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Aligning the use of Information and Communication Technology in Teaching, Learning and Assessment of Mother Tongue Languages
About 300 first year students from 20 junior colleges will sit the 2013 ‘A’ Level Mother Tongue Language (MTL) B examination, which has a computer-based component, in November 2013.
To nurture active learners and proficient users of MTL, the 2010 Mother Tongue Languages (MTL) Review Committee had made several recommendations to enhance the teaching and learning of MTL in schools1. One of the key recommendations was to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to enrich students’ learning.
The Review Committee also called for greater alignment of teaching and testing so that students are assessed on the knowledge and skills acquired in their course of learning. With computer-based writing as the norm in the workplace and in social communication, students should therefore have opportunities to practise and be assessed on computer-based writing for MTL.
In implementing these recommendations, a variety of ICT-based resources, including the iMTL portal2, have been developed to support ICT-based teaching and learning. Through authentic language tasks and interactive features, the iMTL portal is designed to enhance students’ oral and written interaction skills and supports students using MTL as a living language.
To align learning and assessment, computer-based writing will be introduced in Paper 1 (Functional Writing) of the 2013 ‘A’ Level MTL B examination, where students will be required to compose either an email response or a blog entry. Students will key in their responses on a laptop. This section constitutes 20 per cent of the 2013 ‘A’ Level MTL B examination.
Short video clips will also be introduced as stimulus in the ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels MTL B oral examinations from 2014, so as to provide more engaging and authentic contexts for oral conversation. Students will have a conversation with the oral examiner after viewing a short video clip depicting various real-life situations such as school events and weekend activities, instead of using pictures.
Computer-based writing and video stimulus for oral examinations are new modes of assessment. These will align the national examinations with the curriculum and with the increasing use of ICT in our education system. The Ministry of Education will continue to work with schools and teachers to review and enrich the teaching, learning and assessment of MTL using ICT so as to nurture proficient users of MTL.Footnote:
- Details on the MTL Review Committee’s recommendations in 2011 can be found at http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/press/2011/01/enhancing-the-teaching-and-testing-of-mtl.php.↩
- Details on the iMTL Portal and its features can be found at http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/press/2012/08/new-imtl-portal-to-help-students.php.↩
Excellent Performance by Singapore Team at The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2013
The Ministry of Education (MOE), the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Science Centre Singapore congratulate the Singapore Team on their performance at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2013 held in Phoenix, Arizona, the United States of America (USA) from 12 to 17 May 2013. The Singapore team submitted two individual projects and one team project.
Prithvi Gundlapalli from St Andrew’s Junior College won the Second Award in the category of Chemistry for his project titled Nanostructured Co3O4, CoO and CoN as High Capacity and Long Life Anodes for Li-ion Batteries, under the supervision of Dr. M. V. Venkatashamy Reddy from National University of Singapore (NUS). He received a cash prize of US$1,500. He also won a Special Award and received a First Award cash prize US$4,000 from the American Chemical Society.
The other individual project, titled Investigating the tubulin-mediated anti-proliferative and cytotoxic effects of 6-shogaol extracted from ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizomes to determine its potential as an anti-cancer agent, in the category of Medicine and Health Sciences, was submitted by Darren Wong Yong Sheng from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) under the supervision of Mdm Yong Lee Har, Deputy Principal from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent).
The team project, Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles using Lalang Extract, in the category of Environmental Management, was submitted by Lee Wei Hao Joel, Phua Yue Jun and Tan Kwan Wei, Kevin from Hwa Chong Institution (College Section), under the supervision of Mrs Sow-Peh Yoke Keow, Principal Consultant (Research) at Hwa Chong Institution.
The Singapore Team was led by Mr Tan Yong Yao, Curriculum Planning Officer, MOE.
The ISEF, the world’s largest pre-college science fair, is held in the United States of America annually and provides the platform for top science and engineering talents of different nationalities to showcase their projects. This year, the competition saw 1,611 finalists from 70 countries, regions and territories participating in the ISEF. More than 1,200 judges from different fields of science, engineering, and industry professionals were involved in the on-site judging of the projects and selection of the winners. ISEF is often regarded as the “Olympics” of science research competitions. In each scientific category, First, Second, Third and Fourth Place awards are given out.
The Singapore Team was chosen from top awardees in the Singapore Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) held in March this year. SSEF is a national competition jointly organised by MOE, ASTAR and the Science Centre Singapore. The winners of SSEF are also eligible to participate in the ASTAR Talent Search (A*TS).
From tomorrow, children can learn how to navigate cyberspace safely and responsibly at an exhibition at the Science Centre Singapore. Called the iZ HERO Exhibition, this first of its kind exhibition will provide a fun and interactive way for children to learn about responsible digital citizenry.
With digital media fast becoming a common part of childhood and learning in the 21st century, children are now far more comfortable with the digital world than before. However, as a result, they are also vulnerable to cyber bullying, violent language and other harmful content in the Internet.
The iZ HERO Exhibition therefore aims to help children learn about safe and responsible online behavior through the online game and physical exhibition. Through game play, children are taught about the many danger signs that lurk in the online community. This is complemented by the exhibition, which makes online characters in the world of iZ HERO come to life. Schools are encouraged to visit the exhibition to complement their existing cyber wellness programmes.
Educational information on cyber wellness for parents such as tips to combat the various threats in the digital world will also be available. This provides opportunity for parents to learn alongside their children. Parents play an essential role for the holistic cyber wellness education of their children which extends beyond schools. The exhibition is open to the public and parents are encouraged to bring their children to visit it.
The iZ HERO exhibition is the brainchild of infollutionZERO (a not-for-profit organisation based in South Korea), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National Institute of Education (NIE). It is one of the key projects supported by the Inter-Ministry Cyber Wellness Steering Committee (ICSC). Additional funding support is also provided by the Tote Board and Science Centre Singapore.
Dr Yuhyun Park, the original developer of iZ HERO Project, and Director of Academic Projects, President’s Office, NTU said, “I see a unique HERO exists within each and every child. iZ HERO means digital hero, children with 21st century digital leadership skills who have the sound self-identity, strong empathy for others, and resilience and discipline to get the best out of technology and the digital world. We have developed this iZ HERO Project to encourage children to have these inner strengths. With them, children can become able to confidently deal with cyber-risks prevalent in the digital world.”
Chief Executive of Science Centre Singapore, Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, said: “The iZ HERO exhibition educates children about being a responsible online citizen by reinforcing the online part of the iZ HERO programme. To achieve this goal, we have transformed a large part of the Science Centre into a giant replica of iZ HERO world decorated with online versions of the central characters of the online game”.
Set up in 2009, the ICSC, which is co-chaired by the Ministry of Communications and Information and the Ministry of Education, reaches out to different segments of society, including children and youths, by funding projects delivered through different platforms to equip them with the skills and knowledge required for a positive experience in our digital world. “The Internet, along with various smart phone devices have greatly increased connectivity among youths, and transformed the way they access information and communicate with their peers. But such connectivity may also increase the risk of our youths being accidentally exposed to harmful content or individuals online. In preparing our youths to better deal with these problems, we firmly believe in empowering them with the right knowledge and values to navigate the Internet safely and responsibly. As such, the ICSC actively partners community and industry organisations and we are happy to partner the Science Centre Singapore on the iZ HERO Exhibition, to promote cyber wellness education to our youths.” said Mr Sim Gim Guan, Co-Chairman of the ICSC.
Three new primary schools will open for Primary One (P1) registration this year and take in students from 2014. The names of the schools and their locations are indicated below:School Names Town Address Principal (P) and Vice-Principal (VP) Designates Northoaks Primary Sembawang 61 Sembawang Drive,
- Mdm Ng Yin Lieng Theresa (P)
- Miss Tan Yit Peng (VP)
- Mrs Lim Bee Lay (P)
- Miss Chan Yan Hoon (VP)
- Mdm Phan Swee Lin Sherin Jacinta (P)
- Mr Caleb Or Chin Poh (VP)
The new primary schools will have new design norms, as recommended by the Primary Education Review and Implementation Committee. These facilities, which include redesigned classrooms, dance and performing arts studios, as well as an outdoor jogging path, will support the delivery of holistic education, and facilitate engaged learning in both academic and non-academic areas.Schools ’ philosophy and backgrounds of key personnel
The schools’ programmes and activities will be designed to nurture 21st century competencies in students, develop their character and help them to better understand their role in the community and enable them to contribute to society. More information on the schools and their programmes may be found at Annex A.
The Principals and Vice-Principal designates of the three schools, who currently hold similar positions in other primary schools, are experienced school leaders.Principal Designates
Mdm Ng Yin Lieng Theresa
Mdm Ng is currently the Principal of Peiying Primary School. A strong advocator of student-centric and values-driven education, Mdm Ng believes that Character Education is the foundation of a good education, and leads the school in enhancing the Character and Citizenship Development Programmes to actualise the school vision. Diverse programmes are provided to develop values and enrich pupils ’ experiences.
Mrs Lim Bee Lay
Mrs Lim is currently the Principal of Maha Bodhi School. A student-centric Principal who knows her students by name, Mrs Lim has developed a strong culture of care within the school as well as provided an enriching environment for teaching and learning.
She has also enhanced the school ’ s delivery of a holistic education by integrating the aesthetics into the school ’ s curriculum. The school ’ s aesthetics programme is structured across the levels and takes into consideration the developmental needs of the child.
Mdm Phan Swee Lin Sherin Jacinta
Mdm Phan is currently the Principal of Yangzheng Primary. She promotes the school as a second home to staff and pupils, instilling in them a strong sense of pride and belonging. To recognise staff and parents for their efforts to the school, a framework with awards and platforms, such as the Caring Teacher Awards, the Best Executive and Administrative Staff (EAS) awards, the Best Operations Support Officer/contract cleaner awards, as well as appreciation cards were introduced. Mdm Phan also leverages on strong partnerships with the School Advisory Committee, school ’ s parent support group and the school ’ s alumni to provide additional support to the school programmes.
Miss Tan Yit Peng, Miss Chan Yan Hoon and Mr Caleb Or Chin Poh were Vice-Principals of Coral Primary, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls ’ Primary and West Grove Primary respectively.