The theme for this year's Pre-University Seminar is "Cherishing Our Past, Celebrating Our Present, Creating Our Future". Some 550 students from 30 pre-university institutions, including Junior Colleges, the Centralised Institute and Polytechnics will come together to reflect on Singapore's achievements over the past 50 years and use their learning experiences from the seminar to envision and create our future together. The seminar will be held from 2 to 5 June 2015 at the National University of Singapore.
By Cherishing Our Past, participants will examine our past successes and challenges. When Celebrating Our Present, they will reflect on Singapore's achievements built upon the firm foundation laid by our pioneer generation. Collectively, as the future of our nation, participants will seek to embody the values that have brought our nation forward, and unite in Creating Our Future together.
The objective of this year's Seminar is to provide our youth with opportunities to connect with people from all walks of life in Singapore. Prior to the Seminar, the participants interviewed people from various backgrounds from selected organisations across five SG50 domains. The domains are as follows:
- Education and Youth;
- Culture and Community;
- Economic and International;
- Environment and Infrastructure; and
This year's Seminar will encourage deep reflection, student collaboration, imagination and active citizenry. Students are grouped by SG50 domains and each of the 50 groups must reflect on how individuals and organisations have worked in synergy towards improving Singapore. Their shared experiences with members of the public will inform and shape their collective imagining of their vision for Singapore. Participants will go through the following four components:(a) Groundwork
Each group of participants will visit people and organisations related to their assigned SG50 domain. Participants will interact with Singaporeans from different backgrounds and learn about their experiences at work and how they have contributed to make Singapore what it is today. They will have the opportunity to interview individuals at organizations, ranging from ground staff to management. It will also help them to better understand and appreciate the work, values and challenges of building an inclusive society, which provides for a diversity of needs and aspirations.(b) Panel Discussion
Each discussion will:
- focus participants' findings from their Groundwork;
- involve three to four panelists, selected for their specific area of expertise; and
- be moderated by Teacher-Facilitators, with the assistance of the Student Liaison Officers. This will ensure that all participants and panelists are given the opportunity to take part in the discussion meaningfully.
A key highlight of this year's Seminar, Operation V50 will see the 50 teams of students travel to selected locations across Singapore to put into action simple but creative acts that will engage the public to celebrate and raise awareness of the achievements of people in their assigned SG50 domains. This interactive experience will challenge participants to reflect on the perspectives shared by members of the public, as well as their own role in taking action to fulfil their vision for Singapore.(d) Closing Ceremony and Exhibition
This year's closing ceremony will be a by-invitation only exhibition showcasing participants' reflections and visions for Singapore. Each team will deliver the following:
- A booth exhibiting creative expressions of their Operation V50 experiences and presenting their vision for the future of Singapore in their respective SG50 domains. Exhibits may include photographs, music videos, drama or other creative modes of expression, providing an insight into the heartbeat and aspirations of Singapore's youth.
- A Vision Tree, which represents the participants' collective vision and aspirations for Singapore's future, will be assembled and presented as Pre-University Seminar 2015's birthday gift to the nation.
From 2016, students will have more opportunities to enrol in art and music talent development programmes at the secondary level. To grow the potential and talent of students across a wider range of domains, MOE will:
Extend the Enhanced Art Programme (EAP) and Enhanced Music Programme (EMP) to seven more schools, and
Appoint three schools that are hosting the Art Elective Programme (AEP) or Music Elective Programme (MEP) as AEP or MEP centres. These AEP or MEP centres will accept students from other schools into their respective AEP or MEP.
Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education said: “The Enhanced Art and Music Programmes, as well as the Art and Music Elective Programmes, will enable more students to further develop their passion and talent in art and music. They have more opportunities to learn from artists and musicians, and contribute to the cultural life of the community too. We have recently announced that talented students from any school can enrol in the Junior Sports Academy programme that will be sited in accessible facilities distributed around Singapore. Similarly, with more schools offering the art and music programmes, talented students do not have to travel as far to enrol in these programmes. Through our programmes and efforts, we hope to nurture students to lead purposeful lives and use their talents to benefit their community.”Seven More Schools to Offer EAP and EMP
The two-year EAP and EMP provide an enriched learning environment for Secondary 3 and 4 students inclined towards art and music respectively. All EAP and EMP students will take the GCE ‘O’ Level Art and Music examinations respectively. Beyond the O-level syllabus for Art/Music, students will benefit from exposure to the arts and creative industries in the form of master-classes with artists/musicians, and studio sessions and visits by practitioners for authentic and relevant learning. They will also have opportunities to hold exhibitions and perform at concerts.
Starting from 2016, the EAP will be extended from four to nine schools and EMP will be extended from two to four schools. With that, the EAP and EMP will have a better geographical spread across the island. Talented students interested in these programmes can enrol in one of these schools nearer to their homes. All the seven schools that will start the EAP or EMP by 2017 have good art/music programmes, and are offering the Applied Learning Programme (ALP) and Learning for Life Programme (LLP) with an arts focus. The new schools will receive support from MOE in terms of additional facilities, equipment and teaching personnel. The full list of new and existing schools that host the EAP and EMP are in Annex A.
This initiative to extend the EAP and EMP to more schools will further enhance our students’ access to art and music-related developmental opportunities, and allow students who have talent and interest in art and music to develop stronger mastery and pursue a lifelong interest and learning in these areas.
The EAP and EMP are available to students from Secondary 3 onwards. Interested students must first enrol in a school hosting the EAP or EMP and sign up for these programmes at the end of Secondary 2.Three AEP and MEP Centres to Enrol Students from Other Schools
With the diversity of talents among our students, there may be students with passion and talent for art or music, who are not enrolled in the schools that host the AEP/MEP today. To support these students, National Junior College will operate as an AEP centre, and Dunman High School and Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) will operate as MEP centres for students with passion and talent for art or music from other schools, starting from 2016.
Secondary 1 students in the Express course, who demonstrate passion and talent in art or music, can apply to be an external AEP or MEP students at these AEP/MEP centres by submitting their application through their secondary schools in January 2016.
Shortlisted students will be required to attend a selection test, and selected students will commence their AEP/MEP lessons at their AEP/MEP centres from Term 2 of 2016. Details of the three centres, and the list of existing schools offering the AEP/MEP, are in Annex B.Promoting Holistic Development of Our Students through Art and Music
To promote the holistic development of our students, all primary and secondary students have access to quality art and music programmes. Schools also provide a good range of art and music CCAs, with about 1 in 5 students involved in either an art or music CCA group. The EAP/EMP and AEP/AMP further develop students who have strong passion and talent in art and music. These programmes aim to encourage these students to cultivate a life-long interest in the arts and be equipped with useful lifelong competencies associated with an appreciation of the arts.Footnote
- More details about the AEP can be found at MOE website at http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/secondary/other/art-elective-programme/ ↩
- More details about the MEP can be found at MOE website at http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/secondary/other/music-elective-programme/ ↩
Speech (in Chinese) by Ms Sim Ann at the Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP) 25th Anniversary Luncheon
Nine students from across five Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP) centres will receive the inaugural Best Improvement Award. The award will be presented by Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Communications and Information, at the CLEP 25th Anniversary Luncheon on Saturday, 23 May 2015. The list of award recipients can be found in Annex A.
The “Best Improvement Award”, introduced by the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning and sponsored by the Chinese Language and Culture Fund, will be presented to students who are Singapore Citizens and show remarkable improvement in Chinese Language subjects, contribute actively to the CLEP and exemplify good character. Each year, the award will be presented to students from the Pre-U 1 and Pre-U 2 levels in all CLEP centres. Awardees will each receive a cash award of $500.The Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP)
The Chinese Language Elective Programme was introduced by the Ministry of Education in 1990 to nurture students who have an aptitude for the Chinese Language so that they can attain a high level of proficiency and enhance their understanding of Chinese Literature. The programme also aims to allow academically able students to become effectively bilingual so as to better serve the needs of our nation. There are currently 5 CLEP centres - Dunman High School, Hwa Chong Institution (College), Jurong Junior College, Nanyang Junior College and Temasek Junior College.The Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL)
The Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL), formed in January 2005, aims to garner the support of the community to support the learning of Chinese Language (CL) and to facilitate a continuing process of collaboration between schools, community organisations and the media to create an environment for promoting the use of CL beyond schools. Since its formation, CPCLL has actively organised engaging and interactive activities to enthuse students and develop in them an abiding interest in CL and Chinese culture.
Singapore's Young Research Talents go Global at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2015
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) 2015 held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America (USA) from 10 to 15 May 2015. The Intel ISEF is the world’s largest pre-college science fair held annually to provide a platform for top science and engineering talents of different nationalities to showcase their projects. The Singapore team submitted four individual projects and two team projects this year and achieved commendable results at the fair (Refer to Annex A for details of the projects).
Benjamin Tan Kye Jyn, Lim Zheng Theng and Tan Yi Zhao from Hwa Chong Institution found a novel way of embedding silver nanoparticles into membranes used in water purification processes and won the Second Award in the category of Environmental Engineering. Additionally, for their innovation in membrane technology, they were also awarded the Second Life Science Award in the Special Awards Segment. One of the team members, Lim Zheng Theng, shared, “By participating in the ISEF, I’m able to see how I can apply this knowledge in a manner that benefits people and processes. I’m inspired to consider science and engineering research as my future career option.”
Lee Shi Ya Claudia from Raffles Institution studied how the use of peptide-derived hydrogels could be injected into the body for the consistent release of drugs over a specific period of time. For her new method of producing hydrogels, she was awarded the Fourth Award in the Chemistry category. On her thoughts about participating in Intel ISEF, Claudia said, “I feel that science and engineering is very much dependent on the effective exchange of ideas and meaningful collaboration. I value the experience of having the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas with the judges.”
In their team project, Madhumitha Shridharan and Ren Yuhua from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science developed a method to significantly reduce energy consumption and improve patient comfort to administer a patch test for patients with skin problems. For their innovation, they were awarded the Special Award by the China Association for Science and Technology.
Other individual projects submitted to Intel ISEF were by Tommy Ong Zhi Xian from Raffles Institution, Joel Tan Shi Quan from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science and Ching Yi Jie Preston from National Junior College, whose research projects explored the scientific areas of Microbiology, Physics and Astronomy as well as Biomedical and Health Sciences respectively.
The Singapore Team was chosen from the top awardees in the Singapore Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) held in March this year. SSEF is a national competition jointly organised by MOE, A*STAR and Science Centre Singapore. The Singapore Team was jointly led by Mr Gary Neo Wei Chung (Curriculum Planning, MOE), Mrs Sow Yoke Keow (Hwa Chong Institution) and Dr Tan Guoxian (Raffles Institution).