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News

Washington State Could Prove Test Case on Waiver Consequences - Education Week

With its NCLB waiver in hot water with the U.S. Department of Education, Washington state could end up showing what happens if a state loses that flexibility.

Field-Testing Set to Begin on Common-Core Exams - Education Week

More than 4 million students in 36 states and the District of Columbia will take near-final versions of the math and English/language arts tests between March 24 and June 6.

Speech by Ms Sim Ann at the Official Launch of 24th Project CABIN “Chillbox@Siglap” cum Celebration of 20th Anniversary of Project CABIN

Ministry Of Education Feed - 15 March 2014

Good Morning. I am happy to be present today for the official launch of the 24th Project CABIN. “Chillbox”, as it is called, is a joint partnership between Singapore Children’s Society and Siglap Secondary School, and, I note that its launch coincides with the 20th Anniversary of Project CABIN.

Project CABIN has indeed come a long way since it was first set up 20 years ago, in 1994. During its formative years, Project CABIN was meant to be a place for young people to hang out at. It sought to address the issues of premature school leaving and delinquency among youths. Since then, the project has evolved into a learning hub for building character, imparting values and learning social skills. The Chillbox@Siglap is one good example. For the students of Siglap Secondary, Chillbox@Siglap is a place where they take part in meaningful after-school activities, such as workshops, talks and group work. I learned that the name “Chillbox” was chosen by the students. The name was picked out through a school-wide competition and I am glad that the students were given the opportunity to have a say in the setting up of their own Project CABIN.

Chillbox@Siglap is a good example of a programme that complements what our schools do. The activities that students participate in Chillbox@Siglap provide them with learning opportunities beyond the classroom. Students learn dance moves by participating in a Hip Hop Workshop and learn how to play African Drums in another. They also advocate anti-bullying through the Bully-Free Campaign and undergo Peer Befriending Training to learn how to provide peer support to their schoolmates. Being engaged in such activities helps the students learn new skills and gain confidence in their leadership abilities, which is all part of providing students with a holistic education.

I am encouraged by the partnerships our schools forge with community partners such as the Singapore Children’s Society and with parents to meet our students’ educational needs. I understand that the teachers in charge of Chillbox@Siglap work closely with youth workers to plan suitable activities for the students. For instance, to ensure that the activities planned for the students cater for their needs and interests, the teachers conducted surveys and sourced for activities that encompassed sports, music and the arts.

Project CABIN also provides students with the opportunity to reach out to members of the larger community and learn to be active citizens. For example, in 2013, CABIN Club members from 8 schools, including Siglap Secondary, participated in an Inter-CABIN competition named “Project IMPACT”. This Values-In-Action project provided students with an opportunity to be involved in service learning. I learn that 5 Siglap Secondary students worked on a project to raise public awareness about animal abuse and to promote kindness and appreciation of animals. The students enjoyed the experience so much that one of the students involved in the project, a Secondary 2 student, Poh Hana Lee, has since signed up as a regular volunteer in order to continue giving back to society.

It is heart-warming to hear our young people learn to care for others and becoming committed to larger causes. I commend the Singapore Children’s Society for keeping up with the latest trends among youths and consistently creating new and engaging programmes to meet their needs. I am pleased to note that the CABIN fanpage and CABIN Alumni Club, that was started in 2012, continue to engage youths online and provide graduating members of the CABIN Club with a platform to stay connected with one another.

I am encouraged to learn that the CABIN Alumni Club committee, set up last October, explores and organises volunteering opportunities for the 70-member strong Alumni Club to contribute to the wider community. Graduates of the CABIN Clubs from various schools have volunteered in camps as well as helped and guided Junior CABIN members in running CABIN events. This speaks well of our young people’s passion and commitment and I hope that they inspire their peers and younger students to be involved in service learning projects.

I congratulate Singapore Children’s Society and Siglap Secondary School for undertaking this joint venture. With your concern for our students, and your commitment to their well-being, I am confident that you will ensure that Project CABIN’s excellent work will continue. I also wish the Siglap Project CABIN, “Chillbox”, the very best.

Thank you.

Registration of Instructors Offering Co-Curricular and Enrichment Activities to Schools

Ministry Of Education Feed - 13 March 2014

Instructors offering co-curricular and enrichment activities to schools will be required to register with the Ministry of Education (MOE). The registration aims to help schools better assess the suitability of instructors in conducting the co-curricular and enrichment activities.

From January 2015, all government, government-aided, independent, specialised independent and specialised schools will only engage the services of instructors who are registered with MOE in the following areas:

  • Co-curricular Activities (CCA) coaches and instructors;
  • Art and Music Scheme (AMIS) instructors;
  • Programme for Active Learning (PAL) instructors;
  • Conversational Chinese/Malay instructors;
  • Instructors for activities that involve overnight stay or overseas trips with students;
  • All other instructors of school-based co-curricular and enrichment activities with duration of 20 hours or more per contract (for example, one term of weekly two-hour sessions).

Instructors in the listed areas may apply to register with MOE from 19 March 2014. Application procedures are available at http://www.moe.gov.sg/coaches-instructors. As some schools may begin procuring instructor services for 2015 from June 2014, instructors are encouraged to register by June 2014.

The instructors will be holistically evaluated based on the following:

  • Age (should be at least 18 years of age);
  • Area of specialisation;
  • Relevant qualifications and experience to the activity concerned (if available);
  • Employment history;
  • Registration with a relevant professional body (if available);
  • Self-declaration form.

All applicants will be notified by email on the outcome about six weeks after their application. Instructors’ registered status will be valid for two years. Instructors who wish to continue providing such activities are advised to reapply for registration with MOE at least three months prior to the expiry of their registered status.

Instructors not covered under the listed areas will need to register under a second phase. The second phase comprises instructors engaged for school-based co-curricular and enrichment activities (academic and non-academic) that are more than eight hours (but fewer than 20 hours) per contract. The second phase is expected to commence in 2016. Thereafter, schools will only engage the services of instructors in the second phase if they are registered with MOE. More details on implementation of the second phase will be released in the last quarter of 2014.

Common Core Sides Spar Over 'Opt Out' Bill in Alabama - Education Week

After efforts to repeal Common Core fell flat, a state senator urged lawmakers to let local school systems opt out of the education standards.

Teach For America Targets Retention, Longer Preparation - Education Week

Education Week - Teachers - 11 March 2014
The launch of two new pilot projects signals a shift in direction for the national teacher-training and -placement organization.
Topic: Teachers

Teachers Learn to Judge Formative-Testing Tools - Education Week

Education Week - Teachers - 11 March 2014
Educators gathered recently for training on how to size up instructional resources for possible inclusion in a digital library that a common-core testing consortium is developing.
Topic: Teachers

Testing Skeptics Aim to Build Support for Opt-Out Strategy - Education Week

Critics of high-stakes testing believe having parents refuse to let their children take assessments could force policymakers to take note of their cause.

Teacher-Evaluation Bill Gets Final Push in Wash. - Education Week

Gov. Jay Inslee said he hopes lawmakers can come to an agreement on Washington state's teacher-evaluation system before the legislature adjourns this week.

Innovative Ed. Model Challenges Teachers to Adjust - Education Week

A controversial gamble by Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite to expand innovative school models is revealing the difficulties of changing and improving how students are taught.

Phila. Superintendent Plans to Open Unconventional Schools - Education Week

All three of the newly approved schools will feature project-based learning, push students to learn outside the walls of traditional classrooms, and incorporate online education.

Teachers Learn to Judge Formative-Testing Tools - Education Week

Educators gathered recently for training on how to size up instructional resources for possible inclusion in a digital library that a common-core testing consortium is developing.

Graduation Numbers - Education Week

New data from the National Center for Education Statistics forecast a decline in the number of high school graduates over the next decade and college enrollment rising, but at a much slower pace than in recent years.

Standards Become Classroom Reality in Indiana - Education Week

Education Week - Teachers - 10 March 2014
Teachers in Indiana may be a step ahead of the state's policymakers in implementing sweeping academic standards.
Topic: Teachers

Political, Policy Feuds Roil Indiana's K-12 Landscape - Education Week

From governance to the common core, hot-button education issues have fueled fierce debate among education leaders and lawmakers.

Standards Become Classroom Reality in Indiana - Education Week

Teachers in Indiana may be a step ahead of the state's policymakers in implementing sweeping academic standards.

College Board Enlists Khan Academy for SAT Prep - Education Week

The initiative is billed as an effort to level the playing field for disadvantaged young people by providing an array of free, high-quality resources.
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