Giving voice to everyday women, creating safe spaces for them (17 January 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Juggling a full-time job, motherhood and other commitments is hectic for 30-year-old Sarah Bagharib, but working on her passion project is never a chore.

The corporate communications officer for an international non-profit organisation is the founder of Crazycat, a media and community platform for women from all walks of life.

“There are support groups for female entrepreneurs, females in tech, but why isn’t there one for the everyday woman?” she said in an interview with TODAY."