Category Archives: Educational News in Singapore

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Financial Education for the young

OR teach your child about REAL money sense?

Teach your child about choco money

Have you ever thought of why there are students who graduate from tertiary institutes not knowing how to manage the money that they earn?  

Lack of financial education in schools and for the young by parents could possibly be the reason why.  

In the Singapore pre-tertiary education system or most of the others all around the world, emphasis is placed on science, technology or the arts. The curriculum setting focuses on depth in these fields and hence would not be able to allow subjects like financial management or investing. Nonetheless, financial literacy workshops held in schools are on the rise. What is more important however, is how parents play their role to educate their children from young. It is critical that parents inculcate wise financial management habits in their children so that they know how to better manage their money that they earn once they step out into the working world.  

Here are some tips we would like to share:
1. Basic fixed allowance over e.g. a week or a month enough to cater to your child’s required meals and other necessities but not in excess will teach them the preciousness of money.  

2. Big ticket items and holidays as reward for hard work or plan it with your child in the basic fixed allowance by increasing it with a fixed daily savings plan for your child.  

3. Let your child do the groceries paying at the cashier counter and when she is old enough (Primary 5 at least when % is taught), explain to her about how the GST is added on top of the sub-total bill.  

4. If you are investor-savvy, educate your child by letting your child own a share of reputable listed companies under his name and teach them about how it can grow and might also depreciate due to business failings. (Recommended when your child is of certain age preferably above 12)   

5. Borrow some money management books with interesting illustrations or share with your child personally your experiences and educate them about the importance of saving, investing wisely and the pitfalls of greed.  

6. Last tip: Open a savings bank account for your child early!  

Financial education for the young is important for the bright future and dreams that your children want to pursue. Start now and think about how you can contribute to your children’s financial literacy today!

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How much does private tuition help? – The economist’s view

lineargraphOr  concavegraph  ??

 In Singapore, everyone knows how much emphasis is placed on education and the importance of having a quality education. This results in stiff competition for all major examinations as students work their socks off to vie for places in either top schools or the school of their choice.

Private tuition has already become a social norm in Singapore, but just how much does private tuition help? Well, we would say that it depends on many factors that are unique to each child. In general, some of the factors could be:

1. Character and learning style (visual/ auditory/ kinesthetic)- more on this in the next part of our EduSnips series

2. Level of knowledge in the subject

3. Learning pace

4. Setting (E.g. One-to-One tuition or in class) 

5. Delivery medium or delivery method preferred

Some other factors in rather more “tangible” terms would require backing by research and studies. In fact, a recent Straits Times article by a NUS economist has even looked into how private tuition expenditure is correlated to performance in examinations. Based on  2 separate studies of students in Hong Kong schools and South Korean high school students in national university admissions test, the findings are as summarised:

1. Higher proportion of students in higher forms received private tuition

2. Higher proportion of students with higher-educated parents received tuition

3. On average, 10% increase in expenditure on private tuition improved test performance by 0.56 percentile

4. Based on 2008 PSLE students admitted to secondary schools data, spending on private tuition to increase test score by 0.56 percentile would make a difference between being on borderline and being at top of cohort of admitted students to a particular top school.

(Png, 2010)

This interesting article  reveals studies done by various academics backed with measurable metrics gives a different viewpoint on “exactly” how much does private tuition help. You can read the entire article here and some of the community’s comments here.

Excerpt from:

Ivan Png. (July 1, 2010). StraitsTimes. In Ask: NUS Economists. Retrieved July 13, 2010, from http://bit.ly/cvh6If

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No more Primary 1 examinations in sixteen schools. More to follow?

 stressed by exams?

In Singapore, major examinations have been a mainstay in our academic system from Primary 1 all the way up to tertiary levels. No doubt that examinations is the most common method to assess a student’s ability or knowledge in a particular subject at a particular level, but is it the most effective way to grade our young ones based on these twice yearly major exams?

Many different ways of assessing students’ learning progress and grasp of concepts accurately have been brought forward by academics over the years. Feedback have also been given from parents, pupils and educators regarding the “over-emphasis” on major examinations. As the education system and the way people view raw test scores from examinations evolves, there is therefore a need for us to explore and design new assessment tools that complements holistic learning. A good way to start is from the Primary 1 level where students transit from kindergardens to their first step of formal education in schools. And this is exactly what the MOE is currently embarking on by doing away with Primary 1 examinations in sixteen “testbed” schools.

Holistic development is especially important in a child’s formative years which generally is during her time in a Primary School. Under a less stressful environment, students can develop communication skills, learn to freely express their creativity and explore different areas of interest that they might have not discovered. The focus is much more on learning, developing and exploring which are beneficial instead of being bogged down by the pressure to score in major examinations at the beginning of a child’s formal education. 

On the other hand, as a parent you could also be concerned about whether is there sufficient time for the child to prepare for PSLE. Also, with a change in learning environment,  pedagogies that are suitable for holistic learning and assessment have to evolve too. Educators, both teachers and tutors alike will have to adapt to the change in order to bring the initiative forward. And this takes time too, which is a challenge.

What do you think? Should more schools follow in doing away Primary 1 major examinations? Share with us your view by taking part in the poll below!

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