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Thread: Singapore Also Can
08-26-2012, 11:03 PM #6427
RGS to move to new campus opposite RI from 2018
Published on Aug 25, 2012
Raffles Girls School is moving from its current campus (pictured) on Anderson Road, to the old Bradell-Westlake Secondary School, opposite Raffles Institution. Following in the footsteps of school families coming together, Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) (RGS) will become a neighbour of its brother school, Raffles Institution from 2018. -- ST PHOTO: TED CHEN
By Stacey Chia
Following in the footsteps of school families coming together, Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) (RGS) will become a neighbour of its brother school, Raffles Institution from 2018.
This was announced by Honorable Justice Judith Prakash, chairman of the school's Board of Governors, at the RGS Speech Day on Saturday.
It's current campus on Anderson Road was rebuilt for about 1,700 students in 1993, but today it has a student population of about 1,850. RGS has been at Anderson Road since 1959.
The RGS spokesman said that the new premises will provide for the space and facilities required to deliver "innovative curriculum and programmes" .
08-26-2012, 11:19 PM #6428
How I want my kids to grow up
by Teo Xuanwei
04:45 AM Aug 27, 2012
When my parents married in 1979, my father, a lorry driver then, worked overtime almost daily to bring home S$460 a month. A quarter of this went to paying for the three-bedroom flat I grew up in, in Boon Lay Place.
As a result, Mum and Dad didn't have date nights for a long time and my older sister and I seldom saw him. My sister never had any Barbie dolls and my only toys were an old, dirty tennis ball and a small bag of hand-me-down soldier figurines.
By the time my father turned 30, my sister was already six and I was four. I remember telling him (when I was younger and a lot more naive) that I wanted to be a father by age 27 (two years after graduating).
I'm already 30, but marriage won't come sooner than late next year, depending on when our Executive Condominium is completed - we decided to buy it only because we couldn't afford the hefty cash-over-valuation nor the risk of a lengthy wait for a Build-To-Order flat.
And as much as I want children soon (I want four; the lady will only go up to two), it's unlikely I will be a father before my 35th birthday - my fiancee and I want some couple time together and we also need to save up enough.
The aspirations of our generation are so very different.
Like many of my peers, I don't want to have to "settle" and make sacrifices like my parents did - no social life to speak of and no luxuries, for ourselves and the kids.
I am also what I think of as the post-maids generation: A growing group of those who refuse to let a maid bring up our children, because I want to be there for their growing-up years. But would my boss let me?
I would rather my wife-to-be or I raise our children full-time. But can we afford not to be a dual-income family, and is it fair for either of us to give up our careers?
In this context, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's signals that paternity leave may be in the offing, and that employers' attitudes on work-life balance must be dealt with, are steps in the right direction. Likewise the plans to raise the quality of pre-school education across the board. This lifts a burden because I don't want to feel compelled to send my kids to some expensive private kindergarten, just so they don't lag behind in the rat race.
I want my kids to enjoy growing up like I did - without tuition or enrichment classes, and with plenty of playtime. My sister didn't know a word of English when she went to Primary 1; she ended up a graduate. We turned out all right. I want that to be the way for my children too.
Knowing where Mr Lee wants to head now, I've been asked if, in retrospect, it would have made a difference to my choice not to get married and start a family earlier. Perhaps.
For now, I wonder how far the changes will go. For example, would my employer allow me to spend up to six months a year working from home until my kid is three years old?
Teo Xuanwei, 30, is a senior reporter with TODAY.
TODAY senior reporter Teo Xuanwei and his fiancee Joey Toh think it's unlikely they will have children until a few years after marriage. Photo by TEO XUANWEI
08-26-2012, 11:24 PM #6429
Govt to help Malay community to progress, develop its culture: PM Lee
By Hetty Musfirah | Posted: 26 August 2012 2021 hrs
SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, during his National Day Rally speech on Sunday, spoke about where Singapore will be heading.
Speaking firstly in Malay, he shared about how the Malay-Muslim community has progressed.
He said the government will continue to help the community to progress and develop its culture.
Mr Lee said next week, he will re-open the Malay Heritage Centre -- which showcases rich Malay traditions -- to future generations and foreign visitors.
He also said the community has made great strides since independence.
He noted that more young people are doing well and following the footsteps of successful community leaders.
The prime minister said all Malay-Muslim organisations and activists should continue to work together to tackle community issues harmoniously and cohesively.
Mr Lee said: "Even as we nurture the capable ones, we should also help those in difficulty, at the same time, encourage others who are managing adequately to do better.
"If you can do this steadily, year after year, I am confident that the community will transform itself and rise to the next level. That is our shared objective."
Mr Lee also touched on the issue of declining birth rates. He noted that the Malay birth rates are also on the decline and the government will not be passive in tackling the issue.
Mr Lee said the Malay-Muslim community is an integral part of Singapore's future and share the aspirations and concerns of other Singaporeans. He called on the community to work together to achieve Singapore's common goals.
08-26-2012, 11:29 PM #6430
Revamped Malay Heritage Centre opens on Saturday
Kampong Glam icon will showcase rich Malay legacy in trade, culture
Published on Aug 27, 2012
The newly revamped Malay Heritage Centre (above) will feature exhibits such as the late composer Zubir Said's piano, a rifle used by Malay Regiment soldiers in World War II and Straits Settlement coins. -- PHOTOS: NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD, LAU FOOK KONG
By Maryam Mokhtar
Visitors will be offered a fresh glimpse into Singapore's history at the revamped Malay Heritage Centre.
Exhibits include the piano on which the late composer Zubir Said tinkled the first notes of Singapore's national anthem, and an authentic Mark III rifle used by Malay Regiment soldiers during World War II.
There will also be recovered coins from the Straits Settlements and the Dutch East Indies, reflecting the dynamic trade that thrived in Kampong Glam from the 18th to 20th centuries.
The centre, at Istana Kampong Glam, has been closed since April last year for renovations and refurbishments. It is now due to be officially re-opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday.
08-26-2012, 11:36 PM #6431
Halimah Yacob urges S'poreans to continue to dream big
By Saifulbahri Ismail | Posted: 26 August 2012 1947 hrs
Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob (Channel NewsAsia)
SINGAPORE: Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob has urged all Singaporeans to continue to dream big, to have hope for the future and to build an even better society.
Speaking at the National Day Rally on Sunday evening, Madam Halimah stressed that everyone has to play a part in building a more inclusive society.
She said Singapore has not moved away from the principles upon which it was founded. It will continue to give opportunities to all, provided they are prepared to work hard.
Madam Halimah stressed that Singapore's meritocratic system must provide opportunities for all, regardless of their background, to pursue their dreams.
In a speech peppered with examples of Singaporeans who have done well in their respective fields, Madam Halimah noted that there are those who are unable to help themselves.
She said the country must persevere to help low-income families as she cautioned that maintaining social mobility in a mature economy will be a challenge.
Failing to do so will lead to social segregation and instability. The widening income gap must also not make it harder for the able but poor people to do well.
But in trying to help them, Madam Halimah said there is a need to respect the needy's desire for dignity as well.
She said: "We will continue to improve our approaches, for not all are able to access the opportunities available. Some families need dedicated support and intervention. We are putting in more resources to strengthen our social services sector."
However, the government cannot do it alone. Madam Halimah said it needs to partner social service agencies to better understand the needs of poor families and develop relevant services for them.
Citing an example of a non-profit community effort by youths, Madam Halimah said community support among the youth is also needed.
She stressed that the most powerful expression of Singapore values is when caring Singaporeans look out for one another.
Madam Halimah, who also spoke in Malay, praised the Malay community for its achievements as the country has prospered. But she stressed that as Singapore meets future challenges, the Malay community needs to be ready to do better in education, employment and family relationship.
08-26-2012, 11:42 PM #6432
S'pore govt will create opportunities, build resilient communities: Lawrence Wong
By Claire Huang | Posted: 26 August 2012 1900 hrs
Lawrence Wong, Senior Minister of State for Education, and Information, Communications and the Arts. (Channel NewsAsia)
SINGAPORE: The National Day Rally started on Sunday evening with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong welcoming the audience at the National University of Singapore's University Cultural Centre.
He has invited three ministers to join him to speak at the rally, starting with Senior Minister of State for Education, and Information, Communications and the Arts, Lawrence Wong.
Speaking in English, Mr Wong shared his thoughts on how everyone can work together to achieve happiness and build a stronger community and nation.
He said the government will create opportunities, enhance the quality of life and build resilient communities in Singapore.
The government will also invest in arts, culture and sports -- providing avenues for leisure, expression and self improvement.
Mr Wong said this is one way of enhancing the quality of life here and a path to being happy.
To develop the unique talents of each student, he said the government is also doing more in the education sector.
"Over the past few months, my colleagues and I have been looking at how to expand university places for Singaporeans. We've heard you and we are taking action. We will launch new degree programmes," Mr Wong said.
He added that the prime minister will elaborate on this.
Beyond education, Mr Wong said doing community work can also contribute to personal happiness.
He said: "Happiness lies in our hands. We can choose to be happy when we reach out to others, when we do something worthwhile, when we serve a higher calling and purpose.
"So let us all participate actively in shaping our nation's future and building the Singapore we want, for this is the spirit that will bind us together, in spite of our differences -- for alone we can do little; but together, there is little we cannot do."
Mr Wong also elaborated in Mandarin on the focus of the new Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), which will come into effect on November 1.
Mr Wong, who will helm MCCY, said strengthening community bonds will be one of his priorities in the new ministry.
To encourage Singaporeans to share a common purpose, Mr Wong said his ministry will support initiatives from the ground. For example, if there is something the public wants to do for the community, the ministry will do its best to support in terms of resources and information.
He said MCCY will also focus on the promotion of traditional arts and ethnic culture. He stressed that traditional values should be preserved and promoted. Values such as respect for elders, sincerity to others, loyalty to country, and sense of gratitude will help to strengthen social harmony and unity.
08-27-2012, 12:14 AM #6433
Pre-school sector set for a shake-up
Govt to invest substantial resources and play a more active role, including setting up new statutory board: PM Lee
by Ng Jing Yng
Updated 08:01 AM Aug 27, 2012
SINGAPORE - In response to long-standing calls from parents, the Government will step up its involvement in the pre-school sector.
Among other things, a new statutory board will be set up to oversee pre-school education. A few Government-run pre-school centres may also be piloted to test new concepts in kindergarten education.
Even so, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, speaking at his National Day Rally yesterday, reiterated that the sector would not be nationalised, citing the need to provide parents with diversity and choice.
Mr Lee made an impassioned plea for parents not to see pre-school education solely as giving their children a headstart for Primary 1.
Instead, the early years are important for children's development, including helping them gain confidence and curiosity about the world around them, and pick up "positive behaviour, social skills and learning attitudes", said Mr Lee.
"It is not meant for you to prepare with a Primary 1 or Primary 2 textbook and to drill the kid at three or four years old so that by the time he goes to Primary 1, he knows what the teacher is supposed to teach him," he said.
Referring to media reports of five- and six-year-olds being made to attend two kindergartens or enrichment classes, Mr Lee said: "Please let your children have their childhood."
He noted that education experts have concluded that "over-teaching" children in pre-schools would have adverse effects. "No homework is not a bad thing; it is good for young children to play and to learn through play," he said.
Mr Lee reiterated that the purpose of pre-school is to impart social skills and languages. With more nuclear families now, children have fewer opportunities to socialise with their extended family members, he noted. "Good pre-school education will prepare students to enter Primary 1 and it'll provide many long-term benefits later on in life."
MORE PRE-SCHOOL OPERATORS
Outlining how the Government would play a "more active role" and invest "substantial resources" in pre-schools, Mr Lee said the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports - the two ministries that oversee the pre-school sector currently - will study the mechanics involved in the shake-up. The initiatives will include the training of pre-school teachers and the addition of new players to the existing non-profit anchor operators, NTUC and PAP Community Foundation.
The "transformation" will take some time, Mr Lee said, but he was confident that results will be seen in "five to seven years".
Mr Lee's announcements come as calls for the Government to intervene in the pre-school sector gathered momentum in recent weeks. The sector has been grappling with issues such as disparity in the quality of centres, unregulated fees, and the low pay of pre-school educators in comparison to their counterparts in primary schools.
Mr Lee noted that almost all children attend pre-school, with the Government providing financial support to make pre-school education affordable. It also provides support to the non-profit anchor operators to raise standards. "We are making progress, but I think it is not enough and we have to do more."
There is a need to "substantially raise" the quality of pre-school education for children aged five and six while keeping fees affordable, especially in the non-profit anchor operators which cater to the mass market.
Mr Lee rejected the calls to nationalise the pre-school sector. "Instead we should raise the base, make sure that wherever you go it is a good kindergarten."
Observers welcome 'mindset change'
Even as the quality is raised, fees will remain affordable and more support will be given to low- and middle-income families. "Our objective is to level up all our students, and make a positive difference to their development, especially the students from the disadvantaged homes," Mr Lee said.
In recent weeks, the Lien Foundation released the results of studies and surveys on the pre-school sector. Apart from an online parents' poll - in which seven in 10 respondents want kindergarten classes to be part of the formal education system - the foundation also released two studies. The first showed that Singapore's pre-school education ranked in the bottom half internationally, while the second involved pre-school leaders and experts who called for sweeping and urgent reforms - including making pre-school education free and partially nationalising the sector.
Lien Foundation chairman Laurence Lien, who is also a Nominated Member of Parliament, welcomed Mr Lee's announcements. "It shows a change in mindset about pre-schools. It does seem that previously the Government did not think it was important but now there seems to be a renewed sense ... the Government is feeling it is important and there is political commitment to improving pre-schools in Singapore," Mr Lien told TODAY.
He added that setting up a statutory board would "put the focus on pre-schools" as there would be "dedicated people who are hired to look at this issue and to make sure that the quality improves".
Early childhood expert Sirene Lim said the "thoughtful implementation" of the measures would be crucial. For example, the training of pre-school teachers has to go beyond "obtaining a certification or attending a couple of workshops and courses", she pointed out.
Dr Lim said: "I hope the Government will not rush into implementing solutions, but study what other countries have done and learn from their ways to craft our own solutions suited to our context."
Children at My First Skool childcare centre at Hougang Ave 1. Results of the transformation of the sector should be seen in five to seven years, said Mr Lee. Photo by ERNEST CHUA
08-27-2012, 03:31 AM #6434
Getting to the root of kiasuism
by Ian Tan
04:45 AM Aug 27, 2012
As a parent of two primary school children, I paid extra attention to the Prime Minister's take on education and the birth rate. I was glad to see some glaring gaps finally plugged, or at least touched on.
Finally, new fathers can look forward to longer paternity leave. The lack of it is something that has puzzled me for years, given that I have changed nearly as many diapers as my wife.
Improving work-life balance was another key topic that was tackled head-on. It's true, people are just too busy to procreate.
Somehow, people need to learn how to say no to constantly checking their emails and deliberately carve out quality time for their families. Perhaps the Civil Service could take the lead by limiting the maximum working hours in a week?
Indeed, there were many gems in last night's rally. But I hope the new policies laid out by Mr Lee Hsien Loong will take into account larger, deep-seated problems that may ultimately derail the Government's good intentions and long-term vision.
For example, I was happy to see Mr Lee emphasising that, while pre-school standards need to be raised in several areas, parents should let their children enjoy their childhood and not introduce them to primary school content too early. Yes, improving the early phase of education is important, but it has to be done in tandem with a serious relook at the remainder of the student's journey.
I've seen the benefits of my children not having exams at Primary 1. But when students reach Primary 3, the demands of the curriculum take a big leap, many folks get stressed out and it's back to square one.
There is a lot of unnecessary tension created in the primary school system today by parents, teachers and tuition centres who make their students learn more than is actually spelled out by the Ministry of Education.
If the primary school problem is not resolved, kiasu parents (of which there are many) will inevitably derail the improvements to the pre-school system.
A simple solution may be to standardise exam papers across all standards in primary school. This may in turn change mindsets about elite versus neighbourhood schools (another hand-wringing issue for parents).
CHANGING A MATERIAL OUTLOOK
As the PM spoke, I also wondered how much the current education system is linked to the dismal national birth rate. Why? The mindsets of young people are shaped by the values that they imbibe in school and later at work.
A relentless focus on grades and wealth as key measures of success has led to a society where many people want to succeed materially first before they want to start their families.
Implementing radical policies such as a new Medisave for children may help young parents cope with childcare costs but, for many people, they may never be enough.
The long-term solution to the birth rate may be to develop a holistic education system and societal culture that shapes a very different national mindset from what we observe today.
I was also heartened by the PM's call to Singaporeans to have bigger hearts on this small island.
Kindness and graciousness are not things that can be easily taught through national campaigns or classroom lessons. But if more Singaporeans can have the opportunity to enjoy more balanced lifestyles while contributing to the nation's progress, I believe it's not just the birth rate that is going to improve dramatically.
It's our very attitude towards life and others that is going to undergo a great transformation.
Ian Tan is a 36-year-old marketing manager and ex-journalist. His wife Goy Sze Wei became a homemaker in 2005 to look after their children Isaac and Isabel, now aged nine and seven.
Mr Ian Tan, seen with his family here, thinks a holistic education system that changes mindsets needs to be developed. PHOTO COURTESY IAN TAN
08-27-2012, 09:24 PM #6435
Yeo wins, gunning for SEA Games glory
Fresh from the London Olympics, sprinter has golden ambitions for biennial meet next year
by Low Lin Fhoong
04:45 AM Aug 27, 2012
SINGAPORE - Having recently set a personal best at the London Olympics, sprinter Gary Yeo now has his sights set on a golden SEA Games in Myanmar next year.
In his first competitive outing since London, the 25-year-old stormed home despite a hamstring problem to claim the men's 100m gold medal in 10.86secs ahead of his regional rivals at the 74th Singapore Open Track and Field Championship at the Bishan Stadium yesterday.
Japan's Hane Seiya and Yano Shogo were second and third respectively in 10.93s and 10.98s.
Yeo's victory was the fifth gold medal of the day, taking Team Singapore's two-day tally to 11 gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze to better last year's performance of 2-3-3.
An hour later, he returned with 4x100m relay team-mates Muhammad Elfi Mustapa, Lee Cheng Wei and Muhd Amirudin Jamal. However they could not fend off their Thai counterparts who won in 40.63s, ahead of Singapore (40.89s) and Japan (40.90s).
"I am gearing towards the ASEAN University Games in December and hope to hit my personal best (10.57s) there and qualify for the 100m and relay for the SEA Games," said Yeo, who clocked 10.57 at the London Games.
"Personally I hope to go below 10.45s and do 39.50s for the relay and set a new national record. I also hope to better my silver medal at the 2013 SEA Games ... Hopefully we can challenge for gold in the relay and defend it in 2015, which will be a dream come true."
On his race yesterday, he added: "I think I ran well considering my injury from the Olympics as my legs felt uncomfortable during the race. It's good to win in front of a home crowd ... I was more relaxed due to my injury and that worked in my favour as there was no pressure."
Also picking up silverware yesterday was Singapore's Scott Wong, who picked up a bronze in the men's discus throw.
The 22-year-old, who won gold in the shot put on Saturday with a personal best of 15.89m, finished third in a personal best of 48.50m, ahead of team-mate and 10-time SEA Games gold medallist James Wong, 43, who was fifth with 46.37m.
Scott, a medical student at the University of Manchester, is going for gold at next year's SEA Games, which will pit him against Wong if the veteran thrower qualifies.
"My aim at the 2013 and 2015 SEA Games is to go for gold in both the shot put and discus, and also to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in 2014," said Scott, who is planning a three-month training stint at the Melbourne Ringwood Training Club next year.
On the issue of succeeding Wong, Scott added: "There is no pressure at all. The level of competition at 51, 52, 53 metres is well within my means.
"I'm not looking to step into anyone's shoes, I'm doing it because I enjoy it."
Singapore sprinter Gary Yeo winning the men's 100m gold in 10.86secs yesterday. Photo by WEE TECK HIAN
08-27-2012, 09:34 PM #6436
Team S'pore members get into karting
by Low Lin Fhoong
04:45 AM Aug 28, 2012
SINGAPORE - Table tennis player Feng Tianwei, shuttler Fu Mingtian and sprinter Gary Yeo will trade their running shoes and competition jerseys for racing suits on Sunday.
Together with race driver Andrew Tang, they will be competing in the KF1 Corporate Challenge at the F1 Pit Building. This is the first time a team featuring Singapore sports personalities has been invited to the annual corporate karting event, which was started by Arina International Holdings last year.
Led by 17-year-old Andrew - who is competing in the Karting World Championships this year - the team will race against 14 other corporate and community teams for a podium spot. Corporate participants include Aibi Life Fitness, Pico Art and Li-Ning Sports Singapore.
Said 2011 SEA Games women's singles champion Fu: "This is very refreshing as I've never experienced this kind of speed before ... it's fun and very exciting." Low Lin Fhoong
From left: Gary Yeo, Fu Mingtian and Andrew Tang will be competing in the KF1 Corporate Challenge this Sunday. Photo by WEE TECK HIAN
08-27-2012, 09:44 PM #6437
NTU prof one of world's top young innovators for 'invisibility cloak'
NTU assistant professor is named one of the world's top 35 young innovators
Published on Aug 28, 2012
Dr Zhang Baile, 31, showing his invention which can refract light in a unique way to divert the light around an object and render it invisible. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
By Grace Chua
The "invisibility cloak" created by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) assistant professor Zhang Baile, 31, is a rectangular crystalline block about the size of a matchbox.
It is enclosed in a glass jar on the window ledge of his office.
And yes, it is visible.
He demonstrates how his invention, made of a colourless crystalline mineral called calcite, conceals a bright pink paper tube when viewed from one angle
08-27-2012, 10:07 PM #6438
S'pore tops International Geography Olympiad
Posted: 27 August 2012 1811 hrs
From left to right: Chee You Jin, Eugene; Tan Wei Jie, Brendan; Wesley Chioh and Chua De Xun, Samuel (Photo: Ministry of Education)
SINGAPORE: Singapore students have come out tops in the 9th International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) held in Cologne, Germany.
The team obtained two gold and two silver medals, which put the team first among 32 countries.
This is the second time Singapore is taking part in iGeo.
The gold medalists are Chua De Xun Samuel and Tan Wei Jie Brendan from Raffles Institution (Junior College). Samuel Chua was also the top gold medalist in the 9th iGeo.
The silver medalists are Wesley Chioh from Raffles Institution (Junior College) and Chee You Jin Eugene from Hwa Chong Institution (College).
This annual competition is organised under the auspices of the International Geographical Union, and consists of written, multimedia and fieldwork tests.
Students are expected to have a good knowledge of topics ranging from physical to human geography.
The teams are also required to apply their geographical knowledge and skills in new and unfamiliar contexts, such as carrying out fieldwork on land use in Rheinau Harbour and waterfront development in the Deutz riverfront in Cologne, Germany.
08-27-2012, 10:22 PM #6439
Letters by Sir Stamford Raffles on display at National Library
By Gerard Lim | Posted: 27 August 2012 1732 hrs
Some of the letters and documents on display at the National Library.
SINGAPORE: Most of us would be familiar with Sir Stamford Raffles as the founder of Singapore, but few have had a chance to see his personal correspondences in the period just before and after he founded Singapore.
Thirteen of such letters, which have never been exhibited before, will be on display at the National Library starting on Wednesday, August 29 till end February 2013.
Dr Kevin Tan, a legal historian and one of the curators of the exhibition, said the letters give an insight into Sir Raffles' mindset as he was hunting for a port in the region for the British Crown.
Dr Tan said: "Raffles reveals himself to be a very clever man, some would say a schemer. He had a very clear vision of what he wanted, he was an empire builder of that generation, where they believed that British interest were very important, that needed to be protected."
Archaeologist Lim Chen Sian, also one of the curators, said: "He's a very forward-thinking man, and also very well aware of how politics work, and how publicity is important; how he promoted his ideas and the founding of Singapore, and the settlement of Singapore."
The letters are on loan from the Bute Collection at Mount Stuart, Scotland. The letters recount Sir Stamford's pressing quest to set up a British port in Southeast Asia, in the face of growing Dutch supremacy in the region.
Also on display are paintings, rare books, and maps of the time, including the earliest known map of Singapore town.
08-27-2012, 10:38 PM #6440
Foreign sports talent: A necessity for now
From Chan Wing Kin
Updated 04:51 AM Aug 27, 2012
To train an athlete to win medals in global competitions is more difficult than rice cultivation.
Farmers prepare the fields, get the best seeds, plant the seedlings, irrigate the fields and do other necessary work until harvesting.
If the weather was friendly, the seeds were good and the farmer was skilful and did his job well, the yield would be satisfactory.
He may even win a trophy in a farming contest and, as he had put in effort and time, would not be embarrassed that the seeds came from overseas.
Sporting talent is like those seeds, and the coach is the "farmer".
If an athlete has talent, the coach has world-class knowledge and did his best to train the former, who did not suffer any injury during practice, should we expect a medal to be the outcome? The answer is no, if there was no devotion.
Most Singaporeans want their children to devote more time to academic subjects than sports. Sporting talent is rare and fully supportive parents are even fewer.
Can coaches change parents' mindset? Can the Government pass laws to alter attitudes? We know the answer.
The three paddlers who won Olympic medals learnt their skills in China and continued training in Singapore for years, indicating that the training programme here is functioning.
I hope this will help to change the mindset of some parents of sporting talents. More local-born children would then devote more time to sports. Some of them would become medal winners.
How long it would take is a big question mark, but in the meantime, we should not stop recruiting foreign talents to lead and set an example for our children.
There are always issues for which a satisfactory solution would take time. Before we find one, we should have a practical, temporary solution instead of just doing nothing.
08-28-2012, 01:00 AM #6441
SIT to begin enrolling poly, JC, Integrated Programme students
Published on Aug 28, 2012
Artistís impression of the exterior of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) in Singapore Polytechnic (SP). The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) will begin admitting students from the polytechnic, Junior College and Integrated Programme tracks. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (SIT)
By Stacey Chia
The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) will begin admitting students from the polytechnic, Junior College and Integrated Programme tracks.
Currently, 95 per cent of the students at SIT are from the polytechnics.
It will also move beyond the current "plus two" model, to offer three- and four-year degree programmes.
SIM University (UniSIM) will also start offering full-time programmes for fresh school leavers as well as working adults. Currently, UniSIM only offers part-time degree programmes.
SIT to offer Cooperative Education Programme as fifth university
Posted: 28 August 2012 1158 hrs
SINGAPORE: The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), which will become Singapore's fifth autonomous university, will offer a Cooperative Education Programme which integrates meaningful work experience into the academic course requirements.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) said the new SIT will be a "best-in-class" institution that is equal in status to existing autonomous universities, but will be different in character.
SIM University (UniSIM) will also help to expand the university sector via the applied degree pathway.
UniSIM's full-time degree programmes will be publicly-funded and admit fresh school leavers and working adults.
In its admission policy, UniSIM will look beyond academic grades and take into account the work experience and talents of applicants.
MOE said UniSIM has a strong track record in providing part-time degree programmes that have close linkages with industry.
These part-time degree programmes value and integrate the work experiences of its students and the industry-current faculty, which provide a good balance of theoretical and real-world education.
The government will also provide more support for Continuing Education and Training (CET) degree pathways.
It will increase financial support for adult learners by extending government financial assistance schemes to students in part-time UniSIM bachelor degree programmes. The schemes include MOE bursaries, tuition fee loans, and study loans.
The government will encourage the industry to provide more scholarships for those who upgrade after gaining some work experience.
It will also improve access to part-time degree programmes through greater recognition of relevant work experience and alternative qualifications in the admissions criteria.
Last edited by Loh; 08-28-2012 at 01:08 AM.
08-28-2012, 10:34 PM #6442
The National Museum of Singapore
The month of August is special to Singapore as Singaporeans celebrate National Day on 9th August.
Our National Day celebrations have been very popular and have grown in scale and variety over the years, with the Parade, the National Pledge and fireworks remaining some of the key core events. I have posted some pictures of this year's celebrations earlier.
It has been 47 years when we separated from Malaysia in 1965 to determine our own independence and future.
So far we have been able to survive on our own and make progress in most areas and each year in August we take time to count our blessings and assess our achievements and shortcomings and try to make them better.
Some of the celebrations include an 'open house' to the Istana or the President's official residence and to other public facilities like the museums.
This year I took the opportunity to join many others to visit the National Museum.
As with many other iconic buildings in Singapore, our majestic National Museum had undergone periods of change and renovations during its 125 years' of existence. Its location near Fort Canning and Orchard Road, with the relatively young Singapore Management University (SMU) sited just across Bras Basah Road, the museum is easily accessible via Dhoby Ghaut MRT.
Designed by Henry McCallum, the museum was built in October 1887 and was first named Raffles Library and Museum, aptly after modern Singapore's founder, Sir Stamford Raffles.
In 1960, the library was separated from the museum and was renamed the National Museum in 1969. Yet again in 1993, the museum was transformed to become the Singapore National Museum to showcase Singapore's history and heritage.
In 2003, another major renovation and extension, which includes a modern Glass Rotunda with a Dome, took three years and it was reopened in 2006 as the National Museum of Singapore.
08-28-2012, 10:52 PM #6443
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