$25 Million for Mother Tongue Language Learning and Promotion Committees to Create Even More Impact over the Next Five Years
As we celebrate Singapore’s unique national heritage in this SG50 year, and recognise the important role of the three Mother Tongue Language Learning and Promotion Committees (MTLLPCs) in promoting bilingualism in our schools and our society, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will significantly strengthen support for the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL), the Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee (MLLPC), and the Tamil Language Learning and Promotion Committee (TLLPC).
MOE will increase our funding commitment for the three committees over the next five years by about 50%, from $16.6 million (2011-2015) to $25 million (2016 - 2020). About 80% of government funds for each committee in this five-year tranche will be assured funding while the rest will be set aside as a 1:1 matching grant for funds raised by the community to support the three MTLLPCs’ efforts. The matching grant serves to encourage continued support and goodwill from the community, while the assured funding will provide the three MTLLPCs with greater certainty to plan and scale effective flagship programmes into longer-term initiatives.
The Government’s strong funding commitment will allow the three MTLLPCs to focus their efforts more on harnessing the expertise, resources and energy of the public and other community partners to further promote our three official Mother Tongue Languages (MTLs) as living languages in Singapore, so as to provide a rich and supportive language environment for our students to learn these languages within our local context.
The MTLLPCs were established between 2005 and 2006 to rally community support to create an environment in our society that is conducive to the learning and usage of our three official MTLs.
Over the past five years, the three MTLLPCs have initiated a wide range of programmes and activities that leverage the expertise and networks of various community stakeholders, to create a vibrant environment for promoting the use of MTLs in and beyond schools. Some examples of the flagship programmes are:
- CPCLL had tapped on a network of renowned local writers, representatives from community organisations and media personnel for programmes such as Speakers’ Series and Author-in-Residence, to inspire students and broaden their perspective in the relevance and beauty of the Chinese Language.
- MLLPC had leveraged the expertise of academics in the National Institute of Education (NIE) to organise the Malay Finesse Camp for parents and students.
- TLLPC also collaborated with the Tamil Language Council, and other key Tamil institutions, to organise the annual Tamil Language Festival - a series of literary, oratorical and cultural programmes to motivate students to embrace the Tamil Language and use it in their daily lives.
Besides existing programmes, there are several new initiatives in the pipeline that seek to further widen the reach of programmes and activities initiated by the three MTLLPCs.
- CPCLL will work with local arts groups to bring literary and cultural activities to the heartlands to create a more supportive environment for the learning and appreciation of the Chinese Language.
- MLLPC will explore collaborations with performing arts groups to allow students to watch or even participate in cultural performances and plays, so as to immerse themselves in Malay culture.
- TLLPC will engage community partners to launch poetry, song writing and short-film making competitions, to encourage the use of the Tamil Language in a fun and creative way.
Six outstanding teachers received the 2015 President’s Award for Teachers (PAT) from President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana during the Teachers’ Day Reception on Thursday, 3 September 2015. They are :Primary School
- Dr Tay Lee Yong, Beacon Primary School;
- Mdm Tauled Tunisha Bte Mohd Paser, CHIJ (Kellock) Primary School;
- Mdm Safidah Bte Samsudin, Da Qiao Primary School;
- Mdm Halimah Bte Jumaha, Bedok South Secondary School;
- Mdm Tan Dai Hwee, Anderson Junior College; and
- Mr Muhamad Salahuddin B Ibrahim, Serangoon Junior College.
The PAT 2015 award winners are caring and nurturing teachers dedicated to the holistic development of their students. They are committed to developing their students to the fullest potential and adopt innovative approaches in their lessons. As role models, these teachers are life-long learners and mentors to their peers. More information on each recipient can be found in Annex A.
This year, a total of 7,820 nominations for 2,717 teachers were received from school leaders, teachers, parents, former students and students. The six recipients were selected from a list of finalists by a panel chaired by Mr Lim Biow Chuan, Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education, and comprising prominent community members and senior officials from the Ministry of Education. The nomination criteria and list of the 13 PAT 2015 finalists can be found in Annex B.
Introduced in 1998, the PAT is administered by the Academy of Singapore Teachers. The objective of PAT is to recognise excellent teachers for their critical role in educating the young people of our nation. These teachers inspire their students and peers through their words and deeds. Since its inception, 72 outstanding teachers, including this year’s recipients, have been recognised.
The National Environment Agency (NEA)’s 24-hour PSI forecast for Thursday, 1 October, is expected to be in the high end of the ‘Unhealthy’ range and low end of the ‘Very Unhealthy’ range, and may deteriorate to the mid-section of the ‘Very Unhealthy’ range if denser haze is blown in. Schools will remain open and national examinations will proceed as scheduled.
The safety and well-being of all examination candidates remain our top priority. Schools have made arrangements for all national examinations candidates to take their papers in enclosed spaces. Air purifiers will also be provided so that it is safe for the examinations to continue without disruption, even if haze conditions unexpectedly worsen during the period of the examinations.
Candidates with underlying medical conditions or who feel unwell should seek medical attention. Those who are medically certified unwell and are unable to sit for the examinations should inform their schools. Private candidates should inform the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board through the Ministry of Education’s Customer Service Hotline at 6872 2220. Hotline operating hours are 8am to 6pm on Mondays to Fridays, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.
Currently, there are already processes in place for candidates who are ill during the national examinations. The same set of processes will be activated for candidates who are unable to take the examinations due to haze-related illnesses. Candidates who feel unwell while taking the examinations should inform the examination invigilators immediately. Schools and examination centres are prepared and ready to handle such situations.
Candidates can be assured that they will not be penalised or disadvantaged if they are unable to take or complete the examinations due to haze or other medical conditions.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) will be revising the school fees for students who are Singapore permanent residents (PR) and international students (IS) in Government and Government-aided schools from January 2016 to further differentiate fees by citizenship. This revision is part of MOE’s periodic review of school fees.
School fees will increase by between $20 to $60 per month for students who are PR and by between $20 to $150 per month for IS. School fees for students who are Singapore Citizens will remain unchanged. Please refer to the tables below for the current and revised school fees.Primary School Fees (Per Month) Nationality 2015 2016 Increase $ $ $ SC Free Free - PR 90 110 20 IS(ASEAN) 350 370 20 IS 500 550 50 Secondary School Fees (Per Month) Nationality 2015 2016 Increase $ $ $ SC 5 5 - PR 120 160 40 IS(ASEAN) 450 550 100 IS 650 800 150 Pre-University School Fees (Per Month) Nationality 2015 2016 Increase $ $ $ SC 6 6 - PR 160 220 60 IS(ASEAN) 700 800 100 IS 1,000 1,150 150
The standard miscellaneous fees will remain unchanged. Please refer to the current standard miscellaneous fees.Level $ Primary 6.50 Secondary 10.00 Pre-University 13.50
With National Environment Agency (NEA)’s 24-hour PSI forecast for tomorrow, Monday, 28 September 2015, to be in the ‘Unhealthy range’1, all schools, MOE Kindergartens and VWO-run special education schools will reopen on 28 September 2015 (Monday).
The well-being of all students remains a key priority. Schools have in place a set of haze management plans and are ready to implement the appropriate haze management measures. Schools are also equipped with air purifiers and there are sufficient enclosed spaces to cater to their student population.
An overview of our schools’ haze management plans at the “Unhealthy” range is provided below:Index Category Management Measures 101 - 200
- Schools will minimise outdoor activities.
- Students with pre-existing lung or heart conditions or are unwell will be exempted from all physical exercise.
Teachers are on the lookout for students who are unwell and ensure that they receive medical attention promptly. Schools also maintain a list of students with pre-existing heart or lung condition.
As children respond differently to haze, parents should ensure their children have the necessary medication, such as their inhaler and spacer, with them at all times. Children, who are feeling unwell, should receive medical attention promptly.Footnotes
From today, early childhood educators will benefit from additional resources developed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to support the teaching and learning of the three Mother Tongue Languages in Singapore. The Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) Educators’ Guides for Mother Tongue Languages (MTLs) in Chinese, Malay and Tamil were launched today by Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Education, Ms Indranee Rajah, at the Early Childhood Conference and Carnival on Friday, 25 September 2015.
As part of MOE’s continuous efforts to support early childhood educators, MOE is developing the NEL Curriculum Toolkit, a comprehensive range of kindergarten curriculum resources to support early childhood educators in creating quality learning experiences for children. The NEL Framework was launched in 2012 and the NEL Educators’ Guide and NEL Framework for MTLs in 2013. In 2014, the Chinese, Malay and Tamil versions for the NEL Framework for MTLs were shared with the pre-school sector. The NEL Educators’ Guides for MTLs in Chinese, Malay and Tamil, launched today will serve as a significant resource for early childhood educators in the following ways:
The NEL Educators’ Guides for MTLs, will provide practical lesson ideas and strategies that specifically cater to each of the Mother Tongue Languages. These lesson ideas and strategies are set in our local context and support educators in igniting children’s love for MTLs and interest in their local ethnic culture by using local terms that children are familiar with in their daily experiences. An example of this in the Educators’ Guide for Chinese Language is the use of the local term巴刹 to describe wet markets in Singapore.
Another feature of the NEL Educators’ Guide for MTLs is the use of strategies to customise learning for children with varying language abilities. Singapore’s evolving home language environment will be an important consideration in supporting our children in the learning of their MTLs. An example in the Educators’ Guide for Malay Language is the inclusion of tips for teachers to consider when teaching children with relatively less exposure to the Malay Language.
The NEL Educators’ Guides for MTLs introduce the concept of Professional Learning Communities, enable the seeding of professional peer support networks and emphasise the focus on teachers’ professional development. A common set of professional terms for various teaching and learning practices is also provided in the Educators’ Guide in the respective MTLs. An example of this can be seen in the Educators’ Guide for Tamil Language where the professional term “brainstorm” is offered in Tamil Language and the process of brainstorming is explained.
To help educators put into practice the principles in the NEL Framework for MTLs, MOE has partnered the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) to organise training sessions. These sessions started in August 2015 and will run till December 2016. Parents and educators can also access the NEL Educators’ Guide in each of the MTLs at http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/preschool/. Hard copies of the NEL Educators’ Guide in all three MTLs will be distributed in phases to all pre-school centres.