Singapore falls to 15th place in ranking of world’s best cities for university students -ST

More news on university ranking in Singapore for today as Singapore falls to 15th place according to this article from straitstimes.com with an extract of it below:

by Amelia Teng

“SINGAPORE – Singapore has fallen 12 spots to 15th place in a ranking of the world’s best cities for university students.

Last year the London-based educational consultancy Quacuarelli Symonds (QS) ranked the Republic third in the world and the best in Asia.

However when it released this year’s table this morning it had plummeted, which QS said was due to adjustments made to some factors.

Cities were given scores across five categories for 18 measures, including four new ones that looked at their level of pollution, safety, transparency and tolerance.

Existing indicators included affordability and employability

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/education/story/singapore-falls-15th-place-ranking-worlds-best-cities-university-stud#sthash.ofKMztBO.dpuf

Wong Kin Leong

eduKate

Tuition Tampines

Tuition Punggol

Singapore Studies and Education Statistics 2014

Here’s some perspective of our education in Singapore. All data obtained from http://www.singstat.gov.sg

Singapore literacy rate (for 15 years and above) is at 96.5% with males at 98.5% and females at 94.6%. However, there is no change for males literacy from previous years but females upped 0.2% from 94.4% previously.

Singaporeans with Secondary education or higher (for 25 years and above) has increased from 67.7% to 68.8% with males 71.8% and females 66%.

Our mean years of studying are 10.5 years with males at 11.0 years and females at 10.0 years.

Also interesting, our social indicators have improved with 20 doctors for every 10,000 population as compared to 19 doctors from the previous data.

by Wong Kin Leong eduKateSG

Pinevale Tampines

Exercise your brains for exam preparation.

Whether you are preparing for GCE, GCSE, IB, PSLE, SAT, or any examination, it is imperative to get your brains fit for the exams. Try these few websites for free brain teasers:

1) Brainmetrix.com contains general games that tests most of brain activities.  IQ based, Cognitive and even Sudoku can be found free in here.

BrainMetrix.com screen capture by Wong Kin Leong
BrainMetrix.com screen capture

2) GamesForTheBrains.com is also a general brain teaser free games website that are simple for children to navigate. Just click on the links you find on the frontpage and you are all set to go.

http://www.gamesforthebrain.com
http://www.gamesforthebrain.com screeen capture

3) BrainHQ.com is another website but it is slick and organised into memory, attention, brain speed, people skills, intelligence, and navigation exercises. However, it does need a sign up to get the basic tier games, and to access the full site there is a purchase involved.

by Wong Kin Leong eduKateSG
BrainHQ.com screen capture

 

by Wong Kin Leong eduKateSG Pinevale Tampines.

 

 

School Terms and Holidays 2015

Herein lies important dates for Singapore schools and our operating schedules for 2015. Parents take note that eduKate SG operates on all days except public holidays stated in SECTION 3.2 

(all information are subject to changes from MOE and is only intended to be used as a rough guideline. dated 4th Nov 2014)

extract from MOE website:

School Terms and Holidays For 2015

1.0) The school year for 2015 for all MOE primary and secondary schools will start from Friday, 2 January and end on Friday, 20 November 2015. This takes into account 40 weeks of curriculum time for teaching and learning before the start of the national examinations, and six weeks of school vacation at end of year for teachers and students.

1.1) School Calendar 2015

PRIMARY & SECONDARY
Semester I
Term I Fri 2 Jan – Fri 13 Mar
Term II Mon 23 Mar to Fri 29 May
Semester II
Term III Mon 29 Jun to Fri 4 Sep
Term IV Mon 14 Sep to Fri 20 Nov
JUNIOR COLLEGE (JC) Year 1 & Millennia Institute (MI) Year 1 MI Year 2 JC Year 2 & MI Year 3
Semester I
Term I Mon 2 Feb – Fri 13 Mar Mon 5 Jan – Fri 13 Mar
Term II Mon 23 Mar to Fri 29 May
Semester II
Term III Mon 29 Jun to Fri 4 Sep
Term IV Mon 14 Sep to Fri 20 Nov Mon 14 Sep to end of ‘A’-level exams

1.2) School Vacation 2015

2.0) The four vacation periods for schools, junior colleges and centralised institute for 2015 will be as follows:

PRI & SEC
Between Terms I & II Sat 14 Mar – Sun 22 Mar
Between Semesters I & II Sat 30 May – Sun 28 Jun
Between Terms III & IV Sat 5 Sep – Sun 13 Sep
At End of School Year Sat 21 Nov – Thu 31 Dec
JC Year 1,
MI Year 1 & MI Year 2
JC Year 2 &
MI Year 3
Between Terms I & II Sat 14 Mar – Sun 22 Mar
Between Semesters I & II Sat 30 May – Sun 28 Jun
Between Terms III & IV Sat 5 Sep – Sun 13 Sep
At End of School Year Sat 21 Nov – Thu 31 Dec End of ‘A’ Level exams – Thu 31 Dec

 

3.0) The scheduled school holidays and public holidays for 2015 will be as follows:

3.1) Scheduled School Holidays 2015

Youth Day Sun 5 Jul
(The following Monday, 6 Jul 2015 will be a scheduled school holiday)
Teachers’ Day Fri 4 Sept
Children’s Day
for primary schools and primary sections of full schools only)
Fri 9 Oct

3.2) Public Holidays 2015

Term I New Year’s Day Thu 1 Jan
Chinese New Year Thu 19 Feb
Fri 20 Feb
Term II Good Friday Fri 3 Apr
Labour Day Fri 1 May
Vesak Day Mon 1 Jun
Term III Hari Raya Puasa Fri 17 Jul
National Day *Sun 9 Aug
Term IV Hari Raya Haji Thu 24 Sep
Deepavali **Tue 10 Nov
Christmas Day Fri 25 Dec
*The next day, Mon 10 Aug 2015, will be a public holiday.
**Tentatively, Deepavali will fall on 10 November in 2015. This date will need to be reconfirmed against the Hindu Almanac when it is available. Should there be a change in date, the Ministry of Manpower will issue a media release to announce the change accordingly.

 

4) The school terms and holidays for 2015 is available on the MOE’s website atwww.moe.gov.sg/schools/terms-and-holidays/2015/

 

prepared by Wong Kin Leong

edukate SG

Tampines St 73

Singapore

Optimism and its role in studying

There is a direct correlation between the optimism in a student and the success in studying. Just like the answer to the glass is half full or half empty, this concept is very much a question about the outlook and confidence of the individual. The optimism of students to how well they fare in their studies cannot be quantified easily but like with everything, it is always a matter of perspective.

So what is it about optimism?

Optimistic individuals tends to see the light. The light at the end of the tunnel. This tunneling effect blocks out all the other distractions and pains that comes packaged into an examination. This is akin to a 100m race and its training requirements. An athlete competing for a 100m race hits the gym, trains on the same 100m strip for years, only to feature in a race that lasts less than 10 seconds. Yes, other aspects of characteristics like determination, talent, etc is needed, but the optimist will definitely have an edge over the one that is pessimistic in this, who would have given up long ago, unable to see why one would go through it at all. It is about aiming for the light at the end of the tunnel and knowing that everything else will fall into place that gives the athlete a spring in their steps.

The same can be said for students who knows what they want. Aces in exams? Sure! Let’s go for it. Blocks out all the other distractions, and confidently knowing that it can be done.

How to keep a student optimistic?

Perspective. The ability to see it half full. Generally, the student that are optimistic tends to ask more questions and this is where teachers, tutors, and parents are required to be patient and explain without getting angry nor frustrated. How many students have tried asking but gave up the second time round knowing full well that their teachers will get angry if they didn’t get it the first time hands up! Yes, encourage students or your child to ask, and do not get angry if they don’t get it. Learning is heuristic in nature and requires students to gain the experience to attain mastery. If the student fails to experience it the first time round, it does not mean they are slow, it just means they are trying.

And trying is the best ingredient to success.

No one wants to be scolded. Especially if they are trying to learn something. And being scolded during their formative years are just sending out the wrong messages that will hinder their development.

In any learning environment, the basis of an education is the interaction between teachers and students. And the trust between students and teachers must be there to foster a strong bond in learning. The job of a student is to learn, and the job of a teacher is to teach. Failure to do this most basic requirement is usually the reason for an unsuccessful stint in school. A patient teacher who teaches properly but also encourages questions or repeats themselves to make sure their students gets it creates students who is unafraid to ask if they don’t get it. This creates a calm and trusting environment to study in.

With trust, confidence grows. With confidence, optimism grows.

written by 
Wong Kin Leong

How to improve discipline in a student

Discipline, the main ingredient to success. Sprinkle with concentration, a dash of  determination and double boil with patience. That’s the making of a properly executed education. In every education system around the world, the recipe above are quality prerequisites because students spends years in school before gaining their certification and joining the workforce. The need to have the discipline to stay on course, and the patience to knock in the hours (or in fact the years before they reach university and graduate) are what causes only a small percentage of students that can reach their goal of obtaining their degree. Even though over the years, this percentage has grown in Singapore, it still takes a lot of effort and consistency to win this studying game.

So what separates the wheat from the chaff?

Take the recent GCE “O” level results and ask the successful candidates what they did in preparation for their examinations and you will get the common reply of countless studying hours, sitting themselves down by their quarters. That takes discipline, and a matured mind. Its the ability to do more than just the ordinary, the discernment that the future grows brighter with a better education, and to find the energy locked within to do that extra mile. Again, this takes discipline. They could have been out playing, watching a movie, hanging out with friends or god forbid, playing computer games. Instead, they took the back-breaking path and stood firm in the face of distractions.

So how do we cultivate discipline and reap a successful harvest?

One of the most important ways to cultivate discipline is to complete tasks. And start when they are young. Tasks don’t have to be onerous, or even exacting as this will put the child off. It does not need to be annoying too, like taking out the trash or washing the dishes. It could be something fun, like games, or doing jigsaw puzzles, or even reading a book. The idea is to teach your child that whenever you set about a task, you should complete it. Think of what goes through the mind of someone running a marathon. Grueling, definitely. But add the sense of self accomplishment at the end of the race, and it all makes it worth it. That’s what we should help the child feel. That once you complete the task, no matter how arduous, the triumphant result outweighs its tribulation.

There are many times that children gives up too easily, and parents lets them do so. And, the parents completes it for them, or it just stops altogether. Its easy to see why this gives out all the wrong signals to the child. Inability to complete the job and see through the full cycle means that the child does not learn anything from that job. This could lead to pessimism that things cannot be done, laziness creeping in, and an unproven bout of self censure.

Its like baking a cake. Do up the dough, all the ingredients nicely folded in, let it rise, into the oven at 350, and out it comes. If you don’t try the cake yourself at the end, you will never know if you succeeded in baking a tasty cake, or it could be just a ho-hum piece of dough that you just created. Its the last steps that makes all the difference, self evaluation. When you are learning how to bake a cake, you have got to eat it too. Try it out, see if its any good, evaluate the outcome to see if its a success or failure, take notes on how it looks and tastes, and think of how the baking can be refined. Then set off and bake another cake, now improved, and that process gets repeated until you have a proud product that can win the hearts of many. (Nevermind if your kids complain of the copious amounts of cakes they have to eat before you get there) A healthy postmortem documentation of the process by oneself creates a greater self upon further refinement, an intimate knowledge of what has been done, and what else can be improved.

In every process of learning, there needs a leverage of self evaluation on the completed cycle. Students are taught by a teacher, learns it, understands it, practices sums of it, memorizes it and finally, gets tested on it. Something is missing from this formula. and that is “self evaluation”. For a good score in the final test, there is a need to self evaluate before being tested. To see if all the fundamentals of the class are properly digested. Much akin to the baking process, a baker who never tastes their own cakes, will never have a winning product. How can one sell something that doesn’t know how their products tastes? Its just silly. And that is what students must do too. To complete the cycle, a student must always evaluate themselves and improve themselves before they finally go for their finals. Making sure of this is imperative to a successful candidate. Knowing where went wrong, and correcting themselves gives them the confidence they need to attempt a major examination.

Again, that is where discipline comes into play. It takes discipline and determination for a child to sit down and study the needed hours but more if the child wants to complete every task and evaluate themselves to know if they are doing it right. Methodology, and creating an efficient learning program will help too in this case.

Generally, completing a task like a major examination takes years for the students and the daily grind of school could take the wind off of their sails by the time the examination approaches. There needs a steely determination and the discipline to keep themselves on track, with their heads up high and constantly be above of their curriculum to perform well. But if they complete their daily tasks consistently, eventually, they will complete their examinations with ease. Like a very popular Malay idiom, “sedikit, sedikit, lama lama menjadi bukit” (little by little, a long time later, makes it into a hill), doing well in their final examination is the culmination of all the small tasks that were completed earlier on in their studies. And sweet old Mr and Mrs Discipline gets you there.

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the 4 pillars of learning

So with the need in the 21st Century to be highly educated comes the need to provide an education that befits the dynamism of such an aim.

Society changes rapidly, with the industrial revolution going the way of the dinosaurs, the digital revolution maturing and now, the social revolution is upon us with Facebook, Twitter and forums gathering no moss with such an aggressive momentum onto our current lives. Everyone is a friend of someone now, and information travels around the globe faster than the blink of an eye.

Students are starting to mature in this age as well, incorporating digital elements early in life to be social individuals, exchanging thoughts and communicating with these tools. No longer are we surprised that our students approach us and know so much more than yesteryear. No longer are we surprised that they gulp information and understand the intricacies of the fabric of life.

So what do we do with such changes? It would be foolish not to keep up and make changes that would take advantage of these changes. Never sit still and let technology overcome us, and turn us into the relics that would make age gaps look ominous, outcast adults from their children and have our society alienate itself between the young and poor. This is where a page from United Nations website started looking very relevant to our lives, which I have included in this article as follows:

The following are an extract of an outline with regards to education as stated in United Nations website:

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/networks/global-networks/aspnet/about-us/strategy/the-four-pillars-of-learning/

“The four pillars of learning are fundamental principles for reshaping education:

Learning to know: to provide the cognitive tools required to better comprehend the world and its complexities, and to provide an appropriate and adequate foundation for future learning.

Learning to do: to provide the skills that would enable individuals to effectively participate in the global economy and society.

Learning to be: to provide self analytical and social skills to enable individuals to develop to their fullest potential psycho-socially, affectively as well as physically, for a all-round ‘complete person.

Learning to live together: to expose individuals to the values implicit within human rights, democratic principles, intercultural understanding and respect and peace at all levels of society and human relationships to enable individuals and societies to live in peace and harmony.”

That is where we have to take note, to participate in the global economy and society, we have to keep ourselves not only mentally challenged, but physically fit as well. To keep upgrading ourselves to the new tools and skills, and never to stop changing ourselves, i.e to move with the times. Evaluation is the reset button of our lives. Re-evaluating our worth, our knowledge, and what new skills we need to keep ourselves relevant are the important points of what is written above.

So what are we doing at eduKate? We have never once stopped evaluating our skills and upgrading our techniques and tools. In 2014, there will be another suite of changes that will be implemented from Nov 2013 all through to Feb 2013. These comprises with a move to a new premise, new equipment for the students, and also new ways of teaching. Again, evaluation is the reset button we have, which means, we will move ahead with what works, and delete those that don’t, which was exactly what we have done in 2013. With positive outcome for our students and resulting with a group of positively happy parents.

Of course, the academics are not the be-all and end-all of a holistic education, which we are all too aware of. That is where we strive to keep our students well rounded and relevant, for the future is a constant question mark, and the best the students can do, is to be fleet footed and all ready for what is about to happen.