Future-ready changemakers: Nafa graduates showcase their breakthroughs in creative expressions (10 June 2021)

"Fine Art graduate Farisah Binte Shafiee, 21, sees art as a way to mitigate the psychological impact of an ongoing pandemic.

The fledgling artist wants to help others to express and process complex emotions – and destress – through the sensory experience of carving, peeling, breaking or bending wax."


Minor Issues: The positive influence of fathers (13 June 2021)

"Whenever my children have a school assignment to write about or draw what their parents do at home, I am always the person cooking in the kitchen. My wife is either playing games with the children in the living room or outdoors.

I have no qualms being in the kitchen and cooking meals for the family, especially on weekends. It gives me a break from work. Cooking is something for which I can plan ahead and achieve the intended outcomes. In contrast, a day at work in school is unpredictable."


Can't spell 'receive'? Nine other words that trip up students (13 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE - If you find yourself struggling to spell words like receive and successful, you are not alone.

A recent study by Edubirdie, a professional essay writing service, revealed that these are among the most commonly misspelt words found in essays submitted to it - by students in the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia - for editing between 2019 and 2020."


Boys cry, too: How parents are fighting toxic masculinity (13 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE - A non-profit in Singapore has launched a programme aimed at encouraging boys to support gender equality.

United Women Singapore (UWS) started the UWS Boys Empowered initiative last month, adding to discussions that inspire parents to be more intentional about raising their children - both sons and daughters - to reject toxic masculinity."


P1 to 3 pupils to do one-week HBL when school reopens as MOE gradually allows students back to school (14 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Primary 1 to 3 pupils will continue with a week of home-based learning (HBL) from June 28 when Term 3 begins, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Monday (June 14).

They will return to school on Tuesday, July 6, as Monday is a school holiday."


Parents understand need for staggered return to school, but some worry about HBL challenges (15 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Home-based learning (HBL) has been challenging for parents - especially those juggling busy work schedules - but they understand the need for caution in the Ministry of Education's (MOE) move to progressively allow students back to school after the June holidays.

MOE had announced the move on Monday (June 14), adding that the aim is to keep students and staff safe from Covid-19."


Ngee Ann Poly to sack lecturer in racist remark incident for serious misconduct (17 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) is in the process of sacking senior lecturer Tan Boon Lee for serious misconduct.

This comes after a video posted on June 6 of Mr Tan making racist remarks to an interracial couple in Orchard Road went viral online. This was followed by an Instagram post on June 9 by NP alumna Nurul Fatimah Iskandar, who alleged that Mr Tan made Islamophobic comments in a class in 2017."


Those engaging in racist acts in school will be counselled and disciplined: MOE (17 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Students and staff who experience racism in schools should bring it up to their institutions immediately for investigations to be conducted, and those engaging in racist acts will be counselled and disciplined, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Thursday (June 17).

The ministry was responding to The Straits Times' queries about recent allegations of racism on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where users from minority communities recounted incidents of alleged racism in public schools, including racial bullying by former classmates and discrimination by teachers."


This former drug abuser wants to keep your child away from a life-destroying addiction (18 June 2021)

"By the time he was about 15, Vincent had been abusing drugs at least once a day.

These included cannabis or marijuana and heroin that he and his friends pooled their money to buy. They would then consume these in a tree house in their kampong or the car parks at shopping malls."


Celebrity Parents: Radio host Tan Li Yi's kids speak three languages at home (20 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE - While many kids in Singapore prefer to converse only in English, Tan Li Yi's two children are happy to switch from English to Mandarin and Korean.

Tan, 46, a senior producer-presenter at 96.3 Hao FM Mandarin radio station, is married to Mr Park Seong-jun, 44, a South Korean business development manager based in Singapore. Their daughter Eun-jin is eight years old and son Sung-min is six."


Minor Issues: Raising calm teens in an age of anger (20 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Not too long ago, I took my three teens cycling.

Somewhere near Jurassic Mile Changi, on a narrow stretch bordered by railings on both sides, my 13-year-old daughter collided with a cyclist coming in the other direction."


Ways to get kids to care about the environment (20 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Eight-year-old Emma Goh and her mum Tricia Seow often stop in their tracks to observe ants.

"We would talk about their complex social structure and how they are important to our environment," says Dr Seow, 48, a senior lecturer at the National Institute of Education's Humanities and Social Studies Education department."


Giving your kid a mobile phone? How to control his or her screen time (20 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE - Liu Yue Heng finally got his first smartphone after his Primary School Leaving Examination at the age of 12.

Many of his friends had received their first phones from Primary 3, which made him feel a little left out."


Fatherhood: Stay-at-home dad says no one-size-fits-all parenting method (21 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE - For many men, being a stay-at-home father may not be a dream job.

But Mr Nor Nizar Mohamed, 55, believes it is his life's calling. The former personal driver became a stay-at-home dad in 2008 and has never looked back."


Fatherhood: He quit civil service job, moved to NZ for ill son (21 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE - In 2011, first-time parents Chris Koh Teck Hui and Wendy Koh, now both aged 42, listened with dismay as their one-year-old son Nathanael was diagnosed with global developmental delay with low muscle tone.

The doctor told the couple there was little hope for Nathanael to ever function independently."


Power up with China Studies in English at A-Levels (7 May 2021)

"What are the regional and global implications of China’s rise as an economic superpower? What opportunities does it present to Singapore and the world? These and other topics are explored as a standalone subject offered in English at five junior colleges. A student, teacher and alumnus share their experiences with the subject.

China makes news every day and its policies and activities have widespread impact on the lives of people across the globe. What are the regional and global implications of its rise as an economic superpower? What opportunities does it present?

These and other questions are addressed as part of an A-level subject currently offered at five junior colleges in Singapore. China Studies in English (CSE) seeks to equip students to become more China-conversant and grow their understanding of contemporary developments in the country.

CSE focuses on the transformation of contemporary China through an examination of its economy, politics, society, and international relations. It will also develop the students’ critical thinking and information literacy to understand these developments, and instil in them an awareness of the regional and global implications of China’s rise, which will better help them seize the dynamic opportunities that China has to offer.

CSE students will also better appreciate Singapore’s interests and perspectives in its engagement with China, and contribute in their own capacity to further Singapore-China engagements. CSE is currently offered at Anglo-Chinese Junior College, Jurong Pioneer Junior College, St. Andrew’s Junior College, Victoria Junior College and Yishun Innova Junior College."


The world in my classroom (7 May 2021)

"When the COVID-19 pandemic struck last year, the teachers of Kranji Secondary School resolved to keep their Internationalisation Programme going. Here’s how they did it, and the unexpected skills the students learnt as a result.

As the number of COVID-19 cases rose in Singapore last year, a group of students and teachers from Kranji Secondary School were anxiously monitoring the situation. The students had been looking forward to hosting their peers from Ginowan Senior High School, who would be flying in from Okinawa, Japan, for an exchange programme in August. As border closures kicked in, it seemed inevitable that the highly anticipated exchange would be cancelled.

Thanks to the perseverance of the teachers from both schools, the programme was able to continue, albeit in a virtual format.

Mr Desmond Tan, who oversaw the exchange programme, says, “We believe that international exposure is crucial in building the students’ global awareness. Such experiences give our students the chance to learn about different cultures and practise collaborating with people from different backgrounds. This will be useful in school, and ultimately in work settings.”

It helped that the students and staff have gotten used to online lessons and interactions during Full Home-Based Learning in April 2020. Wasting no time, teachers from both schools worked out a plan for a virtual school exchange."


Online Open House for Secondary Schools 2021 (11 May 2021)

"Despite ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, secondary schools are holding virtual tours, parent engagement sessions, and live talks conducted by their School Leaders. What do you need to know before visiting these open houses with your child? Read on for more details on how you can support your child in choosing a secondary school!

A peek into the school grounds, meeting the teachers, witnessing each school’s culture – open houses provide opportunities to help you and your child choose a suitable secondary school.

However, with COVID-19 restrictions limiting physical gatherings, many schools have turned to online options – by updating their websites with new information and planning virtual engagement sessions for parents and children.

Before attending these online open houses, here are a few things you can do with your child to shortlist the secondary schools to visit.

1. Have a conversation with your child to understand your child’s strengths and interests

Have a chat with your child and ask them what appeals to them and what worries them most in going to secondary school. Let them share with you what they think are their strengths and interests by asking them about their favourite lessons and activities in school.

You can also ask them to list down what they enjoy about schooling and rank them. This could be anything from the learning environment, to academic programmes or their CCA. This will give you a better understanding of what they would like to see in their secondary school."


The Value of Community (12 May 2021)

"Would you help someone you have never met in real life? Our teachers do so freely, in an informal online network. Three teachers explain what motivates them to share their ideas and resources with the Singapore Learning Designers Circle (SgLDC).

Teachers are no strangers to sharing and working together on lessons. This happens all the time in our departments, at cluster events or among subject-based professional learning communities. However, it is increasingly common for teachers to exchange ideas online, and collaborate with others virtually – even if they have never met before in person.

The Singapore Learning Designers Circle (SgLDC) Facebook group, set up by MOE’s Educational Technology Division in 2017, is one of the platforms where the magic happens. Last year, the group grew exponentially with the onset of Full Home-Based Learning (HBL). Members pooled together ideas and resources to help each other cope during crunch time. Today, the group counts more than 17,000 educators from different schools as members. Hardly a day goes by without at least five new contributions to the group.

A well of inspiration

For Mr Heng Kai Le, English and Science teacher from Naval Base Primary School, the SgLDC group is a platform he can count on for ideas. He says: “I have come to rely on the SgLDC community as I know that I will receive helpful tips and advice within minutes should I be stumped on a challenge. I once asked for mnemonics that can help students remember Science concepts and got more than 10 responses within a day – for which I (and my students) am very grateful. That’s why for me, sharing on SgLDC is a way to pay it forward."


“This may work for me too, why not?” (12 May 2021)

"When Ms Peh Jing Er shared about a lesson she tried on the Singapore Learning Designers Circle (SgLDC), other teachers were inspired to try it out. In turn, they contributed their experiences and takeaways – to help others in the community.

Feeling up for a Math class challenge? Try this: There are 21 students in Mrs Peh’s Math class. 8 of them have completed all the exercises well, 10 of them have a couple of questions to correct, and 3 of them (unfortunately) have pages of corrections to go through. How many teachers are needed to ensure they all learn effectively during the lesson?

Okay, we kid... But jokes aside, that was an actual challenge that Mrs Peh Jing Er from Changkat Primary had to grapple with, as she looked over her Primary 4 students’ Math homework in Term 1.

Her students have very different learning styles and abilities. She knew that some of them needed a lot more help to understand the topic and re-attempt the questions. However, re-teaching the lesson and going through corrections may bore the other students who have already grasped the concepts.

That was when Jing Er thought of an approach she had read about on the Singapore Learning Designers Circle (Sg LDC) Facebook group.

Taking the first step

In this approach, also known as Personalised Learning, students get a learning plan that is customised to their pace of learning and what they already know. In such a classroom, students who are ahead can review the lesson or try more challenging tasks independently (or with the help of technology), while the teacher guides those who need more help."


Is DSA for your child? (21 May 2021)

"This and other questions answered by two teachers, who sit on the DSA committees of their schools. Does your child need to have won medals to qualify? Do they need to give perfect answers at the interview or show a polished portfolio? Read on to find out.

Students have different interests and talents, and not all of them can be demonstrated at the national exams. The Direct School Admission (DSA) recognises this, and offers an opportunity for students to enter schools where their aspirations – be it in the arts, sports, leadership, STEM research or entrepreneurship and more – can be developed.

We caught up with Mr James Ng and Mr Cleve Chia, who head the Department of PE and CCA in Evergreen Secondary School and Cedar Girls’ School respectively, for their advice for students and parents considering the DSA route to secondary school.

Evergreen Secondary School offers DSA in sports, languages and community youth leadership while Cedar Girls’ School offers DSA in sports and social innovation.

Who should apply for DSA?

Mr Chia: DSA is meant to recognise students, who have a strong interest or talent that can be further developed in secondary schools with a matching programme. This means parents should start by considering if their child has an interest they are passionate about. Has the child been consistently pursuing a particular activity for a significant period of time in primary school? What areas has he or she shown success in?

This ‘success’ doesn’t have to come in the form of a medal or certificate. Success can also mean that they have persevered and shown progress in an area over time. Perhaps they have said something like, “I managed to do this today, I want to continue and try that next.” This is a sign that the child finds meaning in the activity and is motivated to take this further."


Choosing the DSA route (21 May 2021)

"Four students talk about why they chose the DSA option and how they knew this was right for them. Did they need extra prep work? They share their stories.

Nur Batrisyia Binte Jasman, Secondary 3

DSA: Community Youth Leadership, Woodgrove Secondary School

“For me, DSA was a chance to enter a school with programmes that I like. I wasn’t very confident about my PSLE results and I felt uncertain as the cut-off points fluctuate every year. My parents encouraged me to try DSA, too, but they left the choice of school up to me.

“My focus was on schools with strong community service programmes. This has always been something close to my heart because my family had received help from others when my father had suffered a stroke. I wanted to give back to those who are in need.

“When researching schools online, I came across Woodgrove Secondary and learnt that they have special Values-in-Action (VIA) projects, where students can help out at elderly homes. This stood out to me because not all schools have such opportunities - some conduct their VIA projects within the school instead.

“I remember that the selection interview at Woodgrove Secondary wasn’t stressful at all. I think that’s because I did my research and knew what the school could offer me, such as the VIA opportunities and exposure to community leadership.

“I also shared a little about my experience as a student leader in primary school and what I have learnt from helping at my father’s workplace."


Parent’s take on DSA: “Do what’s good for their self-confidence” (21 May 2021)

"Mum-of-two Tan Lay Ping talks about why her daughter chose the DSA route, and what she wanted to guard against.

For Madam Tan Lay Ping, the Direct School Admissions (DSA) was initially not on the cards when she broached the topic of school choice with her daughter back in 2018. Her criteria were: distance, school culture and a cut-off point close to her children’s PSLE results.

While her daughter was looking through schools’ websites as part of her secondary school search, she was drawn to Zhonghua Secondary School. She was attracted by the school’s vision of developing students into scholars and leaders.

Choosing DSA

“She was impressed with the programmes and the opportunities to conduct independent research,” Mdm Tan recalled. “However, her school results then were just slightly below the cut-off point for Zhonghua. So I told her that it was a little risky and asked if she’d want to try DSA.”

Fortunately, performing arts was one of the DSA talent areas for Zhonghua and her daughter has a strong passion for music. She had been playing the violin since kindergarten, and later, the clarinet when she joined her primary school band."


Parent’s Take on DSA: “Let your child take the lead” (21 May 2021)

“They need to really enjoy the activity they choose as they will be the ones going through it for the next few years, not us,” says mum-of-three Janet Chin. She shares the decision points and their journey so far.

To apply for the Direct School Admissions (DSA) or not? Mrs Janet Chin, mother of three, left the decision to her children.

“I encourage them to talk to me, but I trust them to make good decisions,” she said.

“Around 12 years ago, when my eldest was preparing for the PSLE, DSA was quite new. I heard about it and asked my daughter if she wanted to give it a try. Although she was in her primary school band, she wasn’t sure it was something that she really wanted to be committed to in the long term. So, we left it at that.”

Making the choice

Now, DSA is a lot more common. Mrs Chin found that her two younger children are a lot more aware about this alternative route to secondary school. She didn’t have to introduce them to it. They had already heard about it from their teachers and friends.

“From what they shared, I could see that they were quite aware of their own abilities. The schools they suggested were roughly, or just slightly above the ballpark of their current results. I think they also would not want to struggle in a school where the cut-off point is too far off from their results!”

Her younger daughter was keen on taking up DSA as she had been playing netball as part of her CCA since primary school. The training hours were long, but she persevered and grew better in the sport over the years. It was through her seniors that she first heard about the netball programme in Cedar Girls’ School."


Online Open House for Primary Schools 2021 (29 May 2021)

"Many of our primary schools will be putting up virtual tours, videos, and website features of their schools’ unique cultures. Here’s the list of their online open houses, and top tips to help you and your child select a suitable school to begin their schooling years.

Primary school lays the foundation for your child’s education. While attending the online Open Houses for primary schools, consider the following pointers:

1. Your child’s strengths and interests

Talk to your child and ask them what they like to do. Talk about hobbies such as playing sports, making music, creating art, or even gaming. Let them share with you their likes and dislikes by asking them about their favourite lessons and activities in kindergarten. Then, think about the primary schools that will provide your child with opportunities to explore and deepen their interests.

2. Distance between home and school

An important consideration is the journey to school. Consider factors like the means of transport: if your child is travelling by car, school bus, or if they are using public transport, what is the fastest and safest way for them to commute to and from school?

3. Culture of the school

Each school has its distinctive culture. By attending the virtual Open Houses, you can gain a preview as to what each school has to offer – programmes, facilities, values, teachers, and school culture. Take the opportunity to browse through the schools’ websites, which will have all the resources you need to learn about them."


Every student a martial arts practitioner (10 June 2021)

"Edgefield Secondary believes that good character can be cultivated through the practice of Taekwondo. This belief extends to their approach towards the National School Games. Here’s how the team learnt to adapt this year and cope with the COVID-19 situation. By Tung Yon Heong

At Edgefield Secondary School, every student is trained in the art of Taekwondo. All Secondary 1 and 2 students partake in Taekwondo training in school for an hour every week. For the Secondary 3s and 4s, they can opt-in if they wish to further their training and level up their belt rank.

“It’s not that we want to make a Bruce Lee out of everybody,” says Mr Jeffery Nah, the teacher-in-charge of the Taekwondo programme at Edgefield Secondary. “We use Taekwondo to teach our students important values such as respect and resilience.”

Students bow before the hall, into which they enter to begin their training. They also bow to their instructors, teachers and to each other.

“It is way of showing respect to the venue and to the people around you. Our teachers and instructors also bow to the students to demonstrate mutual respect,” he says.

Not all students come in as novices. There will be some who have had prior experience. Edgefield Secondary sorts the training sessions according to the nine different belt ranks.

The school sent 39 students to the National School Games (NSG) this year. And given its unique programme, it’s not surprising to learn that half of the team did not come from the Taekwondo CCA."


Put the books down! 6 skills your child really need for P1 (14 June 2021)

"Mastering the ABCs is well and good but having seen 29 years of children enter primary school through her doors, Mrs Marjorie Seek of CHIJ Katong Primary observes that these six soft skills are even more essential in preparing students for primary school.

Entering Primary 1 can be a big step for a child — and the parents. While parents often consider how well children learn their ABCs and numbers before they enter primary school, there are important skills that can prepare students for a better start to their school journey. Soft skills such as time management, self-control, focus, flexible thinking, social interaction, and perseverance will form a firmer foundation for learning and thriving in their school years and beyond. Mrs Marjorie Seek, a Senior Teacher (Lower Primary Learners) at CHIJ Katong Primary, shares with us why.

Skill #1: Time management

Teaching children about time management at an early age is crucial as it helps them plan and prioritise better as they grow older. Children would have learned about simple time management during their kindergarten days, such as completing a task before moving on to the next activity.

Mrs Seek said, “As children enter Primary 1, they are expected to follow a timetable on their own. Therefore, good time management helps them to pace themselves for the task at hand, complete tasks on time and keep track of what lies ahead.”

For instance, a child who can manage time well is able to finish up his food during recess and have ample time to play with his peers, which is so important for younger children. In this example, the child learns that if he wants to have time to play, he needs to make an effort to eat a little faster and not dawdle. In a classroom, good time management will enable a child to complete tasks on time so that he can have the ‘free’ time to read or draw.

“When children learn to manage their time, the value of self-discipline is also instilled in them; and with self-discipline comes self-control,” explained Mrs Seek."


51st Pre-University Seminar – STRONGER (1 June 2021)

"525 participants from 30 pre-university institutions have come together for this year’s Pre-University Seminar to engage in dialogues on issues of national concern, especially in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent challenges and opportunities which would emerge. Held virtually, the seminar will begin on 1 June and conclude on 4 June."


MOE Teachers' Conference and ExCEL Fest 2021 (2 June 2021)

"The Teachers' Conference is a three-day event organised biennially by the Ministry of Education (MOE) for teachers to learn together as a fraternity. This year celebrates our 10th edition, and Teachers' Conference and ExCEL Fest 2021 (TCEF2021), held from 1 to 3 June, is our first edition that is fully online. The Conference aims to bring local educators together to learn, to connect and to engage with thought leaders and practitioners, as we explore possibilities for the future of teaching and learning."


Singapore’s young research talents excel at the virtual Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2021 (3 June 2021)

"Ten Singapore students competed against more than 1,800 youths from over 75 countries, regions and territories at the virtual Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2021. Regeneron ISEF is one of the world's largest annual pre-college science fairs that provides a platform for top science and engineering talents to showcase their projects. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the fair was conducted virtually. Comprising two components, the competition segment was held from 3 to 6 May, while the official Regeneron ISEF events were conducted from 16 to 21 May."


Suspension of In-Person Private Tuition and Enrichment for Students Aged 18 and Younger from 19 May 2021 to 13 Jun 2021 (4 June 2021)

"The Ministry of Education announced on 16 May 2021 that centre-based private tuition and enrichment would be suspended for students aged 18 and younger from 19 May 2021 to 13 Jun 2021 (both dates inclusive), under the Phase Two (Heightened Alert) national stance."


Erroneous Administration of Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine to 16 Year-Old Youth (4 June 2021)

"On 3 June 2021, a 16 year-old youth was administered the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Kolam Ayer Community Club Vaccination Centre. The error was discovered onsite when vaccination centre staff identified that the individual was under 18 years of age during the post-vaccination observation period. As an additional precaution, he was placed under a longer observation time of 50 minutes, and remains generally well."


Safe Management Measures for Private Tuition and Enrichment in Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) (10 June 2021)

"The Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) announced on 10 June 2021 that as part of a calibrated reopening from Monday, 14 June 2021, we will move back to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) in two steps. In line with this, if the situation remains under control in the coming weeks, in- person tuition and enrichment classes for students aged 18 and younger will be allowed to resume under part two of Phase 3 (Heightened Alert), which takes effect from Monday, 21 June 2021."


Arrangements for Schools and Institutes of Higher Learning Under Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) (14 June 2021)

"As Singapore moves into Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) with gradual easing of community safe management measures (SMMs), the Ministry of Education (MOE) will progressively bring students back to school after the June school holidays. The Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) will also gradually increase the number of students allowed back on campus for face-to-face learning. Schools and IHL campuses will continue to adhere to SMMs to keep students and staff safe."


Second Edition of 'EU at Your School' Closes with Attendance of Over 10,000 Students (16 June 2021)

"Over 10,000 students aged 13 to 20 from 27 Singapore education institutions met with European Union (EU) representatives in the second edition of the 'EU at Your School' project (#EUatYourSchool), where they got insights about the EU and its relations with Singapore. The project, which started on 31 March and will continue through July 2021, builds on the positive feedback of the inaugural edition in 2019."


Singapore Assumes Presidency of Southeast Asian Ministers for Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Council (2021-2022) (17 June 2021)

"Singapore assumed the presidency of the Southeast Asian Ministers for Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Council for a two-year term (2021 to 2022) and hosted the 51st SEAMEO Council Conference virtually on Thursday, 17 June 2021. Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education, Singapore, has been appointed as the President of the SEAMEO Council during this term."


Support from peers can help reduce risk of depression, anxiety in new mothers: NUS study (12 April 2021)

"SINGAPORE — New mothers at risk of depression after childbirth, known as postpartum depression, need more than just support from friends and immediate family members, and can benefit from having a third-party outsider to listen to their worries and frustrations.

These were the findings of a recent study conducted by the National University of Singapore Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, which looked at how Singaporean mothers at risk of postpartum depression can benefit from receiving emotional support from fellow mums.

The study, which was conducted between 2018 and 2020 and observed outcomes in 138 mothers, found that the new mothers who received peer support through text messages had a 20 per cent reduced risk of developing postpartum depression."


Seniors stuck in their ways? Two millennials tell how they change older adults' habits when health coaching (17 April 2021)

"SINGAPORE — In their 20s and 30s, Ms Nurul Shafiqah and Ms Valerie Chua have found out while working with seniors that getting them to start eating healthily and exercising regularly is not as straightforward as merely dishing out advice.

There are factors such as their relationships at home with their family members and their lack of confidence that need time to adjust.

Then, there is the scepticism. Ms Shafiqah has heard this being said by the people they help on the job: “I’ve eaten more salt than you’ve eaten rice”."


Bullied by peers, student with cerebral palsy gained confidence through horse riding, school leadership roles (17 April 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Growing up with cerebral palsy, Ms Alina Seow was constantly on the receiving end of taunts and bullying from peers throughout primary and secondary school.

Because she has difficulties walking due to her condition, the 21-year-old polytechnic student uses a walking stick, and some students called her “grandma” and “aunty” as a result.

It did not help that Ms Seow went to the same schools as her able-bodied twin sister, and some would provoke her by pointing out that her sister could play sports while she could not."


Adulting 101: At 32, I moved out of my parents' flat. I've learnt to be independent and so much more (17 April 2021)

"SINGAPORE — I have burnt a hole in my skirt, and my hand on another occasion, while ironing. I have tossed out charred slices of bread and developed muscle aches from hours of household chores.

All these and more, as I navigate daily life as a young and single Singaporean woman living away from my parents.

Last year, at age 32, I made a decision that would probably baffle many Singaporeans: I moved out of the comfortable confines of my parents’ home and rented a room in a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat in Tiong Bahru."


Students will not be denied entry to schools should they misplace, forget TraceTogether token or app: MOE (22 April 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Students will not be denied entry to schools should they not have the TraceTogether app, or have misplaced or forgotten to bring their token, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Thursday (April 22).

But students should remember to bring their token or app if they are involved in external activities at venues that require TraceTogether-only SafeEntry, to ensure that they are able to participate in these activities.

In an update to the frequently asked questions section of its website, MOE said schools are “generally safe” with the existing safe management measures."


3 in 10 young Singaporeans worry about ‘losing purpose for living’ due to Covid-19 impact: IPS study (26 April 2021)

"SINGAPORE — As normalcy gradually returns, the Covid-19 pandemic has left at least three in 10 Singaporeans in their 20s worried about losing their purpose for living, triple the proportion of those aged above 60 who feel this way, a study has found.

This is given the disruptions caused by the pandemic to much of what these young people consider important and gives them purpose, said lead Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) researcher, Dr Mathew Mathews.

“This includes travelling both for leisure and job opportunities or training and socialising,” he added."


Edgefield Secondary School to conduct home-based learning after student contracts Covid-19 (2 May 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Edgefield Secondary School will move to home-based learning after the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Saturday (May 1) that a 15-year-old student was one of seven new COVID-19 cases in the community in Singapore.

In a news release, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said that the school will conduct home-based learning from next Tuesday to Friday. Monday is a school holiday.

The school will also take other precautionary measures, such as placing students, staff and external vendors who had been in close contact with the student on quarantine, as well as cleaning and disinfecting the school premises."


Victoria JC student infected with Covid-19; 103 people quarantined, 2,200 others to be swabbed (8 May 2021)

"SINGAPORE — A Victoria Junior College (VJC) student has tested positive for Covid-19. The case is unlinked to previous infections, which means 2,200 people will have to be tested for the coronavirus by next Monday (May 10).

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Saturday that VJC students will move to home-based learning from Monday to Friday next week, as it would take some time to complete and finalise the results of the swab tests.

Ninety-five students and eight staff members who were in close contact with the infected student, who tested positive on Friday, have been placed on quarantine orders."


No evidence of Covid-19 transmission within schools so far, face shields for teachers to be disallowed: Lawrence Wong (14 May 2021)

"SINGAPORE — There is no evidence of Covid-19 transmission within schools despite recent cases of Covid-19 detected among students in several schools recently, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said on Friday (May 14).

Mr Wong, who is also co-chair of the multi-ministry taskforce in charge of the Covid-19 response, added that several “rings of defence” have been put in place to detect viral infections in the school community.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday where he announced a swathe of heightened safety community measures, he said: “We’ve had a few of such cases where children, students in schools, have been infected. Till now, all of these infections have taken place outside of the school setting.”


4 primary school students among 19 new Covid-19 community cases in Singapore (15 May 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Four primary school students were among 19 new community Covid-19 cases on Saturday (May 15).

Of the 19, 17 were linked to previous cases while the remaining two were not.

In addition, there were 12 imported cases, bringing the total number of new cases on Saturday to 31."


Covid-19: Some parents, students face login issues, delayed uploads on first day of home-based learning (19 May 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Madam Desiree Yaw started working from home at 7.30am on Wednesday (May 19), earlier than her usual clock-in time, so that she could better supervise her two primary school children, who would begin home-based learning that day.

However, it soon became apparent that her work schedule would be disrupted more than she had hoped, as her children — a girl in Primary 4 and a boy in Primary 6 — took about two hours to log in to the Singapore Student Learning Space (SLS) system.

“My kids were frustrated and worried, and caused me to get frustrated as well, because I am also working from home,” the executive assistant in the finance industry said."


Primary 1 registration for 2022, which begins June 30, to continue as an online exercise (20 May 2021)

"SINGAPORE — This year’s Primary 1 registration will be carried out from June 30 till Oct 29 and will continue to be done online, as it was last year, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said in a statement on Thursday (May 20).

The move to keep the registration exercise online comes as schools are conducting home-based learning amid a rise in community infections.

More than a dozen primary school students from various schools have also tested positive for Covid-19, several of whom have been linked to a tuition centre."


Pupil at Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) is the first case of Covid-19 school-based transmission: MOE (22 May 2021)

"SINGAPORE — An 11-year-old pupil at Anglo-Chinese School (Junior), who tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, is the first case of Covid-19 school-based transmission in Singapore, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) in a statement early Saturday morning (May 22).

Before this, all students in past cases had been infected outside schools.

The 11-year-old boy is a close contact of a 12-year-old boy from the same school who was confirmed to have the infection on May 19. The two boys are part of the same cluster as a 46-year-old Singaporean investment banker at DBS."


Culprits behind deviant poll on asatizah to face ‘stern action’ if found to be Islamic studies grads: Religious board (29 May 2021)

"SINGAPORE — If graduates of Islamic studies are found to be behind an online poll asking others to rank which female asatizah (or religious teacher) should be gang-raped, the Asatizah Recognition Board has said that it would not hesitate to take stern action against them.

They will also be barred from teaching Islam to the Muslim community in Singapore “in whatever form”, the board that accredits asatizah in Singapore said in a statement on Saturday (May 29).

The board, which was formed by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) in 2004, urged the community not to speculate further on the matter because it is being investigated by police."


Covid-19: Rosyth School teacher among 4 unlinked community cases in Singapore (29 May 2021)

"SINGAPORE — A primary school teacher, an executive at an equipment firm, a kitchen assistant and a cook were the four new Covid-19 cases recorded on Saturday (May 29) that have not been linked to known sources of infection.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its nightly update on the coronavirus situation that the 40-year-old teacher at Rosyth School was last at work on May 18.

The Singaporean woman, who is fully vaccinated, was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday."


Over 400,000 students to get Covid-19 vaccine invites from June 1, starting with some graduating cohorts: MOE (31 May 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Starting Tuesday (June 1), more than 400,000 students from Singapore’s schools and institutes of higher learning will be progressively invited to sign up for vaccination against Covid-19, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said.

The invitations will be first rolled out to graduating cohorts at the secondary schools and pre-university levels, particularly those sitting for the GCE N-, O- and A-Level examinations, or those of equivalent qualifications, in the second half of the year, MOE said in a statement on Monday.

This is so that these students can have “greater flexibility in scheduling their vaccination appointments in view of their upcoming national examinations.”


Boy, 16, wrongly given Moderna vaccine but 'remains well', thorough review done to prevent repeat: MOH (4 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE — A 16-year-old student has been wrongly given a first dose of the Moderna vaccine, instead of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for his age group. This happened on Thursday (June 3), the first day of the national vaccination programme that was extended to schools and institutes of higher learning.

In a joint media statement early on Friday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Education (MOE) said that the teenager was given an “erroneous administration” of the Moderna vaccine at the vaccination centre located in Kolam Ayer Community Club.

The mistake was discovered when staff members at the vaccination centre identified that the boy was under 18 years of age during the post-vaccination observation period."


Almost 90% of graduating students have signed up for Covid-19 vaccines: Chan Chun Sing (7 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Almost 90 per cent of students in graduating cohorts have signed up to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in the week after they were invited to do so, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Monday (June 7). Of these, half have got their first shots.

This comes as the first of four dedicated Ministry of Education (MOE) vaccination centres, ITE College Central, began operations. The other three centres — located at Raffles City Convention Centre, ITE College East and ITE College West — will be progressively opened in the coming days, said Mr Chan.

Each ITE centre can take up to 1,600 vaccination slots a day, "comparable" to community vaccination centres, while Raffles Convention Centre can handle up to 2,000 slots a day."


Ngee Ann Poly suspends teaching staff member seen in racist video confronting inter-ethnic couple (7 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE — The Chinese man who confronted an inter-ethnic couple and made racist remarks to them over the weekend has been suspended from his teaching duties at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

In a reply to TODAY’s queries on Monday (June 7), the polytechnic said that it is aware of the video circulating on social media of “an individual making racist remarks against an interracial couple”.

“We regret that the individual in question is a member of our staff,” it said."


Adulting 101: I took 2 years to pluck up the courage to see a mental health therapist. It's one of my best decisions (12 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Around the middle of 2016, I experienced my first panic attack.

I had recently turned 20 and was going through some personal issues that had brought about deep anxiety and thoughts of death and dying each night that I could not shake off.

For months, I would frequently wake up with a start, feeling breathless and panicked with the irrational fear that I could die at any moment."


Close to a third of eligible students have received first dose of Covid-19 vaccine: Dr Maliki Osman (14 June 2021)

"SINGAPORE — Close to a third of eligible students, or 101,000 of them, have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, two weeks after Singapore kicked off its vaccination exercise for this group.

In all, about 300,000, or about 87 per cent, of 345,000 eligible students who have received invites to get their shots have registered or booked their vaccination slots.

The update on the vaccination programme across schools here was provided by Dr Maliki Osman, Second Minister for Education, on Monday (June 14). He was touring the Ministry of Education (MOE) vaccination centre set up at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West in Chua Chu Kang."


Gen Y Speaks: Why I still use a physical planner in these uncertain times (14 June 2021)

“The most useless purchase of 2020: A 2021 planner.”

Such statements were trending on my Facebook and Instagram newsfeed at the start of 2021, garnering many “likes” and “haha” emoticon responses.

Countless friends around me were also lamenting how pointless it was to do goal setting, bullet journalling — a method of personal organisation — and charting of New Year resolutions, since most plans such as work or travel plans were largely jeopardised by Covid-19."