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Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by Loh, May 4, 2009.
Yes Singapore surely can!!
A warm welcome to BC Lucrecia!
Thank you very much Loh.
Nice to meet you!
Singapore Airlines moves up to 2nd in Skytrax’s World Best Airlines Award
Reuters file photo
Published: 8:35 PM, June 20, 2017
Updated: 10:08 PM, June 20, 2017
SINGAPORE — National carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) has been named as the world’s second best airline in the latest passenger survey by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax, moving up one spot from last year’s rankings.
SIA came in behind Qatar Airways, which was second placed in 2016. Last year’s top airline, Emirates, fell to fourth in the latest rankings, behind Japan’s ANA All Nippon Airways.
Changi named world’s best airport for 5th year in a row
Skytrax announced the world’s Top 100 Airlines, voted for by airline customers, at the World Airline Awards held at the Paris Air Show in France on Tuesday (June 20). Among other accolades SIA received included being named the Best Airline in Asia, the World’s Best Business Class seat and for having the Best Premium Economy Onboard Catering.
The Singapore national carrier placed 5th for the World’s Best Cabin Staff, 3rd for World’s Best Inflight Entertainment, 9th for World’s Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness, 5th for World’s Best First Class, 3rd for World’s Best Business Class, 4th for World’s Best Premium Economy Class and 5th for World’s Best Economy Class.
Meanwhile, SIA subsidiary SilkAir came in 8th for World’s Best Regional Airline, while Malaysia’s AirAsia was once again named as the best low-cost airline, both in Asia and in the world.
Referred to as the “Oscars of the aviation industry”, the World Airline Awards tracks customer satisfaction of airline services and performance globally.
A survey was conducted among 19.87 million airline passengers from 105 countries between August 2016 and May 2017 to determine the winners.
The top 100 airlines in 2017 according to Skytrax:
ANA All Nippon Airways
Swiss Int'l Air Lines
Air New Zealand
Hong Kong Airlines
Delta Air Lines
South African Airways
Saudi Arabian Airlines
TAP Air Portugal
American Eagle Airlines
Royal Brunei Airlines
Royal Air Maroc
Air Canada rouge
Commentary: How should Singapore teachers manage issues of race in the classroom?
Jul 21 each year marks Racial Harmony Day. Ho Li-Ching explores whether students should be encouraged to discuss controversial issues related to race in the classroom and what’s stopping teachers from doing so.
By Ho Li-Ching
21 Jul 2017 06:51AM(Updated: 21 Jul 2017 07:00AM)
SINGAPORE: “Is there really racial harmony in Singapore?” a secondary student once posed this question to me during a research study.
Using a tried-and-tested teaching technique, I turned the question around: “What do you think?”
Her response was an emphatic “no”.
My curiosity piqued, I asked if she had discussed this issue in any of her lessons. I wasn’t surprised when she told me she hadn’t, because research in many countries indicates that students rarely discuss controversial issues in their classrooms.
DEVELOPING INFORMED CITIZENS
Harmony, racial discrimination, racial integration in schools - why should Singapore teachers encourage students to discuss such controversial public issues?
Research conducted in various countries indicates that there are two main reasons: First, doing so aids in developing informed and engaged democratic citizens and second, a robust discussion of such issues improves learning outcomes.
Well-structured discussions of controversial issues help young people learn how to deliberate public policy issues and evaluate the validity and effectiveness of different courses of action.
These skills are crucial in preparing our young people to participate in a diverse and plural society, where they will have to critically evaluate issues of the day and come to their own judgments. These skills become all the more important when they turn 21 and have to vote.
Such discussions also contribute to greater civic agency, giving young people the belief that citizens have the power to make a difference. This in turn results in an increased willingness to participate in the civic or political life of a society.
Authentic discussions also help empower young Singaporeans by fostering in them a belief that they have a stake in Singapore’s future.
Discussing controversial issues at school could help students think critically, to assess the validity and effectiveness of different courses of actions.
ENLIGHTENED POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT
Discussing meaningful and contemporary issues also leads to what Walter Parker from the University of Washington calls “enlightened political engagement”: The knowledge and skills to make wise and informed decisions, grounded in democratic values.
Young people should have numerous opportunities to practise this kind of decision-making.
Discussing controversial issues also provides numerous academic benefits. Through discussion, students develop critical thinking and reasoning skills, because they are required to develop strong arguments and provide supporting evidence for their claims.
Importantly, discussing controversial issues also contributes to a willingness to work with classmates who hold diverse viewpoints that may be different from their own. Such discussions also teach students how to listen respectfully to their classmates and to carefully analyse their classmates’ arguments, giving them a sense of perspective.
Students exposed to such discussions reported feeling more engaged in their lessons and indicated that they understood course content better.
DIFFICULT AND CHALLENGING
If there are so many societal and educational benefits to discussing controversial issues in the classroom, why then are so few teachers - in Singapore and in other countries - willing to do it?
Singapore teachers who wish to address controversial public issues in their classrooms face constraints. My own research has shown that they are particularly concerned about the impact of breaking laws, breaching norms especially important OB markers, and faced with the pressures of national examinations, many do not want to deviate from the prescribed official curriculum. Teachers also face pressures such as the threat of external challenges or sanctions, and censure from superiors or peers.
But this is not a straightforward link. Teacher uncertainty, as well as these pressures, play a significant role in limiting teachers’ willingness and ability to address controversial issues on race and religion in their classroom. The absence of explicit support from school leaders and the government for them to do can also contribute to high levels of uncertainty, insecurity and self-censorship on the part of teachers.
File picture of secondary school students in Singapore using mobile devices and laptops. (Photo: TODAY)
Fundamentally, teaching controversial issues and facilitating high-quality discussions in classrooms is difficult and challenging. Teachers need to have a deep understanding of the subject matter, be familiar with different pedagogical strategies and approaches, know their students well, and be willing to empower their students by ceding some control of their classroom.
TEACHERS NEED HIGH LEVELS OF SUPPORT
What can we do to address the constraints faced by teachers? If we truly believe in the democratic and educative value of discussing controversial issues, we need to ensure that Singapore teachers receive high levels of explicit support from school administrators and the Ministry of Education, even though some of the topics they address may be unpalatable or difficult to discuss.
Teachers should also be provided with more curricular resources and professional development opportunities so that they can create thoughtful and meaningful lessons for their students, and learn to manage the overtones of such difficult discussions.
In the era of fake news, political and religious extremism, and the proliferation of multiple sources of information, it is abundantly clear that we need to move away from top-down conceptions of education.
Research shows that one of the most effective ways of doing this is providing students the chance to discuss controversial public issues in-depth.
Ho Li-Ching is president of the Singapore Association for Social Studies Education and associate professor of social studies education at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
This commentary is part of Channel NewsAsia’s series on learning and education.
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...gapore-teachers-manage-issues-of-race-9049662
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The more successful Singapore is, the harder it is to attract political talent: Chan Chun Sing
File photo of Chan Chun Sing. (Photo: Justin Ong)
Channel News Asia
22 Jul 2017 07:15AM (Updated: 22 Jul 2017 02:08PM)
SINGAPORE: He has been in politics for just six years, but Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and NTUC Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing has already held several key roles, and his name invariably comes up in discussions on the People’s Action Party's (PAP) fourth generation of leaders and potential prime ministers.
Since entering politics in 2011, he was promoted to a full minister in 2013, helming the Social and Family Development Ministry, with his rise being among the swiftest among those who entered politics in the landmark 2011 hustings. Even before his political career, Mr Chan was a high flier in Government, rising through the ranks in the military before making it to Chief of Army.
He went “On the Record” with Bharati Jagdish about just this – the criticism that too many political leaders in Singapore have come from the ranks of the civil service and military, and whether it was time for greater diversity in political leadership. They first talked about how he thinks the Government can deliver after the mandate it received in the 2015 General Election.
Bharati: Some have remarked, and this is a criticism that has been levelled at, not just you, but several others in Cabinet: “What would a man from the army know about policy-making, about serving the people in everyday civilian life? Why have these people been parachuted into the Cabinet?"
What do you have to say to that?
Chan: Actually if you look at the background of the Cabinet team, they all come from very different backgrounds, some from the business side, some from the military, some from the civil service, and even within those from the military or the civil service, they do have quite different backgrounds, but I think what unites us all is this sense of mission that we want to pass on - a Singapore that is stronger and better for the next generation of Singaporeans.
And if you look at the kinds of experiences that they bring to the table regardless of (their) background, they would have dealt with a diverse spectrum of people in their previous assignment. I can't speak for all of them but if you look at the military, the very unique thing about the Singapore Armed Forces is that we have a conscription system. Many foreigners may think that the conscription system is a weakness. But actually, we have turned the constraint into an opportunity.
Bharati: How so?
Chan: Because of conscription we are able to enlist people from all walks of life into the military. And if you look at the quality of our NS (National Service) commanders and NSF commanders, they are very confident and they do very well, even compared to many of the regular armed forces. And when they interact with the regular armed forces, the regular armed forces are pleasantly surprised by the quality and drive that they have. The other thing I have learnt very early on in the military is that when we interact with civilians from all walks of life as NSmen and NSFs, they also bring with them the very best ideas from the civilian world, which allows the SAF to progress much faster than it would otherwise.
I’ll give you a very tangible example. Back in the 1990s when computers were not so common yet, one of the first NSmen who come back from ICT, he introduced to us a 5.25-inch diskette. He said: "Why are you guys still typing orders in the old traditional way? Why don't you use the computers, have a template, and you can teach the people to do things much faster, better, and you can standardise the processes much more effectively?"
Those were very early days of the computers. I always reflected on that episode because it reminded me that if we had only depended on ideas within the regular cohort in the military, perhaps we would not have moved as fast as we would have been able to do over the many years the SAF existed. So we depended a lot on the good ideas from people from all walks of life.
I can give you another example - when we design our systems, whether it’s the rifle or tanks or armoured vehicles used in SAF today, we look at the next generation of youngsters who are not in the military to come in, and give us those ideas, because the design philosophy is this: We need the next generation to design the vehicles and weapons systems for the next generation, and not this generation designing for the next generation. Because of this, my background in the military gave me a wide opportunity for me to be exposed to everybody across the entire spectrum of Singapore and I thought that was a good way for me to acquaint myself with the fears, concerns, and aspirations of people from all walks of life.
Bharati: However, while you pointed out earlier that there is diversity within the Cabinet, commentators too have said that there is too much of a tilt towards those from the civil service and those from the military. To what extent do you think it's time to diversify even more, in spite of the fact that you said being in the military is itself a varied experience that puts you in touch with people from all walks of life. Why not diversify even more so that a fresh perspective can be injected into policy-making?
Chan: I don't think we don't diversify. I think actually in every stage of our development we try to bring in people from as diverse a background as possible. It is not always possible. When it is not possible, you have to have other mechanisms to make sure that you have a diversity of views beyond the diversity of personnel. There are two aspects to this.
One, how do you structure the system to get the diversity of views even if the particular person or particular area of expertise may not be present within the Cabinet or in the core team? That requires us to have an active process to go out, solicit views, hear peoples' fears, concerns, aspirations, to understand how we can do things better. That is one set of things we have to do.
The other set of things we have to do is to constantly search and widen our search. This is not so easy. There is an observation that many people from the civil service and military can cross over into public service in terms of political service because many of them, like me, would see it as a continuation of public service. That crossover is actually a bit easier.
If you talk to people in the private sector, it's a different lifestyle, it's a different upbringing, there will be challenges, and it is sometimes also structural.
I will be very specific. If you ask someone in the private sector (at) the age of late 30s or early 40s and say: "Would you like to join the political service?" It's not so easy for many of them, because they are in a phase of their career where their trajectory is probably rising the fastest.
File photo of Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing. (Photo: Ngau Kai Yan)
Eisner Awards 2017: Graphic novelist Sonny Liew becomes first Singaporean to win at 'Oscars of comics'
By Mayo Martin@MayoMartinCNA
22 Jul 2017 12:01PM(Updated: 22 Jul 2017 11:29PM)
SINGAPORE: Graphic novelist Sonny Liew has become the first Singaporean to win at the prestigious Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, more commonly known as the Eisner Awards.
And he has done so in impressive fashion: The 42-year-old Malaysia-born artist bagged three awards for his graphic novel The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye at the prestigious event, which was held in San Diego on Saturday morning (Jul 22) during the Comic-Con International.
Liew’s awards haul includes Best Writer/Artist, Best Publication Design, and Best US Edition of International Material – Asia.
Sonny Liew with his awards for Best Writer/Artist, Best Publication Design, and Best US Edition of International Material – Asia. (Photo: Chan Shiuan)
The annual awards is named after pioneering artist and writer Will Eisner and is widely regarded as the "Oscars" of the comics industry.
The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, which chronicles the life of a fictional Singaporean from the 1950s to the present, had earlier received the most number of nominations this year with six.
He was also nominated for Best Lettering, Best Coloring, and Best Graphic Album – New.
"It was a mixture of elation and disbelief mostly," Liew told Channel NewsAsia. "(I'm) still processing the idea of winning awards at an event where some of my cartooning heroes like Sergio Aragones were presenting."
When asked about the significance of his historic Eisner-winning moment for Singapore's comics scene, he added: "I don't think it's possible to predict... I'm just trying to enjoy the moment for what it is."
From left to right: Jeff Smith, creator of the cult indie comic book series Bone; Sonny Liew; Sergio Aragones, creator of comic book series Groo The Wanderer, who is also known for his contributions to Mad magazine. (Photo: Chan Shiuan)
This year’s nominees number more than 120 titles from 50 publishers from all over the world, and the winners were chosen via online voting by industry professionals.
He had previously received Eisner Awards nominations for his efforts on the comics anthology Liquid City and the mini-series Wonderland. He has also done work for the likes of Marvel and DC Comics, including a recent stint for the latter's Doctor Fate title.
First published in Singapore by Epigram Books in 2015, the novel was subsequently released in the US by Pantheon Books.
“Sonny deserves this. We always believed in this book, and it should be read by all Singaporeans, including schoolchildren,” Epigram Books publisher Edmund Wee told Channel NewsAsia.
Since its release, it has continuously garnered awards, such as the Singapore Literature Prize and the Singapore Book Award’s Book of the Year. Last month, it won best international comic at Denmark’s Pingprisen Awards. It has also reached the bestsellers lists at Amazon and The New York Times.
Prior to its success, The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye became the centre of controversy after the National Arts Council withdrew its S$8,000 grant after citing “sensitive content”.
The graphic novel features personalities such as Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, opposition politician Lim Chin Siong and events such as 1987’s Operation Spectrum and the Hock Lee bus riots.
Among his current projects is a live performance piece titled Becoming Graphic, for the Singapore International Festival of Arts in August.
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...hic-novelist-sonny-liew-becomes-first-9051868
Bowled over by S’pore’s first Deaflympic medals
Fans turn up at the airport to welcome home bowling medallists Kimberly Quek (second from right) and Adelia Naomi Yokoyama (right) from the 2017 Deaflympics in Turkey. They beat South Korea and Russia in the Women’s Master event, with Naomi clinching gold and Kimberly bronze. Photo: Wee Teck Hian
By Toh Ee Ming
Published: 4:00 AM, August 4, 2017
SINGAPORE — Growing up, 18-year-old Adelia Naomi Yokoyama — who was born deaf — looked up to her two older sisters.
Elisa Yukie, now 20, went on to become the Optimist sailing world champion in 2012 and Natasha, 22, is a former national sailor.
But fears over Naomi being too far from safety at sea, as well as her cochlear implant, which cannot be exposed to water, meant that she could not follow in their footsteps.
However, she discovered bowling in primary school and soon fell in love with the atmosphere at the alley and even “the sound of bowling pins”.
Last Saturday, Naomi was part of a duo that achieved a historic feat for Singapore and its deaf community.
She and 17-year-old Kimberly Quek clinched two medals in bowling at the 2017 Deaflympics held in Samsun, Turkey — the first since the Republic began participating in the Deaflympics in 2001.
They beat powerhouses South Korea and Russia in the Women’s Master event, with Naomi clinching gold and Kimberly, the bronze.
It was Naomi’s first outing on the international stage and her mother, Madam Sharifah Masturah Shahab, 51, said the family knew “it was going to be really tough”.
“My husband was (telling me about how) she beat Russia, and a few hours later she beat Korea … Slowly, she was climbing,” said Mdm Sharifah, a special-needs teacher at Rainbow Centre who had been busy with a community event that day.
It was dinnertime in Singapore when the last few rounds of the contest rolled around.
Glued to a live Facebook stream of the match, the family kept on “screaming” in a quiet Thai restaurant in Siglap, then decided to watch the finals in the car. “Our hearts stopped many times,” said Mdm Sharifah.
Naomi found herself surprisingly calm in the face of pressure, going on to defeat women’s all-events champion Kim Jieun in the finals by 230 to 169 pinfalls.
“It was really intense and tough, but I’m glad I did it,” she said.
The girls’ wins propelled Singapore to 30th place out of 97 countries in the overall medal tally of this year’s Deaflympics, which ended on Sunday.
The contingent of the five bowlers and four officials were all smiles when they arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 1 on Wednesday evening.
A modest but enthusiastic crowd of family, friends and representatives from the Singapore Association for the Deaf, Singapore Deaf Youth Section, Singapore Sports School and Singapore Disability Sports Council showed up wearing red, with Madam Sharifah leading them in chants and songs.
Madam Tham Meng Chee, 46, said her daughter Kimberly had felt down after not being able to clinch a medal in the other categories such as the women’s singles and doubles.
Her husband, Mr Jonathan Quek, 47, had tagged along on the trip to Turkey, posting WhatsApp updates on Kimberley’s progress.
When she heard about the medal, Madam Tham “teared up”.
“All we were hoping for her was to gain the exposure and experience, because we knew she was up against many countries … We’re really proud of her achievements,” she said.
“When she was born with this condition, our world was falling apart, we didn’t think there was any future … But we had a lot of help and we’re thankful for all the opportunities for her.”
Kimberly set a personal record of 1,269 pinfalls in her best game, making history among Singapore’s deaf bowlers.
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng, who was also at the airport, dubbed the duo the new “golden girls of Singapore”.
The TODAY Enable Fund, set up to support the aspirations of the special-needs community, contributed S$3,000 for the association’s trip to the Deaflympics.
Chef de mission and Deaf Sports Association (Singapore) president Loh Eng Meng said the team was supposed to fly back on July 27, but decided to extend their stay as he felt the girls had the potential to qualify as the top 24 to enter the Women’s Master event.
After some much-needed rest and a celebratory barbeque this Sunday, Naomi and Kimberly will be gunning for their next challenges, which include the first-ever Asean Deaf Games in Bangkok next year and the Asia Pacific Deaf Games in 2019.
Mr Loh hopes to send more deaf athletes to these events, competing across more categories. He added: “We had secretly hoped for one of them to bring back Singapore’s first Deaflympics medal, but for both of them to win and to see our flag being raised for the first time at this major games ... the feeling is indescribable.”
‘Things didn’t go my way and I received a PSLE T-score of 203″ – Sabrina Chau of Sports School, scorer of 45 points for IB
By Les Tan on March 8, 2017
Sabrina Chau (left) with Ms Oh Hui Min, her Chinese Language teacher. (Photo courtesy of Singapore Sports School)
Sabrina Chau Shu Ning, 18, of Singapore Sports School, scored a perfect 45 points for her International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.
Sabrina is one of 14 Sports School student-athletes who sat for the IB examinations in November 2016. The results were announced earlier this year on January 5, 2017.
The result marks a remarkable transformation for Sabrina who entered Sports School with a Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) T-score of 203, the lowest of her 14-strong IB cohort. Nine of the 14 Sports School student-athletes who sat for the examinations scored 42 points and above.
Sabrina is one of 57 students who had a perfect score island wide. Of 57, 48 were from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), two were from Hwa Chong International School, and one from St. Joseph’s Institution.
“Singapore Sports School is delighted with the excellent results. Our student-athletes and teachers worked very hard to show that it is possible to combine regular sports training and academic studies. They have also proven that last year’s stellar performance was not a one-off,” said Principal of Sports School, Tan Teck Hock.
Red Sports caught up with Sabrina for an interview.
RED SPORTS: Please tell us about your journey to Singapore Sports School. How did you feel about attending the school in Secondary 1?
Sabrina: Golf was my CCA in primary school and since there was a golf academy in the Sports School, many people suggested that I try out for the Sports School. Because my brother was already attending the Sports School at that time, my parents encouraged me to try out.
When I was accepted into the school in Primary 6, I was invited to attend two orientation camps in P6 that were really fun. These camps made me pretty excited about attending the school in Secondary 1, even though my brother warned me that it wasn’t going to be all fun and games.
RED SPORTS: Tell us some of your memorable highlights of studying, training, and playing sport in Singapore Sports School.
Sabrina: I have many memorable highlights from my journey in the Sports School, but I think some of the major highlights came from the overseas trips that the school sent me on.
In my six years there, I went on trips to Thailand, Malaysia, Perth, London, Barcelona and China with my schoolmates. We got to experience all kinds of things, from attempting to surf in Perth to watching Les Miserables in West End.
The wonderful thing about these trips was that not only did we get to experience different cultures, but we also got to grow closer to our teammates and classmates.
Back in everyday school life, I have so many memorable highlights that I’m not sure which ones to mention. Training wise, I always loved the mini competitions we would play during training. In classes, what I really enjoyed were the conversations and discussions we had with one another.
But like every other teenager, the most memorable experiences came from what happened outside of these activities. Our crazy birthday bashes, our random jamming sessions and our impromptu basketball games are the memories that I will always hold close to my heart.
RED SPORTS: Tell us how you came to do the IB programme and what was it about the programme you found interesting and challenging.
Sabrina: One of my main reasons for wanting to enter the Singapore Sports School was the prospect of entering the IB Programme. I thought the programme sounded interesting and challenging, so I wanted to give it a try.
Things didn’t go my way and I received a PSLE T-score of 203, which didn’t allow me to qualify for the IB pathway and put me in the bottom of my Secondary 1 class. But I wasn’t going to give up, so I worked hard in Secondary 1 and 2 to get a place in the Pre-IB class in Secondary 3.
What I like about the IB Programme is its breadth. I liked how in IB we got to learn things like astrophysics and the theory of knowledge, which were new and refreshing. I also like the fact that we were tested in many different ways. We had to write many mini research papers and do frequent oral presentations, which I feel will really help me in the future.
The challenging part about the programme was trying to complete our Internal Assessments and Extended Essay (which are like mini research papers/reports based on syllabus material that we had to find on our own), while also trying to find the time to study for our exams. But I think regardless of these challenges, I had the best time in the IB Programme because of my amazing teachers and classmates.
Singapore students win 12 gold medals at International Olympiads
The Straits Times
1 hour ago
The experts and the team competing in the biology olympiad, (from left) Mr Marcus Chan, Dr Chen Zhong, ( Ms Lim Yan Ling, Mr Lucas Yeo, Ms Aditi Saayujya, Mr Muzammil Arif Din S/O Abdul Jabbar, Ms Li Jiaqi, Dr Beverly Goh and Dr Ng Ngan Kee.PHOTO: MOE
The experts and the team competing in the chemistry olympiad (from left) Madam Ng Yu Rui, Dr Zhang Sheng, Miss Tang Yimian, Mr Lam Tze King, Mr Liau Yi Qian, Matthias, Mr Zhang Zhiyuan, Dr Tan Wee Boon and Mr Tham Zi Sheng.PHOTO: MOE
The experts and the team that competed in the informatics olympiad (from left) Mr Lam Yun Shao Ranald, Dr Steven Halim, Ms Lim Li, Mr Huang Xing Chen, Mr Pang Wen Yuen, Mr Zhang Guangxuan, Madam Tan-Moh Tser Ni Eileen and Associate Professor Tan Sun Teck.PHOTO: MOE
The experts and team members that competed in the mathematics olympiad (from left) Dr Tay Tiong Seng, Mr Ai Xinghuan, Mr Joel Tan Junyao, Mr Dylan Toh Shan Hong, Mr Clarence Chew Xuan Da, Mr Wang Jianzhi, Mr Ng Yu Peng, Mr Bryan Wang Peng Jun, Mr Ling Yan Hao, Mr Teh Jiun Harn, Associate Professor Wong Yan Loi and Mr Thomas Teo.PHOTO: MOE
The experts and team that competed in the physics olympiad (from left) Mr Bernard Ricardo, Ms Yenny Wijaya, Ms Yang Yarong, Mr Darren Wayne Lim, Mr Bradley Teo Wei Jie, Mr Lee Vint Ve Shein Lin Htut, Mr Ma Zhao Yu, Mr Ong Hong Ming Teddy, Mrs Fabiola Soong and Associate Professor Rajdeep Singh Rawat.PHOTO: MOE
SINGAPORE - Students from Singapore clinched a total of 12 gold medals in five International Olympiads.
The Olympiads were for biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and informatics. They were held overseas between July and August (2017).
The students also won seven silver and three bronze medals, as well as an honourable mention, the Education Ministry in a statement on Tuesday (Aug 15).
In the Sciences and Informatics Olympiads, they are also tested on their ability to carry out experiments and programming.
Singapore's best performance was in the International Physics Olympiad, where the team won five gold medals and came in first among 394 participants from 86 countries.
The students were drawn from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, Hwa Chong Institution and Raffles Institution.
They were led by experts from institutions such as National Institute of Education at the Nanyang Technological University, the National University of Singapore's biological sciences department, junior colleges and the Education Ministry.
In 2016, Singapore won a total of 13 gold and nine silver medals as well as one bronze medal.
Official Results of IPhO 2017
48th International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) 2017
Some of the gold medal winners:
SINGAPORE (5 Gold)
1. Lee Vint Ve Shein Lin Htut
2. Ma Zhao Yu
3. Ong Hong Ming Teddy
4. Bradley Teo Wei Jie
5. Darren Wayne Lim
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (5 Gold}
1. Qiantan Hong
2. Xiquan Zheng
3. Zhun Wang
4. Haoyang Gao
5. Pinyuan Wang
RUSSIA (5 Gold)
1. Sergei Vlasenko
2. Stanislav Krymskii
3. Vasilii Iugov
4. Dmitrii Plotnikov
5. Kirill Parshukov
REPUBLIC OF KOREA (5 Gold)
1. Seokwon Choi
2. Soomin Shin
3. Soonhyun Kwon
4. Jongmin Kim
5. Sangwook Tae
INDIA (4 Gold)
1. Debaditya Pramanik
2. Lay Jain
3. Ameya Patwardhan
4. Ananye Agarwal
ROMANIA (4 Gold)
1. Anca Dragulescu
2. Razvan Octavian Radu
3. Radu Andrei
4. Petru Cotrut
VIETNAM (4 Gold)
1. Ta Ba Dung
2. Tran Huu Binh Minh
3. Dinh Anh Dung
4. Nguyen The Quynh
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (3 Gold)
BRAZIL (3 Gold)
1. Victor Almeida Ivo
2. Diogo Correia Netto
3. Gabriel Golfetti
CHINESE TAIPEI (3 Gold)
1. Shao-Chun Wang
2. Yun-Chung Chen
3. Chi-Kang Pai
The other Singapore gold medal winners include:
Sunday 23 July to Sunday 30 July 2017
About the International Biology Olympiad (IBO)
The International Biology Olympiad (IBO) is an annual event where students from all over the world compete on their knowledge of biology. The participants are pre-university school students. To take part in the IBO, the students must be in the top four in the National Biology Olympiad in their individual countries.
IBO 2017 was organised by the Royal Society of Biology in partnership with The University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
1. Aditi Saayujya
2. Lucas Yeo
3. Muzammil Arif Din S/O Abdul Jabbar
"Bonding the World with Chemistry"
49th INTERNATIONAL CHEMISTRY OLYMPIAD
6 - 15 July 2017, Nakhon Pathom, THAILAND
1. Matthias Liau Yi Quan
2. Tze King Lam
International Mathematical Olympiad
July 12 to 23, 2017
1. Joel Junyao Tan
2. Bryan Peng Jun Wang
Critically endangered hawksbill turtle seen laying eggs at East Coast Park
A hawksbill turtle was seen laying eggs at East Coast Park on Aug 23, 2017. (Photo: NParks)
24 Aug 2017 11:44AM (Updated: 24 Aug 2017 11:58AM)
“Following the best practices of some of the most established turtle hatcheries in the world, our colleagues monitored the process to ensure that the conditions were favourable for the turtle,” said NParks in the post. “We are excited to share this very special moment with all of you here.”
Last Wednesday, turtle hatchlings were seen trying to make their way to the sea at East Coast Park.
They were befuddled by bright lights and got some help from NParks officers, who moved them to a more suitable location.
Singapore waters are home to two types of turtles – the green turtle and the hawksbill.
While the turtles have been known to come ashore to lay eggs at East Coast Park, it is rare to observe an animal in action.
Members of the public who see turtles can call NParks at 1800-4717300. NParks urged the public to keep their distance from the turtle and the eggs.
“Touching the turtle may scare or provoke it. Handling the eggs may damage them, or introduce bacteria into the nest.”
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...sbill-turtle-seen-laying-eggs-at-east-9152490
‘World’s largest pre-school’ opens in Singapore, with capacity for 2,100 children
The 50,000 sq ft Early Learning Village at Lorong Chuan is the result of a collaboration between two international schools.
A view of the Early Learning Village. (Photo: Early Learning Village)
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...pens-singapore-capacity-2100-children-9169350
30 Aug 2017 11:00AM (Updated: 30 Aug 2017 10:44PM)
SINGAPORE: A pre-school with capacity for 2,100 children officially opened in Singapore on Wednesday (Aug 30).
The Early Learning Village, located next to the Australian International School (AIS) campus in Lorong Chuan, is a collaboration between AIS and the Stamford American International School. At 50,000 sq ft, with five buildings and more than 100 classrooms, it is the world’s largest pre-school for children aged 18 months to six years, both schools said.
The campus features various multifunctional spaces like outdoor play decks, and a 20m swimming pool with short horizontal lanes for beginners, and longer ones for more confident swimmers.
The Early Learning Village campus is purpose-built for children aged 18 months to six years. (Photo: Howard Law)
The 20m swimming pool has short horizontal lanes for beginners, and longer ones for more confident swimmers. (Photo: Howard Law)
While both schools are in one location, they operate independently and offer different curriculums. Stamford American offers the International Baccalaureate and US curriculum from August to June, while AIS offers the Australian curriculum from January to December.
Cognita, the education group which operates both Stamford American and AIS, said that having two schools in the Early Learning Village benefits them both in terms of business and education.
"With two schools, two heads are better than one," said Michael Drake, CEO of Cognita Asia. "I think collaboration really adds a lot of value into education because we can be saying what works for you ... what works for me, and they would learn faster together."
On the business side, having more children means greater economies of scale.
“If we had set up schools separately we wouldn’t have been able to have such an amazing facility that we can both share,” said Mr Michael Day, Stamford American’s early years’ principal.
Pre-schoolers from the Australian International School playing at one of the Early Learning Village's outdoor play decks. (Photo: Howard Law)
And special effort has been made to ensure that the campus remains a cosy and intimate place for the children, despite its size. Children in the same year group are housed on separate floors, and classrooms are clustered in groups of four in order to create small communities within each level.
“The building does look large when you come in from the outside,” said Mr Adam Patterson, head of early years at AIS. “But for the children and the parents, the experience is that the hub of four classrooms is like a secure little village school.
“And because we have play decks on many different levels, they can go out to the play deck any time they like, and it’s not like every single child goes out to play at 12pm.”
Children from the Stamford American International School in class at the Early Learning Village. (Photo: Howard Law)
The Early Learning Village is open to all nationalities, including Singaporeans. More than 80 Singaporean children are currently enrolled.
Fees vary depending on the age of the child and number of days attending. For a three-year-old attending the school five days a week, the fee is around S$14,500 a semester. There are two semesters in a year.
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...pens-singapore-capacity-2100-children-9169350
Sorry double posting.
Nine airlines to operate from Changi Airport T4, set to open Oct 31
Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4 (T4) will open on Oct 31, with nine airlines shifting over to commence operations in the new terminal over the course of a week. Photo: Nuria Ling/TODAY
Published: 11:30 AM, September 6, 2017
Updated: 11:51 AM, September 6, 2017
SINGAPORE – Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 (T4) will open on Oct 31, and nine airlines will shift their operations to the new terminal.
The nine airlines – Cathay Pacific Airways, Cebu Pacific Air, Korean Air, Spring Airlines, Vietnam Airlines and four under the AirAsia Group – will progressively move their operations over to the new terminal.
Cathay Pacific Airways and Korean Air will shift operations to T4 on opening day, Tuesday Oct 31, while Cebu Pacific Air and Spring Airlines will make their move on Nov 2. The AirAsia Group and Vietnam Airlines will shift operations on Nov 7.
The Changi Airport Group said in a media release that the first arrival and departure flights at T4 will be operated by Cathay Pacific. The first flight – CX659 from Hong Kong is scheduled to arrive at 0540am, while the first departing flight – CX650 to Hong Kong is scheduled to leave at 6:50am.
Announcing the opening of T4 in a Facebook post on Wednesday (Sept 6), Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that in the lead up to the opening, the “Changi Airport Group (CAG) conducted more than 100 trials involving 2,500 airport staff and 1,500 volunteers from the airport community”.
Mr Khaw also shared that volunteers from People’s Association, students from tertiary institutions and various support groups also role-played as passengers, and “after endless rounds of testing and fine-tuning, we are ready to open T4.”
The new terminal will also add a capacity of 16 million passengers per year to Changi Airport, bringing the airport’s total annual handling capacity to 82 million passenger movements, according to CAG.
Members of the public were able to get a sneak preview of the terminal last month, from Aug 7 to 20. During the two-week open house, self-guided tours around the terminal covered features like the Heritage Zone, kinetic art displays and an integrated duty-free shopping area. Visitors also had a chance to learn about the Fast and Seamless Travel (Fast) technology, which includes facial recognition and self-service bag-tagging.
(click to enlarge) First arriving and departing flights at the new Terminal 4. Photo: CAG
Mr Tan Lye Teck, CAG’s Executive Vice President (Airport Management), said: “The past months have been a very crucial period for us as we conducted intensive tests and trials, not only to ensure that the systems work well, but also to understand how passengers navigate the new terminal, including interacting with initiatives such as FAST which may be less familiar to them.”
Singapore edges into top 10 best countries to work in, according to expats
Reuters file photo
The US and UK are tumbling in a ranking by 13,000 expatriates of 166 nationalities.
Published: 5:05 PM, September 6, 2017
Updated: 5:29 PM, September 6, 2017
NEW YORK — The reputations of the US and UK as good places to live and work are in free fall among some of the world’s most mobile and cosmopolitan people, while the Lion City registered ninth on the charts.
Since last year’s presidential and Brexit votes, both the US and Britain are perceived as less friendly to foreigners and less politically stable, according to a survey of almost 13,000 expatriates of 166 nationalities. Expats also say the two countries’ quality of life is declining by other measures, especially the affordability of child care and health care in the US and housing in the UK.
The Expat Insider survey is conducted each year by InterNations, a network of 2.8 million expats based in Munich. It aims to capture the views of millions of executives, skilled workers, students and retirees who live outside the country where they grew up. There are about 50 million expats worldwide, according to market research by Finaccord, and the number is expected to hit 60 million over the next five years.They often have a choice of where they want to live, and their opinions matter to countries that want to attract talented and affluent people.
The top-ranked country in 2017 is Bahrain, given high marks by its expats as a place to work and raise a family and for making foreigners feel welcome. It vastly outranks Persian Gulf neighbours such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which ranked in the bottom 10 of the 65 countries in the survey.
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Greece was at the very bottom of the list, weighed down by the country’s economic problems. Australia, which ranked in the top 10 last year, dropped more than any other country, to 34th place. Expats’ ratings of jobs, career prospects, work hours and work-life balance all dropped.
One of the expats’ favourite places to work is China, where two-thirds of respondents are happy with their careers. But China ranks 55 out of 65 overall because of quality of life. Expats, especially those with children, are concerned about the severe pollution and the quality and cost of health care and education.
Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan, which topped last year’s list, slipped to fourth place, while Singapore edged into the top 10. Hong Kong, Singapore’s long-time rival, languished at 39th, up five places on last year.
The UK ranks 54, down 21 places from last year’s survey, after its June 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Before the referendum, 77 per cent of expats in the UK had a favourable opinion of the nation’s political stability down to 47 per cent this year. (The survey was conducted in February and March, before the most recent British election.) Just half of expats say the UK has a good attitude toward foreign residents, compared to 67 per cent worldwide.
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Expats in Britain have also soured on its economy. The weak pound and higher inflation put the UK 59th for personal finance. Almost two-thirds of its expats have an unfavourable opinion of its cost of living, with 69 per cent unhappy with the affordability of housing.
Oh, and the weather. Three in five expats don’t like it.
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The US seems to have lost some lustre after a year of political volatility, said Malte Zeeck, a founder and co-chief executive officer of InterNations. Just 36 per cent of expats have a positive opinion of America’s political stability, down from 68 per cent in last year’s survey.
Overall, the US is ranked 43rd of 65 contenders, 17 places lower than last year. But its reputation was already falling before the election results came in. As recently as 2014’s survey, the U.S. was No. 5. One bright spot is that 69 per cent of expats have a favourable view of the American economy.
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Current political issues are evident in the results: Some 72 per cent of expats in the US say health care is unaffordable, and the US ranks 50 by measures of health and well-being. Its transportation infrastructure was rated “very good” by just 15 per cent of the expats, less than half of the global average. The US ranks last for affordability of child care and 39 out of 45 countries ranked for education affordability.
Americans still have a reputation as welcoming, but that perception is shifting. Three years ago, 84 per cent of expats rated the US positively on ”friendly attitude to foreign residents,” and just 5 per cent negatively. By 2017, the negative ratings had tripled, and the positive ratings had dropped 16 points. BLOOMBERG
S’pore takes top spot in meeting UN health-related targets: Study
AFP file photo
Wong Pei Ting
Published: 6:30 AM, September 13, 2017
Updated: 9:44 PM, September 13, 2017
SINGAPORE — Singapore emerged tops from among 188 countries in attaining health-related goals set by the United Nation (UN), a report showed. The findings were published in medical journal Lancet today (Sept 13).
The results were based on an analysis of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It looked at how well countries were progressing towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in terms of health.
To do this, researchers measured 37 of 50 health-related SDG indicators over the period from 1990 to 2016 for the countries, and on the basis of these past trends, they projected indicators to 2030.
The Lancet study found that Singapore is closer than any other country in the world to achieving the goals, even ahead of Nordic countries that are traditionally known for their strong healthcare systems.
Leading with a score of 87 out of 100, Singapore broke its tie with Iceland and Sweden, showing improvements in health and living standards, as well as a propensity to do well years down the road. The three countries shared top spot in the same study last year with a score of 85.
Those struggling the most to meet the goals are Afghanistan, Central African Republic and Somalia, which scored just 11 points.
The latest study had new goal indicators such as vaccine coverage and well-certified death registrations, and Singapore did notably well in its achievements in lowering child mortality and improving death registration — being one of only four countries to achieve a perfect score of 100.
It also scored particularly high for its advancements in universal health coverage, homicide rate, and road injury mortality, among others.
However, the findings also showed that Singapore could improve in its mitigation of matters related to air quality.
Among the top 25 countries on that list, which includes the United States, United Kingdom and Japan, Singapore scored the worst in its population’s exposure to atmospheric particulate matter, and deaths attributable to air pollution.
It also did markedly poorer than the top five countries in its efforts to alleviate the incidence rates of tuberculosis and HIV.
The health-related goals that were used as a guidepost in the Lancet study were set by the UN in September 2015 as part of its international development agenda. They cover a broad range of issues including neonatal and maternal mortalities; incidence of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria; levels of smoking, alcohol, and violence; and exposure to air pollution.
Of the 24 indicators measured that comes with defined UN targets, the study found that just less than 10 per cent of the countries (18 countries, including Singapore) are projected to meet at least 10 targets by the 2030 deadline.
Reiterating its point last year that the UN goals are “ambitious”, this year’s report cited the UN target to end the HIV and tuberculosis epidemics as an example, and said: “We still found that no country was projected to meet this target for tuberculosis and no additional countries reached this target for HIV.”
The report highlighted the need for increased “intersectoral action” among worse-off countries to ensure that all countries can reach the health goals. This may be done by focusing on key socio-demographic factors such as “improving educational attainment and reducing poverty”.
More than 13 billion data points were gathered by nearly 2,700 collaborators from more than 130 countries and territories for the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study, which is said to be the “largest and most comprehensive epidemiological effort” to quantify the loss of health due to disease and injuries across places and over time.