Education

Education in Singapore: When Number 1 is not enough

Yahoo Singapore Education News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 10:40am
“Who says Singaporean’s are rote learners?” challenged Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong over the notion of the robotic Singaporean, in a Facebook post. At the tail end of March, the OECD released the 2012 PISA results of a worldwide study of the problem solving skills of 15 year olds from 44 education systems. The study saw 85,000 students take part. Singapore came in joint first with South Korea.
Categories: Education

Singapore Maintains Currency Stance as Economic Growth Slows

Yahoo Singapore Education News - Mon, 14/04/2014 - 10:21am
Singapore's central bank maintained its pace of currency appreciation, seeking to support growth while guarding against inflation as the economy expanded less than analysts estimated last quarter. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 14 economists was 0.4 percent. The central bank, which uses the island's dollar to manage price pressure, said it will maintain a modest and gradual ...
Categories: Education

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Yahoo Singapore Education News - Mon, 14/04/2014 - 9:32am
Singapore is number 1 at problem-solving skills, according to the results of international tests. Singapore and South Korea were top in tests taken by 15-year-olds. These problem-solving tests were taken at the same time as the Pisa tests, which compare how well pupils perform in maths, reading and science. So what? A 5-year-old boy, from a...
Categories: Education

Companies ‘must excel in cutting-edge production’

Yahoo Singapore Education News - Sun, 13/04/2014 - 4:26am
Saudi Arabia is the third largest source of investments from the Middle East to Singapore. The number of Saudi companies with a presence in Singapore has been growing steadily over the years.
Categories: Education

South Korea To Assist Development Of Vocational Education In Azerbaijan

Yahoo Singapore Education News - Sat, 12/04/2014 - 1:52pm
BAKU, April 12 (Bernama) -- South Korea will assist Azerbaijan in improving vocational education as the two countries embarked on a project that will see the building of a Vocational Training Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan's AzerTAc news agency reported.
Categories: Education

Asean, Canada Bolster Ties

Yahoo Singapore Education News - Sat, 12/04/2014 - 1:07pm
JAKARTA, April 12 (Bernama) -- Asean and Canada have agreed to further expand and deepen cooperation in a number of areas such as non-traditional security issues, human rights, SMEs development, technology and innovation, food security, education, disaster management and public health, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
Categories: Education

SDE's National Singapore Math Conference Welcomes Esteemed Yeap Ban Har

Yahoo Singapore Education News - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 8:30pm
PETERBOROUGH, N.H., April 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Staff Development for Educators (SDE), one of the nation's leading providers of professional development for K-12 educators, is pleased to announce the line-up of distinguished presenters for its annual National Conference on Singapore Math Strategies, taking place July 8-11, 2014 in Las Vegas. Now in its sixth year, the annual conference is ...
Categories: Education

SDE's National Singapore Math Conference Welcomes Esteemed Yeap Ban Har

Yahoo Singapore Education News - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 8:30pm
PETERBOROUGH, N.H., April 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Staff Development for Educators (SDE), one of the nation's leading providers of professional development for K-12 educators, is pleased to announce the line-up of distinguished presenters for its annual National Conference on Singapore Math Strategies, taking place July 8-11, 2014 in Las Vegas. Now in its sixth year, the annual conference is ...
Categories: Education

GIS Education News Weekly: Clapper at UGA, QGIS Tutorial, Online Spanish GIS Courses

Yahoo Singapore Education News - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 8:00pm
Teaching and Learning Tools MangoMap Offers QGIS Tutorial MangoMap is online mapping solution so I think the newly announced series of tutorial videos for QGIS is just a marketing/lead collection effort (like the company's book). The first one is up and a new one is to be released... Continue reading
Categories: Education

ShareInvestor's 'Invest Fair' is Back with More Offerings

Yahoo Singapore Education News - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 3:55pm
Singapore, Apr 10, 2014 - (ACN Newswire) - Invest Fair, organised by ShareInvestor, a subsidiary of the Singapore Press Holdings, is into its eighth year in Singapore and seventh in Malaysia. Exhibitors ...
Categories: Education

ShareInvestor's 'Invest Fair' is Back with More Offerings

Yahoo Singapore Education News - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 3:55pm
Singapore, Apr 10, 2014 - (ACN Newswire) - Invest Fair, organised by ShareInvestor, a subsidiary of the Singapore Press Holdings, is into its eighth year in Singapore and seventh in Malaysia. Exhibitors ...
Categories: Education

International Conference on Teaching and Learning with Technology (iCTLT 2014)

Ministry of Education Press Releases - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 2:00am

The International Conference on Teaching and Learning with Technology (iCTLT) 2014 is jointly organised by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Academy of Principals, Singapore (APS). It is held from 7 to 10 April at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education, is the guest of honour for the Opening Ceremony on 9 April.

The theme for iCTLT 2014 is, “Enhance Pedagogy, Engage Learners, Enable Action and Empower You”. Conference delegates will be engaged in discussion on different aspects of the conference theme.

More than 1,500 local and overseas delegates are expected at the conference. Participants include school leaders, educators, academics, researchers and classroom practitioners, as well as industry leaders. iCTLT 2014 serves to connect educators from various countries as they collaborate and explore possibilities in the use of ICT to create an engaging and effective education for our 21st century students.

Programme Highlights

Renowned speakers — including Dr Yong Zhao, an internationally known scholar and author, and Mr Aaron Sams, the co-author of Flip Your Classroom — Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day and a founding member of the Flipped Learning Network — as well as a diverse group of academics, school leaders, teachers and industry partners will share their insights and knowledge on the use of technology in education. Presentations include pedagogies for the 21st century student; innovative and emerging technology learning environments for teaching and learning; and ICT leadership to bring about pedagogical changes in schools.

The School Leaders’ Track and UpClose sessions with keynote speakers are two special platforms to empower the education fraternity. Another highlight is a student-led panel discussion, Students’ Voice — Hear IT from Our Students. Participants can engage students from three Singapore schools, Fuhua Primary School, Ping Yi Secondary School and Innova Junior College. Together with an Australian school, Parramatta Marist High School, students will share their views on the pervasive presence of technology in school and in their lives.

EdTech SparkPlug is the newest platform in the iCTLT resource exhibition for educators to learn how the latest educational technology can enhance teaching and learning. Featuring an exciting line-up of innovative educational technologies, presenters will bring participants the brightest spark that will help make a difference to maximise every student’s learning.

In addition to the main conference, participants, presenters and speakers can interact and exchange ideas, resources and strategies for effective ICT implementation through online learning communities, against a backdrop of emerging trends of educational technology.

iCTLT 2014 is supported by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, National Institute of Education, Singapore Tourism Board, and the Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau.

For more information on iCTLT 2014, please visit the conference website.

Categories: Education

Celebrating Schools’ Innovations and Parent Support Groups at MOE ExCEL Fest 2014

Ministry of Education Press Releases - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 2:00am

At MOE ExCEL Fest 2014 on 11 and 12 April, visitors will discover the latest innovative teaching and classroom practices which cater to the different ways our children learn in school. These practices, across every stage of our students’ learning journey, demonstrate how our schools bring out the best in our students by developing 21st century competencies as well as values and character for them to succeed in life and contribute back to society.

Highlights include:

  • Over 65 exhibition booths by primary schools, secondary schools and post-secondary educational institutions to showcase their latest initiatives and programmes. Our students will be on hand to conduct free guided trails featuring Learning Through Games, Parent Engagement, and Character and Citizenship Education;
  • More than 70 sharing sessions by teachers which feature topics ranging from critical thinking and creative problem solving to character development through innovative strategies;
  • Over 35 seminars which feature guest speakers such as Mr Ron Sim, founder of Osim, where visitors can pick up tips on learning for life and on the inculcation of values and character education.

This year, MOE ExCEL Fest 2014 will also play host to the inaugural Parent Support Groups (PSG) Conference on 12 April. The PSG Conference is a first-time collaboration between PSG members, Community and Parents in Support of Schools (COMPASS) and the Ministry. It is organised by parent support group volunteers who will contribute and share their expertise, experience, and enthusiasm for PSG at the conference with other parents to bring out the best in every child. Guest speakers will share on how school-home partnerships can be strengthened from the perspectives of parents and school leaders. (Please refer to Annex A for more information).

Mr Ong Swee Teck, Chairperson, MOE ExCEL Fest 2014 Organising Committee, said, “MOE ExCEL Fest celebrates the spirit and successes in ground-up innovations from our schools and staff. Through this annual event, we want to showcase the continuous improvements made by our teachers in enhancing the learning experiences of our students. This event will, in particular, help parents to better understand the evolving education landscape and receive useful tips on partnering schools to support their child’s learning journey.”

The list of exhibition booths, sharing sessions and seminars is available at the MOE ExCEL Fest website. MOE ExCEL Fest 2014, “Valuing Every Child, Learning for Life”, will be held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, Halls 401-402, from 10am to 6pm. The first day of the event is for MOE staff and the second day is open to parents and members of the public. Admission is free. Sign up for the sharing sessions and seminars online. Registration is required as seats are limited.

Categories: Education

Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) 2014

Ministry of Education Press Releases - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 2:00am

The annual Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) will take place in April and July. The month-long SYF Arts Presentation in April will feature close to 800 presentations staged by the various performing arts Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs). Students from primary and secondary schools, as well as junior colleges/Millennia Institute, will showcase their artistic expression, teamwork and love for the performing arts.

Members of the public are invited to the Arts Presentations to celebrate the efforts and support the artistic endeavours of our youth. The list of presentations is attached at Annex A. Admission is free.

SYF Celebrations will be held from 4 to 23 July 2014. A three-day event will be held at the Gardens by the Bay from 4 to 6 July 2014, and there will be satellite events at the Ang Mo Kio Public Library, as well as Jurong, Tampines and Woodlands Regional Libraries on 12 July 2014 from 2.00 to 4.00pm. The SYF Art Exhibition will be held at the LaSalle College of the Arts from 9 to 23 July 2014. Parents and the public are welcome to these events.

Since 2013, new platforms, such as the Open Call to schools for submission of activities and performances, have been introduced in SYF Celebrations to showcase more diverse art forms. This year, some of the Open Call activities include inviting students to create a visual interpretation of Gardens by the Bay in a medium of their choice, as well as wearable art costumes. Shortlisted works will be showcased on Instagram and/or at the onsite gallery at Gardens by the Bay. For more information on student submissions for each Open Call categories, please refer to Annex B.

SYF Celebrations complements the Arts Presentation, and emphasises MOE’s philosophy of student-centricity, enabling all talents to grow and develop to their full potential.

For more information on the SYF, please visit the SYF website at https://www.singaporeyouthfestival.sg or follow SYF on:

Categories: Education

Information Sheet on 21st Century Competencies

Ministry of Education Press Releases - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 2:00am

Globalisation, changing demographics and technological advancements are some of the key driving forces of the future. Our students will have to be prepared to face these challenges and seize the opportunities brought about by these forces.

To help our students thrive in a fast-changing world, the Ministry of Education, Singapore (MOE) has identified competencies that have become increasingly important in the 21st Century. These competencies, represented in the following framework, underpin the holistic education that our schools provide to better prepare our students for the future economy and society.

At the same time, home and the family are also important contexts for the student’s development in these competencies. Schools and parents need to work hand-in-hand to help our students develop 21st Century Competencies.

Framework for 21st Century Competencies and Student Outcomes
21st Century Competencies

Knowledge and skills must be underpinned by values. Values define a person’s character. They shape the beliefs, attitudes and actions of a person, and therefore form the core of the framework of 21st Century Competencies.

The middle ring signifies the Social and Emotional Competencies - skills necessary for children to recognise and manage their emotions, develop care and concern for others, make responsible decisions, establish positive relationships, as well as handle challenging situations effectively.

The outer ring of the framework represents the emerging 21st Century Competencies necessary for the globalised world we live in. These are: * Civic Literacy, Global Awareness and Cross-Cultural Skills; * Critical and Inventive Thinking; * Communication, Collaboration and Information Skills

Together, these competencies will enable our young to capitalise on the rich opportunities of the new digital age, while keeping a strong Singapore heartbeat. The aim is develop in every Singaporean child, a confident person, a self-directed learner, a concerned citizen, and an active contributor.

Bringing Out the Best in Every Child

The teaching of 21st Century Competencies occurs across the entire school experience and not just in the classroom.

Infused in Total Curriculum

Academic Curriculum

The 21st Century Competencies are explicitly infused into the teaching and learning in all subject areas. For instance, in Science, teachers use inquiry-based approaches that provide students with opportunities to engage with a problem, collect and make meaning of evidence, reason, conduct investigations and make inferences or decisions. In Social Studies, we reinforce the inquiry mindset, requiring students to examine evidence to support different points of view.

Co-curricular Activities

Schools offer a wide range of co-curricular activities (CCAs) in the arts, sports, uniformed groups, etc. to provide our students with a diversity of authentic learning experiences and more importantly, the opportunity to work in teams. Students often initiate, plan, and execute events or activities together, and then reflect upon whether they have achieved what they set out to do. This allows our students to learn to deal with less structured and more open-ended situations beyond what they would learn in a classroom. It gives them the opportunity to explore new areas, uncover new knowledge and skills, and try their hand at new activities. Through CCAs, they are able to go beyond the school to interact with the community around their school, further afield in Singapore or even overseas.

Character and Citizenship Education

In addition, schools have in place Values-in-Action (VIA) and Learning for Life Programmes (LLP) which support students’ development as socially responsible citizens who contribute meaningfully to society. These programmes also help students learn and apply values, knowledge and skills, and foster their ownership in contributing to the community. For instance, as part of VIA, students reflect on their experience, the values they have put into practice and how they can continue to contribute meaningfully. Many of the objectives of our character and citizenship education curriculum are achieved through explicit classroom teaching, infusion into the academic curriculum and leveraging teachable moments in CCAs.

Applied Learning Programmes

Complementing the core academic and student development programmes are the Applied Learning programmes (ALP) to help students develop thinking skills, connect knowledge across subject disciplines, stretch their imagination, and apply these in authentic settings. These programmes also aim to help students appreciate the relevance and value of what they are learning in the academic curriculum, and develop stronger motivation and purpose to acquire knowledge and skills.

Capable, Empowered Teachers

Our teachers are equipped with the necessary skills and resources to empower them to develop 21st Century Competencies in students. All our teachers now receive pre-service training from the National Institute of Education (NIE) based on the Teacher Education 21 (TE21) framework (introduced in 2009) with a strong focus on developing the competencies to teach 21st Century Competencies. On-going in-service training and professional development programmes are also available for teachers through the Academy of Singapore Teachers and specialised teacher academies, so that our teachers may sustain their learning and keep abreast of the latest in teaching and learning strategies.

Innovative Teaching Methods to Develop Depth and Breadth of Thinking

Across disciplines and activities, teachers make use of a variety of strategies to help students structure their thinking process. Some examples include the use of concept maps to help students construct the interconnections between different concepts, and thinking routines such as Think-Puzzle-Explore, where students take stock of their prior knowledge, identify puzzling questions or areas of interest to pursue and seek to find out more about the topic. Students also work collaboratively on various tasks and projects which support their development of thinking skills. There is increasingly greater effort to make learning authentic and relevant by situating learning in real-world contexts - through field-trips, hands-on lab and workshop studies. In the past five years, there has been a more pervasive use of information-communication tools to promote self-directed and collaborative learning among students.

Partnerships with Community

Schools work closely with the industry, Institutes of Higher Learning and the community to create many hands-on, authentic learning environments for their students to ensure they develop skills aligned to industry demand and future needs. They also guide students on the career options and possibilities available. Through our partnership with the community, we also enrich the diversity and depth of our CCAs, VIA programmes, LLPs and ALPs.

Categories: Education

Singapore Students Excel in Thinking Flexibility And Creatively To Solve Complex And Unfamiliar Problems, Says PISA Study

Ministry of Education Press Releases - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 2:00am

Singapore’s 15-year-olds excel in thinking flexibly and creatively to solve complex and unfamiliar problems. This is according to the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) computer-based assessment of Problem Solving, organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

According to the 2012 PISA findings, our students are innovative, are able to handle uncertainty, and dare to experiment with alternative solutions. These highly valued competencies stand them in good stead in a globalised, information-rich economy increasingly dominated by highly skilled, non-routine jobs, and give them the wherewithal to come together to create a brighter future for our society.

The strong performance of our students reflects our curricular emphasis and our schools’ efforts in developing problem solving skills in our students.

Our broad and inclusive education system has also allowed us to bring out the best in every child. The results of PISA 2012 show that Singapore has one of the deepest and widest talent pools of students who have the ability to apply thinking skills effectively to solve problems. Even our proportion of weaker or low performers in Problem Solving is among the lowest of all participating education systems.

Mr Andreas Schleicher, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Education Policy and Deputy Director for Education and Skills of OECD was in Singapore to launch the PISA 2012 results on Problem Solving, and he said, “Singapore’s education system has at times been criticised for encouraging rote learning at the expense of developing creative skills. The PISA 2012 assessment of problem solving skills proves those critics wrong. It shows that today’s 15-year-olds in Singapore are quick learners, highly inquisitive, able to solve unstructured problems in unfamiliar contexts, and highly skilled in generating new insights by observing, exploring and interacting with complex situations. Indeed, no education system outperforms Singapore on this test.”

Reflecting on the strong performance of our students in PISA, Ms Ho Peng, Director-General of Education said, “We are pleased with the strong performance by our students in PISA 2012. This affirms our efforts in giving our students not just a strong foundation in literacy and numeracy, but also in equipping them with the skills to solve problems in real-world contexts. Over time, our teaching strategies have focused on helping students gain a deeper conceptual understanding and developing their thinking skills. Our students can navigate well in unfamiliar contexts because of the many opportunities to learn not just within the classroom, but also beyond the classroom through co-curricular activities and service projects. We will continue to look for ways to help our students grow to become compassionate and confident citizens, contributing not only to Singapore but also to the world.”

Key Findings Singapore Students Possessing Traits for Effective Problem Solving

Of the 44 participating education systems, Singapore students are joint-first with Korea students (see Table 1 in Annex).

Singapore students have performed well in problem solving processes which involve:

  • Exploring and understanding the situation around a problem,
  • Representing and formulating hypotheses about the factors involved in the problem and their relationships with each other,
  • Planning and executing the steps in a devised plan, and
  • Monitoring and reflecting on the progress of the plan and the eventual solution of the problem.

PISA study shows that our students perform very well in both the knowledge acquisition processes (exploring and understanding, representing and formulating) and the knowledge utilisation processes (planning and executing), but with an edge in knowledge acquisition (see Table 2 and Figure 1 in Annex).

According to PISA, our students are quick learners, highly inquisitive, and able to experiment with alternatives and process abstract information. They are able to use the knowledge they have to solve the problems, and are goal-driven and persistent in completing their tasks.

PISA also measured students’ relative strengths at handling different types of problems, namely:

  • Interactive tasks where one must explore and uncover the relevant information in the process of solving the problem, and
  • Static tasks where all relevant information is provided up front.

While Singapore students perform very well in both types of tasks, they have an edge in interactive over static tasks, as compared to OECD countries on average (see Table 2 and Figure 1 in Annex). They are able to:

  • Devise and initiate concrete actions,
  • Gather feedback on the effect of their interventions, and
  • Sift out what is relevant to solving the problem.

This suggests that our teachers have been encouraging our students to be curious, innovative and to use their intuition to solve problems.

Deep and Wide Talent Pool

Singapore has the highest proportion of students who are top performers1 in Problem Solving - almost 3 in 10 students, close to three times that of the OECD average. Not only are these effective problem-solvers who can systematically explore complex problems, understand how relevant information is structured, carry out multi-step solutions and carefully monitor their progress towards solving the problems, they are also able to develop an overall strategic plan based on a complete and coherent mental model of the problem.

Among all the participating education systems, Singapore has the deepest talent pool of 25 per cent, i.e. students with strong mastery of a specific knowledge domain and the ability to apply their skills flexibly in other contexts.

Singapore also has the second widest talent pool of 46 per cent, i.e. students who are highly proficient in at least one of the four domains2 in PISA.

Small Proportion of Low Performers in Problem Solving

The proportion of Singapore students who are low performers3 in Problem Solving, at 8 per cent, is a third of the OECD average. It is among the lowest of all the participating education systems. Nevertheless, MOE and our schools will continue to look for even more effective methods to support the learning needs of our low-performing students.

Background

PISA is a triennial international benchmarking study organised by OECD that examines and compares how well education systems are helping their students acquire the knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in modern societies. It assesses the capacity of 15-year-old students to apply knowledge and skills in Mathematics, Reading and Science, and to analyse, reason and communicate effectively as they solve problems in a variety of real-life situations. Singapore participated in six assessments in PISA 2012 - the paper-based assessments of Reading, Mathematics and Science, and the computer-based assessments of Reading, Mathematics and Problem Solving. Findings on the first five assessments were released on 3 Dec 2013.

This is the second time that Singapore has participated in PISA. A total of 5,369 students, mainly from Secondary 3 and 4, from all 166 public secondary schools participated in PISA 2012. One hundred and seventy-seven students from six private schools also participated in the study. The sampling methods applied by OECD in PISA ensure that the students selected were representative of the 15-year-old population in Singapore.

Footnote
  1. PISA defines top performers as those whose proficiency level is at least Level 5 out of a scale of 6.
  2. The four domains PISA refers to are Problem Solving and the paper-based assessments of Mathematics, Reading and Science.
  3. PISA defines low performers as those whose proficiency level is below Level 2 (a baseline level of proficiency that allows students to participate effectively and productively in life).
Categories: Education

Stronger Partnerships To Support Access To Opportunities In Schools

Ministry of Education Press Releases - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 2:00am

To better support our students to access opportunities in schools, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be strengthening our partnership with parents and the community via the school-based student care centres, the school-based dyslexia remediation programme and collaborations with Parent Support Groups (PSGs).

Partnerships with Student Care Centre (SCC) service providers

MOE will be working in partnership with SCC service providers to expand school-based SCCs to 40 more primary schools over the next two years, covering a total of 120 primary schools or close to two-thirds of all primary schools. The 40 additional school-based SCCs are expected to benefit another 2,500 students, on top of the existing 7,500 students enrolled today in school-based SCCs.

School-based SCCs provide an important support for students, especially those who could benefit from a structured and supportive environment in after school care, and particularly where parents are both working.

MOE will continue to support schools to strengthen the collaboration with SCC service providers, and to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of school-based SCCs. Please refer to Annex A for the list of schools with school-based SCCs as of 2014, and the schools with plans to set up school-based SCCs in 2014.

Partnerships with parents to support School-based Dyslexia Remediation (SDR)

MOE has further expanded the School-based Dyslexia Remediation (SDR) programme to 20 more primary schools in 2014, to now cover a total of 62 primary schools or close to a third of all primary schools. Another 180 students are expected to benefit in the additional 20 primary schools. This is on top of the existing 810 students already supported in the existing 42 primary schools.

The SDR programme is a two-year intervention for Primary Three and Four students who are identified through a systematic screening process for dyslexia conducted at the end of Primary Two. As part of the SDR programme, materials were created to partner parents to enhance the support for their children with dyslexia. For example, schools engaged parents by updating parents regularly on their children’s learning progress using the progress monitoring booklet. Parents are encouraged to use the reading booklets provided for the school holidays to practise reading with their children and work on literacy activities to ensure continued support.

Interim findings from the two-year pilot in 2012 and 2013 showed that students who had participated in the SDR programme had improved in their reading and spelling skills. Their teachers observed that the students grew in confidence and were more positive towards learning. The involvement of parents also had a positive impact on the students’ achievements and attitudes towards the dyslexia remediation.

Please refer to Annex B for the list of schools providing the SDR programme.

Partnerships with parents in Parent Support Groups (PSGs)

MOE will provide all schools with an annual top-up of their Parent Support Group (PSG) Fund of up to $2,500 per year, starting from 2014.

The PSG Fund aims to support schools in strengthening their parent engagement efforts, and to enhance the capacity of PSGs in supporting schools’ holistic development of their students.

Since its launch in 2012 as a seed funding, the Fund has enabled schools to better engage parents and promote parent-child bonding by organising activities such as parent education workshops, school parent-engagement projects, and community projects. Encouraged by these, we want to support more such efforts. Please refer to Annex C for sample of activities supported by PSG Fund.

Categories: Education

Enhanced Support For Students To Access Opportunities In Institutes of Higher Learning

Ministry of Education Press Releases - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 2:00am

The Government will significantly increase the bursaries and raise the income eligibility threshold from Academic Year (AY) 2014 for students studying in Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs)1,.

This enhanced support will benefit more students, reaching students in up to two-thirds of all Singaporean households, and bringing the total number of students eligible for government bursaries in IHLs to around 120,000 students per year. This will cost the Government up to $147 million more per year.

To provide more structured and sustainable support to students with special educational needs in our IHLs, there will be a Disability Support Office (DSO) in each publicly-funded university, polytechnic, ITE college and arts institution2, from this year. MOE will also set up a Special Education Needs (SEN) Fund to help ITE and polytechnic students with physical, hearing or visual impairment to better access a good post-secondary education. The universities and arts institutions are also committed to ensuring that the same support is provided to their students.

These enhancements are part of MOE’s resolve to support all Singaporeans to seize the opportunities offered in our IHLs.

Enhanced IHL bursaries for students from the lower and middle income households Revision of Income Eligibility Thresholds for Bursaries

The income eligibility criteria for the government bursaries in IHLs will be revised upwards from AY2014. The income cut-off to qualify for these bursaries will be raised, in per capita income (PCI) terms, from $1,700 to $1,900 per month, thus broadening the pool of students who will qualify for the bursaries. Details of changes in the income criteria for each of the bursary tiers are provided in Table 1.

ITE Students

The four tiers of bursaries for ITE students (two tiers under the CDC/CCC Bursary and two tiers under the MOE Bursary3, ) will remain. From AY2014, the bursary quanta for all tiers will be raised by between $90 and $200. The bursaries for ITE students from households with per capita income up to $950 will be significantly higher than their fees, helping them to also defray their living expenses.

Diploma Students

For diploma students, those from households with per capita income of up to $950 will receive $200 more through the CDC/CCC Bursary, with the bursary quantum being raised to $2,000 per year. This revised quantum will cover about 80% of polytechnic diploma tuition fees. Students from households with per capita income between $951 and $1,400 will receive $150 more through the MOE Tier 1 Bursary, up from the current $1,350 to $1,500 per year. This will cover 60% of the tuition fees. Those from households with per capita income between $1,401 and $1,900 will get $300 more through the MOE Tier 2 Bursary, up from the current $450 to $750 per year, which will cover about 30% of the tuition fees.

Undergraduates

For undergraduates, the Government will increase the CDC/CCC Bursary quantum by $700, up from the current $2,900 to $3,600 per year for students from households with per capita income of up to $950. This will generally cover about 45% of university tuition fees. Undergraduates from households with per capita income between $951 and $1,400 will receive $450 more through the MOE Tier 1 Bursary, up from the current $2,150 to $2,600 per year. This will generally cover about one-third of university tuition fees. Those from households with per capita income between $1,401 and $1,900 will get $500 more through the MOE Tier 2 Bursary, up from the current $800, to $1,300 per year. This will generally cover about 17% of university tuition fees.

Summary

The enhancements to the IHL bursaries are summarised below:

More structured special needs support in IHLs Disability Support Office

Each publicly-funded university, polytechnic, ITE college and arts institution will set up a Disability Support Office (DSO) on campus to provide one-stop support for students with SEN. All IHLs will also set up a disability support website to provide information on SEN support available.

The DSOs will work closely with MOE and Voluntary Welfare Organisations to enable students with SEN to receive support during their education in the IHLs. The DSO will coordinate training on SEN support for staff, and work with course managers to ensure that necessary adjustments are made for students with SEN to access lessons, tests and exams. The DSO will also administer requests for financial support from the new SEN Fund.

SEN Fund

Each polytechnic and ITE college will be able to tap on the SEN Fund, to help Singapore Citizen students with physical or sensory-related impairments purchase assistive technology devices and supporting services such as signing interpretation and Braille printing. Each institution can use up to $5,000 per student with physical impairment to purchase assistive technology devices. Up to $25,000 will be made available for each student with visual or hearing impairments to procure assistive technology devices and supporting services.

Sufficient funding will be set aside to ensure that eligible students are adequately supported for their educational needs throughout their education in the polytechnics and ITE. Students will be able to use these devices both during their duration of study, which may include internships, and after graduation.

Our publicly-funded universities and arts institutions will provide the same support to their students with SEN.

Footnote
  1. Applicable to students taking publicly-funded courses in education institutions such as the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics, arts institutions, and universities.
  2. The two arts institutions are the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and LASALLE College of the Arts.
  3. The CDC/CCC Bursary Scheme provides financial assistance to Singapore Citizen students from households with gross monthly household per capita income of up to $950. The MOE Bursary Scheme provides financial assistance to Singapore Citizen students from households with gross monthly household per capita income of up to $1,900.
Categories: Education

Lights, Camera and Action! Budding Local Filmmakers Recognised for Their Creativity

Ministry of Education Press Releases - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 2:00am

Spreading across a range of genres, students expressed their creativity in the production of videos and animations that received recognition at the Schools Digital Media Awards (SDMA) 2014 presentation ceremony held on 6 March 2014.

Co-organised by the Ministry of Education and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (School of Film and Media Studies), the SDMA affirmed the efforts by students and teachers from 211 schools across primary, secondary and pre-university levels. Of the 507 submissions received this year, 72 productions stood out (1 Platinum Award, 17 Gold Awards, 21 Silver Awards and 33 Merit Awards) and more than 300 students were given awards in the presentation ceremony graced by Ms Sharon Au, Senior Manager at MediaCorp.

Students were invited to express their creativity through different genres such as documentary, drama and advertisement on different themes. With the introduction of new themes such as “Contributing to My Family”, “My Community, My Nation and I” and “Old Is Gold”, students shared interesting stories about family dynamics. Other themes include: “School Days (Inspirational Teachers and Principals, and My Special Place in School)”, “Hear Me Out - Hope” and “Do You Know?”

The entries were judged on their content, creativity, engagement and technical quality. The winning entries can be viewed on the SDMA website and the list of winners can be found in Annex A.

Categories: Education

Art Teachers’ Exhibition a-edge opens on 7 March

Ministry of Education Press Releases - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 2:00am

Some 36 artwork pieces by more than 40 teacher-artists will be featured at this year’s art teachers’ exhibition which opens from 7 March to 19 March 2014, 12.00 to 8.00pm, at the School Of the Arts (SOTA) Art Gallery. The range of artworks includes paintings, photographs, videos, ceramics, mixed media assemblages and performance installations. Admission to the exhibition is free.

Titled “a-edge”, the annual exhibition now in its 3rd year celebrates arts educators who seek to hone their artistic and creative skills, and explore the cutting edge of arts practice and pedagogical research. Participating teacher-artists would share lesson ideas derived from their artworks with other art teachers, and build collaborative communities to transform classroom teaching.

The lesson ideas will be shared with gallery visitors via a QR code printed on exhibition wall labels. This mobile app feature enables other teachers to retrieve the lesson ideas in-situ and reflect on how art can connect everyday experience, social critique, and creative expression with student learning.

The exhibition is curated by Miss Daniela Beltrani, a performance artist and independent curator with vast experience working with practising artists and curating exhibitions. Sample images of the artworks can be found in Annex A and details of the exhibition can be found in Annex B.

Categories: Education