Nature reserves Xinyi & Nguwar

Singapore should not set aside land for nature reserves as it is not to Singapore's benefit to do so since  there is lack of land in Singapore. The increasing population of Singapore would require more land space for a living no matter if it's used for housing or recreation purposes. Nature reserves are to protact the natures from disappearing but Singapore already have 2 or 3 nature reserves which I personally feel is enough for a small country like Singapore. Singapore should use the land more wisely and decide for the future, prioritise lands for economy, housing.

Valentine's Day : Royston and George

I agree with the writer that puppy love should be avoided. We should never let the passionate feelings from our first relationships benchmark our future relationships because every relationship is unique and different from one another. The chemistry we share with different individuals vary accordingly thus it would be wrong to expect the same from every relationship. Whenever we move one from a previous relationship , we should be let go completely, instead of continuously coming back to revisit the old memories that we shared with our ex-partners. Moreover, it would not be fair to the other party when we put our selfish demands over theirs. Most of the time, people invest most of their time and energy into their first relationships, thus whenever they have a second one, they expect the same from the other party. Unfortunately when the other party doesn't do so, they get the misconception that the other party does not love him/her as much as they do, eventually leading to an unfulfilling relationship. To conclude, there is nothing wrong with having a passionate first relationship , but we should never let that that relationship be the benchmark for future ones. 

Nature Reserves by Erika

I agree that we should still set aside land for nature reserves considering how land scarce Singapore is as these areas are home to animals. Singapore's nature reserves serve as a natural habitat to some rare and near extinct. For example, the sungei buloh wetland reserve serves as a refueling point for many migratory birds. It is not only for the migratory birds but sungei buloh wetland reserve is also home to five hundred species flora and fauna. If these nature reserves are not kept, these animals will lose their homes and birds that travel to these areas will disappear. The animals might not be able to adapt to the new changes and this will result in a decrease in the population. The animals have as much right as us to not have their homes destroyed. Therefore we should set aside land for nature reserves.

Disability Xinyi & Nguwar

Integrating the disabled into mainstream schools require these schools to accommodate diverse learning styles which is both time consuming and challenging. The mental and physical limitations of the disabled require a lot of time and effort whereby schools may have to resort to regressive and detrimental measures, such as diluting standards for children with disabilities. As mentioned in TODAY news, observers say that takes time to train teachers and school staff to understand these children better
Singapore should not set aside land for nature reserves as it is not to Singapore's benefit to do so since there is severe lack of land in Singapore. The increasing population of Singapore would require more land space for a living no matter if it's used for housing or recreation purposes. Nature reserves are for protecting the natures from disappearing however, mature reserves occupy 10% of the land in Singapore and with 47% of the land in Singapore is greenery. Singapore should use the land more wisely and decide for the future, prioritise lands for economy, housing. With the plan to increase its population to a staggering amount of 5.5 million people, the government cannot but let people wonder about whether there are enough land for everyone living in Singapore.

Nature Jeremy Zijun

Considering how land scarce Singapore is, should we set aside land for nature reserves? 

I agree that Singapore should set aside land for nature reserves as there is a global issue on animal and flora species extinctions. By doing so, we can help to preserve more wildlife and prevent more species from growing extinct. Singapore has one of the worst environmental issues as it produces greenhouse gases, which is very harmful for the environment. By setting aside land for nature reserves, we can do more to improve the environmental issues in Singapore.

  The main purpose of setting aside land for nature reserves is to improve the environmental situation in singapore. Singapore, being a metropolitan, would have many gas emissions from vehicles. The large amount of gas emission trap a lot of heat in the atmosphere, which increases the rate of global warming, which harms the whole world.

Therefore, Singapore should set aside land for nature reserves.

Nature Reserves by Kian Boon and Jize

Singapore should still set aside land for nature reserves, even though there is limited land space in Singapore. Singapore faces a number of environmental problems, including but not limited to scarce freshwater resources and loss of our unique biodiversity. Due to our lack of these resources, it is more needed than ever to preserve and protect these nature reserves for the future generations of Singapore and for our benefit. Losing such natural resources could lead to some serious consequences such as harming our economy due to our lack of natural resources, or loss of biomedical education and research due harming our biodiversity. One example is how Singapore has been named “A Garden City” for over 200 years due to our unique biodiversity and natural phenomena, but due to our rapid development in the past 30 years, we have faced the mass decline of natural reserves to make way for urban development. The extent of this decline in natural reserves is so great that Singapore went from having 13 nature reserves to only 4 in the span of less than a century. Another example is how we have lost much of our biodiversity in the previous years. We were once a mainly forested area, with many species living on our small island within our own unique biodiversity, but due to urban development, many species are now endangered or are already extinct, while less migratory birds fly to Singapore as the years go by, aware of the harm that we have done to their forests and habitats which is their home. Thus, due to all the environmental problems that we could face, Singapore should still set aside land for natural reserves, even though there is limited land space in Singapore.

Nature reserves by Hongyi and Shao Min

I feel that we should not set aside land in Singapore for nature reserves. Recreational areas, such as parks and gardens, have replaced the need of nature reserves since people rarely visit it and would rather go to parks than nature reserves. Singapore aims to be a city in a garden, which means there will be plenty of greenery for us to enjoy. Additionally, the land taken up by nature reserves could be use for housing and development, which will be more often used by Singaporeans, therefore maximizing the use of space. As Singapore plans to have 6.9 million people by the year 2030, I believe that the space can be used for more houses to cater them, or more facilities for recreational purposes of Singaporeans. Nature reserves are not necessary as there are few native species in Singapore and the environment would not be affected a lot if they are removed. For example, there has been a debate concerning whether the Cross Island Line should go through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve or loop around it to protect it. By looping around it, it will serve more people in other areas and would be more convenient for commuters. In the conclusion, the benefits of using the specific area on housing and development than compared to using it for a nature reserve.

Nature reserve by Adon

Nature reserves are home to countless species of flora and fauna. The bukit Timah nature reserve houses around 1000 species of flowering plants as well as more than 500 species of animals. Some of the common animals that can be found are monkeys, and Tempinis trees are also abundant in the nature reserve. This is why i feel that we should keep our nature reserve as it is home to so many life forms, and the destruction of the nature reserve would result in the loss of homes for all of them, which is undesirable. It is the same concept as eviction from our homes, and I believe none of us would like the feeling of that. We should learn to treasure Mother nature instead of harming it, or else our selfish acts will most likely cause the future generations to be unable to enjoy the natural environment anymore.

Nature Reserves by Xinyan and Meixuan

Stand: Agree

  I agree that we should still set aside land for nature reserves despite the land scarcity problem we have here in Singapore. This is mainly because of our global issues such as extinction of wild animals and flora, and the need to preserve as much wildlife as possible for the good of the world. Singapore is the top worst environmental performer according to a proportional environmental impact index. Thus, it is important that we try to reverse the damage done by building more nature reserves even though the amount of land that we have is little.
  Our primary consideration is to prevent the destruction of indigenous flora and fauna. If we take into consideration the land scarcity, there will be a threat towards the nature of our clean and green country. The relocation will benefit our country greatly by preserving wildlife, and compared to that, the little issues such as longer train rides and higher cost will be too little to consider a problem.
  Hence, we should set aside land for nature reserves.

disability by Zhuoyun and Chenxin

I agree that it is essential for children with disabilities to be integrated into our mainstream education system.
In the first place, it is not the fault of a disabled child to be different from his peers, and even though some may comment that if a disabled child is allowed into the mainstream education system, it may just cause the child harm as he may not necessarily catch up academically. However, I view this differently. First and foremost, the initial reason that parents of a disabled child are troubled from numerous problems is that due to their child’s disability, they have to seek a different way of education, that apparently “suits to their child’s disability”. Instead, if a disabled child is allowed into the mainstream education system, all the parents have to do is just like any other Singaporean parent: to provide extra help for their child. This not only lightens the heavy load on a disabled child’s parents, but provides a way for the disabled child to grow into the society that would have seemed strange and foreign to the child, who grew up in the shelter with other disabled children. Education is not just based off academically, and holistic education is important for a child’s development, which is only when the child has an initial environment is he able to receive that very holistic education that he requires. Disabled children take up 2.7 percent of the younger population, and with the numerous educators specially trained for these children, these children are fully capable of being part of the mainstream education system. Furthermore, these disabled children will eventually be introduced into society, and if they live their childhood and student life distanced from their peers, they would find it even harder on them to fit well with their colleagues who have been taught through the mainstream education system. I also believe that some of the disabled children, whose disabilities are more physically based than mentally based are perfectly capable of fitting in with their peers. Even though they may not be capable of physical exercise, they are just like any other physically capable student, and deserve the opportunity to be integrated into the mainstream education system.
Hence, I agree that it is absolutely essential for children with disabilities to be integrated into our mainstream education system.

Nature reserves by Rong Yan

I think that considering how land scarce Singapore is, we should still set aside land for nature reserves because nature reserves raise awareness of environmental values and it can serve as a tool to finance protection of natural areas and increase their economic importance. Tourism can contribute directly to the conservation of sensitive areas and habitat. For example, the tour operator Discovery Initiatives, which is a member of the Tour Operators Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development, makes an annual financial contribution to the Orangutan Foundation of some US$ 45,000. The money is earned from only 5 tour groups of 10 people each visiting the Tanjing Putting National Park in Central Kalimantan. The park is under huge pressures from deforestation and river pollution from unrestricted gold mining. This money directly funds park staff and rangers, rehabilitation efforts for young orangutans, and the care center. It provides almost the only economic support for saving this park, where the park fees are officially only the equivalent of 12 pence a day. 

Disability Audrey&Erika

Some people argue that disabled students should not be integrated to our mainstream education system as special schools out there are able to attend to these students better.  Special schools for disabled students are tailored specifically to meet the students needs and this allows students to be able to fare better in a special need school with an environment conducive to their development. In a special-need school, teachers who are specially trained to teach disabled students are hired to attempt to equip them with numeracy and literacy skills. They are also taught on life skills and have co-curricular activities that foster their values. Although the special need education system closely resembles our mainstream education, the disabled students are able to learn to live ordinarily better as they are able to keep up with the school's pace which is designed for them, children with delayed intellectual development. If they are to be integrated to our mainstream education system, it might be too fast for them and they would not learn anything as a result.

However, I feel that people with disabilities should still be integrated into mainstream education system. If they are placed in different schools they will feel like they are segregated from the rest of the world, they would start to feel left out and this will worsen the situation. More teachers are also getting trained to cope and handle people with disabilities so that they would be able to keep up with lesson. Schools are also trying to help and meet the needs of the children with disabilities. All 190 primary schools and 69 secondary schools have at least one allied educator trained in this field and who has specialized skills and knowledge to identify and support students with learning difficulties and mild special educational needs. The ministry also provides grants and works in close partnership with volunteers welfare organization to provide school-based specialized education services for students with physical and sensory disabilities.

Disability by Jeremy and Zi Jun

Question: It is essential for children with disabilities to be integrated into our mainstream education system. DYA. 

  We disagree with the statement. We feel that it is not essential for them to do so. Many people feel that after all, they are still children and they should be treated equally like the other children. They feel that it would be unfair for the children with disabilities to be segregated from the other children simply because they are handicapped. They have feelings too and they would feel depressed further when they know they are isolated. Nobody would like it when they are isolated away from everyone else because they are not normal. People also feel that even though they have disabilities, this does not imply that they are not able to function as well as others who have no disabilities. They are equally competent

Disability by Jeremy and Zi jun

Question: It is essential for children with disabilities to be integrated into our mainstream education system. DYA

We disagree with the statement. We feel that it is not essential for them to be integrated. Many people may argue as they feel that we should allow children with disabilities to be integrated into the mainstream education system because despite having disabilities, the children are still valuable assets to the society. Having disabilities does not mean that a person is less incompetent to someone who does not have disabilities. For example, many people are willing to hire people with disabilities as they are generally more focused and hardworking when doing their tasks. It would also actually be very mean of people to segregate people with disabilities away from those who do not and isolate them by not allowing them to be integrated into our mainstream education. There are many people with disabilities out there who despite them having disabilities, do not wanted to be seen and treated as someone special who needs special attention. Therefore, many people feel that we should not be treating the handicapped as such. One such example is Mr Low Quan Jing. Despite having autism, he still works at professor brawn cafe. Everyday, he arrives punctually to work and will not leave and kitchen until all his assigned tasks are completed. Despite having disabilities, Mr Low did not see himself as a handicapped. Instead, he had a positive attitude and did all his work diligently as he felt that he was not special. Therefore, people with disabilities are valuable assets to the society and should be treated as one by allowing them to be integrated into our mainstream education system so that they can be educated to get a decent job in the future.
However, we disagree. There are many problems that will eventually arise by allowing people with disabilities to integrate into our mainstream education system. One of the major problems is that to accommodate the handicapped, much money would be needed to train the people to become professionals so that they know the right way to handle and teach the students. There would be many considerations that one has to take note of when planning to allow the students with disabilities to mix with the normal students. The handicapped may also be mocked at by both teachers and students simply because they learn slower than the rest of his peers. They may also isolate the people with disabilities, causing them to feel depressed because of the lack of friends and they may grow to hate school and the world. They may also hate themselves as well. One example is in the case of Ms Tan, whose 12 year old son has auditory processing order. Teachers try to help him but they do not understand his condition and they will complain the parents. This shows that there are many challenges present if the people with disabilities are integrated into the mainstream education system. This would not be very useful and it would be better to have a separate school for the handicapped.

Disability by Amalyn and Adon

  In my opinion, I think that it is essential for children with disabilities to be integrated into our mainstream education system. Some people think that children with disabilities should be excluded because they are not able to keep up with the normal curriculum. With special schools, teachers would be able to focus on them and help them when they are in need. However, is this really necessary?
  By integrating special needs students into the mainstream education system, other students would be affected as well. With the addition of these students that are most likely slower in their thinking as compared to others, teachers would have to cater their time to help them to make sure that those students can cope , if not they would end up not knowing what to do. However, because of this, the other students will not be able to get the best studying environment, as the entire lesson is slowed down just to make sure everyone is as the same pace. In fact, is it right to expect a student that can learn faster to go at the same pace as those that cannot cope as well? In fact, over time, if this is the case, they might really end up having a lower standard of understanding then they should have. Some of these special needs students are also disruptive during lessons and they might disturb their classmates which would mean that they cannot pay attention in class and their learning is affected. This might result in the displeasure from other parents who might complain to the school of their ineffectiveness in teaching their kids, and the dislike towards special needs students might increase as parents, or even students find them a burden to their studies. This is why there are schools that are specially set up for these students in Singapore, such as Delta Senior School, where there are specially trained teachers that can teach and guide these students wholeheartedly without having to worry that other students will be affected by a slower pace of learning. In fact, these schools also teach students different types of skills which are useful for the service industry, if the students are really not suited for academics.

  Even so, we should consider their feelings and not exclude them from the 'normal' society. Imagine being a child who is disabled. Now not only do you look different, you are catogerised with others that are like you. You would feel very left out and unwanted. Excluding them from the mainstream education system means that you are preventing them from interacting with other people of their age. You are depriving them of the opportunities that mainstream education system provides. Does this mean that when they enter the workforce, they will also be excluded? That would not be possible. When disabled people enter the workforce, they are expected to be able to do the same amount of workload as the others. If this is so, why separate them from the normal education curriculum? There are around 3,000 teachers in MOE that are specially trained to help children with disabilities. They should be situated in each school, this way if the children with disabilities need special help, they can go to these teachers and get guidance.

Disability by Keefe&WeiNing

I agree that students with disabilities should be integrated to the mainstream student education. This is because in the society, adults with disabilities are still required to learn to adapt, no one will be there to offer a helping hand to them and thus it is essential for students to learn to be independent from a young age, in order to pursue excellence in the future. These students however, require special attention and in some cases have special needs. These students with learning disorders are at a high of 2.7%, this shows that with 2.7% of the students having learning disorders being integrated, there would also be an increase in the number of teachers needed therefore there would be a lack in the number of teachers available.

Although many argue that students with disabilities should not be streamed into normal academies due to safety issues for both the student with disability and the remaining cohort. However MOE has taken the initiative to train more teachers and better prepare these teachers to help these special students in learning to the best of their ability. With the help of MOE training more specialised teachers, the pack in manpower would be solved and parents could play a big part in ensuring that their child receives the proper education from trained teachers.

Disability by Royston and George

  In many workplaces nowadays, disabled people are not given the same opportunities as compared to someone who is more fortunate and blessed. At times, when they work, their employers, or customers disapprove of the way they carry out their tasks, thus lesser and lesser of them would actually be employed. For example, a person with autism would not be aware of his/her surroundings and may ignore social cues. Even if the customer does want it, they may still do it anyway, much to their frustration. Yet, I find that they should be integrated into our society, starting with mainstream education since young. 

They are misunderstood, and just like what the president of Society for the Physically Disabled, Ms Chia said "A disability is not caused by a medical condition per se . A person is disabled because there are external and internal barriers that impede his development and participation in the community, " We should embrace them, and seek to empathize and accept them, and we can all start by integrating them into our Mainstream Education. Just because of the fact that they are disabled does not mean that they are not as good as the other "normal" students. In fact, based on many news reports, the disabled seem to be more passionate and determined to study and excel in their various areas, be it work or play. That itself is enough. If the students are willing to learn and have an insatiable hunger for knowledge, it is up to the teacher to "feed" them. Everybody should be given an equal chance and opportunity in education, and whether they succeed is up to themselves. So I strongly believe and agree that disabled people should be integrated into our mainstream education, as we are all equal, and they definitely should be treated as so. 

Disability by Jayme and Rong Yan

Many argue that children with disability should be intergrated into our mainstream education system so that they would be taught together with students without disability and would not be left out. Although they have some disability, they do not have to be left out and should be taught in the same environment as the other students. For example, Ansel, who was
diagnosed with duchenne muscular dystrophy at seven, also has mild autism and dyspraxia — a developmental coordination disorder. He studied at Montfort Secondary School and has a allied educator for learning and behavioral support. He was still integrated into our mainstream education system although he had a disability. However, it may also be better if children with disabilities are not integrated into the mainstream education systems, as their individual progress will be closely supervised by teachers. Students with disabilities will definitely understand concepts and lessons slower and the rate of their productivity will be lower. With closer supervision from teachers, the students would be able to learn more efficiently, as the teacher will guide the students along the way and give them feedback  according to their individual performance in class. As mentioned in the article, teachers in mainstream school try to help the students, but they do not understand their condition and would blame them, saying that they do not pay attention. However, in specialized schools, the teachers are trained to understand and emphasize with the children and will be able to provide them with maximum care and help, in terms in studies and also mentally.

Disability by Hongyi & Matthew

I agree that it is essential for students with disabilities to be integrated into our mainstream education system. Some might argue that by doing so, students with no learning disabilities are learning together with students without disabilities, and they are forced to learn at the same pace as them, and this might affect their learning. There could be smarter students that wish to learn at a faster rate, but this is hindered by the students with learning disabilities. By segregating disabled children from the rest of their counterparts in schools, it would inevitably cause them to feel that they are different and 'abnormal' from their peers, and in worse cases feel that they are of less importance to the society. Severe emotional distress is brought unto the disabled children, and ought not to feel this way. Integrating them into our mainstream education system would no doubt rectify their already traumatized emotions, with the help of their peers in school. Knowing that they can be learning alongside with other children would be a great emotional aid and support to the disabled children.

Disability by Xin Yan & Mei Xuan

T2W8 Read the 3 articles & write 1 para (counterargument & rebuttal) to address this Qn: It is essential for children with disabilities to be integrated into our mainstream education system. DYA?

Stand: Agree

Some people may argue that these children with special needs and disabilities are not as developed in their abilities, making it harder for them to learn in a normal setting such as in our mainstream education system. If they were to be in our mainstream education system, they would not be able to catch up or understand at the same pace as the other students. This would then affect them in the long run. Thus, it is essential for them to be placed in a school specially suited for them, with trained personnel who know the best way to stretch their learning. Furthermore, with them socialising with people of about the same ability as them, they would not feel any discrimination as compared to if they were to be in the mainstr an education system. A 45-year-old homemaker, who wished to be known as Ms Hui, spoke of the challenges she had faced since her son, now 14, was diagnosed with dyslexia seven years ago. He was labelled as “slow and stupid” by classmates and teachers, she said. This shows that if children with special needs are integrated into our mainstream education system, they would be criticised by other children, thus it is better for them to be in a education system that would suit them more.

However, I believe that this may not be a problem as most of them are hardworking students. Even though they may study at a slower pace, maybe due to their disabilities, they are not mentally weak. As long as they have the right attitude to study, they can pay attention during lesson and be detailed in their work, which will allow them to catch up with the other students and become part of their whole. They will not be shunned and this could change their lives forever, when they realize that they have the ability to learn like any other child. Not only that, other students who are faster than them can aim to help them out with their work, pushing them forward to greater success. In fact, aesthetics products distributor Dione International director Clara Chng said that based on her own experience, she enjoys working with foreign workers because of their focus, loyalty and can-do attitude. This shows that despite their differences, people can still get along well, and also their appearance do not matter as long as they have the moral values and motivation to strive for a better future. It is the power of their own to control the future they have, no matter the school they go to. As long as they are hardworking, they can always catch up to their studies. Hence, I agree that it is essential for children with disabilities to be integrated into our mainstream education system.

Disability by Jize and Kian Boon

It would be tough for the Teachers taking care of the students it children with disabilities were to be integrated into our mainstream education system. For example, a primary school teacher who had declined to be named said in a newspaper article: "If there are too many of such children in a class, it is unfair to expect Teachers to be able to cope." In addition, parents have also claimed that their children require more assistance in terms of their learning due to their disabilities. From these two pieces of evidence, it can be clearly seen that children with disabilities should not be integrated into our mainstream education system due to their disabilities. This would only bring disruption to the classroom as the Teachers have to cope with one student with a disability in the class, while still focusing on the other students. In addition, it would be better to send students with disabilities to other schools as the Teachers there are formally trained to look after them, something which is quite redundant for mainstream Teachers to go through due to one or two students that they have to cater to. Thus, streaming them into special schools would help develop their potential to the fullest as well as remove the stress from mainstream schools Teachers as well as the disruption to the class that they would bring.
However, students with disability should still be integrated into mainstream school systems. Yes, children with disabilities should be mainstreamed because improves academically, socially, and improve their self esteem. They will have a fair chance at getting a look into the real world. It helps them become socially active and helps build them for success. Mainstreaming them pushes them harder and drive them success, makes them feel confident. Some special needs are severe- some are not. If the child can even halfway keep up with their typical peers then why should they be denied the opportunity to try? Many cases of special needs improve greatly when they are able to see good examples of behavior and communication modeled by their peers. Students with disabilities should be integrated into the mainstream education system in order for them to learn properly, as well as the general education students. If special needs students are totally segregated from the general education kids, they will not learn how they are supposed to handle real life situations. They would not learn what is proper and improper to do in certain situations.

Zeyu&Shao Min

We agree that it is essential for children with disabilities to be integrated into our mainstream Education system.
Some people think that children with disabilities need the guidance of teachers specially trained to help children with special needs.They feel that teachers in mainstream schools will not be able to attend to the needs of these children with disabilities, leading to mire ineffective teaching. Some Teachers that are not aware that a specific student has ADHD might end up punishing him or her for something he did not do on purpose, and is solely the result of his condition.
However, the fact that children with disabilities are treated as normal children could help them adapt to the society and will therefore be more accepted. "The early years offer a special opportunity to foster development gains in children, as 80% of the brains capacity develops before the age of 3. The gains are highest for those with maximum disadvantage," a 2009 policy brief by the UNESCO states. Therefore children with disabilities should be put into mainstream education by the age of 3 so as to ensure their brain develops to their full potential. The fact that they are disabled will cause them to learn slower. However this should not be a reason for them to be removed from mainstream education as they should still be given a chance to learn alongside normal children and be given equal chances when stepping into the society.

Disability by Shaoyi and Jolene

T2W8 Read the 3 articles & write 1 para (counterargument & rebuttal) to address this Qn: It is essential for children with disabilities to be integrated into our mainstream education system. Do you agree? Links :  Label: names, disability

I agree that students with disabilities should be integrated into the mainstream education system.
However, the inclusive of students with learning disorders in the mainstream education system will result in teachers being unable to cope with the special coachings these students will require. This is so as there is a lack of manpower in schools that specialise in coaching the disabled students. Although there is at least one teacher that is trained in the field to coach the disabled students in around 40 percent of the secondary schools in Singapore, this amount is insufficient considering that there is a high 2.7 percent of students with learning disorders out of the whole student population in Singapore. Therefore, with a lack of specialised coaches in the mainstream education system, students with learning disorders might not be able to learn to the best of their ability and might have slow down the pace of the class when the teacher pays too much attention to them whilst neglecting the other students. To solve the problem of teachers being unable to cope with the special coachings the special needs students will require, more teachers are being trained to teach special needs students and allied educators are also deployed into schools specially for the special needs students. There are about 3,000 teachers trained to meet special needs, up from fewer than 80 a decade ago. Parents have welcomed the MOE’s initiatives, including having allied educators at schools to provide support for children with special needs. This will solve the problem by having more manpower in schools to help with the mainstream teachers in teaching the special needs students. Parents will also be content as their special needs child will be able to receive the same level of education as the others and be cared for at the same time. Hence, I agree that students with disabilities should be integrated into the mainstream education system.

Educational news by Jayme&Rong Yan

Link :

Summary: Girls feel they have to choose between being attractive or clever because of sexist name calling in schools. During lessons, even if there are equal number of girls and boys in a class, the boys would dominate the debate and the girls would listen. This could affect girls' subject choices.

Opinion: I feel that this should not be happening. Girls should not have to be stressed or pressured to maintain the ideal personas that people expect to see in them. In class, if girls participates actively in class and answers many questions, she will be said to be unattractive. It is said that the idea of gender equality is being promoted, yet girls are still being judged based on their conduct in class. There are more names that girls can be called than boys. In this case, I think that the gender inequality is still happening, even in schools. 

Educational News


This article is about children as young as the age of six are stressed over exams and tests. It tackles the mental health of children nowadays, starting from as young as six who gave in to self harm and suicide. Of 420 ATL members who responded to a poll, almost half said children in their school had self-harmed - and 89% said testing was the main source of stress.
Some staff said they were aware of pupils attempting suicide - and 18 of these were in primary schools.

Opinion :
I believe that having tests and exams are an essential part of education as it gives students a good gauge of their abilities and how to improve they studying habits as well. However it becomes something harmful instead when students receive too much pressure from wanting to do well and not disappoint others. Having exams are a good thing, but having too many exams in too short a period of time will result in stress and when the stress is such that students can't take it anymore, it may result even in fatality.

Education news by Nguwar & Xinyi

Michelle Obama called for an end to "outdated laws and traditions" preventing millions of girls around the world from completing their education, in an impassioned speech Wednesday in Qatar. The US First Lady, on a seven-day trip to the Middle East, told an education conference in Doha that an "honest conversation" was needed around the globe about how women were treated and how this prevented millions of girls from finishing school. It was said that the challenges faced by girls in the Middle East were worsening.
Sexism traditionally refers to the treatment of men as a favoured group over women. But despite efforts to equalise the positions of men and women, sexism or societal discrimination around gender still exists even in today's highly educated society. Though it may not be an issue in Singapore, is evident that advocacy for women's basic rights still remains as an urgent issue around the world today which deterred many women from pursuing education fully. There is potential for sexism within the formal educational system, therefore I feel that a more fair and honest education system should be implemented. It is critical to adopt an overall curricula that reflect the interest of boys and girls. There should be adequate material representing boys and girls in leading roles and also enough material that encourages boys and girls to think beyond stereotypes. Education at its best is a process of growth and self-awareness and if every individual and a community as a whole commits to this process, sexism can be effectively eliminated from the society. Everyone has the right to experience absolute equality regardless of gender and hopefully as societies transitions, sexism would be eliminated.

Education news by Erika&Audrey

Summary: The society for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCA) agree that more can be done in terms of legistration, education and awareness to raise the standard of animal welfare in Singapore. They strongly encourage adopting of pets instead of buying. The SPCA has also been conducting educational talks at schools and other organizations for more than 30 years. In 2014 , MOE included the animal welfare as the new character and citizenship education. This initiative is to inculcate a respect for animals in our young, leading to more responsible behavior in terms of acquiring and keeping pets, and towards those animals that share the environment with us.

Opinion:According to my research, there is an approximate number of 9,300 abandoned pets per year in Singapore and it is found the the number is bound to increase each year. I find it amusing and ironic that more and more people are becoming a vegan or vegetarian claiming that they refuse to be cruel to animals but judging by the increase in abandoned pets caused me to doubt people's intentions. There are many ways that we can help with pet homelessness, even the smallest and simplest actions make a difference. For example. as can make it compulsory for all animal shelters or pet shops to micro-chip their pets before they are brought back home by adopters. Adopters must make sure that they update their pet identification tags and only choose to adopt a pet if they plan to care them for the remainder of their lives. I hope people can raise more awareness for the abandoned pets in Singapore and all over the world. 

News on Education by Jize and Kian Boon


As current education systems focus more on content standards, curriculum and teaching strategies, it can be easy to forget our big goals for education, such as giving students tools to deepen their understanding of the world. Although some Teachers are trying to discuss metacognition with students, they often do it wrong, by only getting students to think about thinking. However, we need to allow students to do direct thinking, to question their own thinking, rather than monitoring thinking, in which students actually do not understand what they are thinking about. Thus, we need to have a rich meta strategic base for our thinking, such that we can become more independent learners. Educators can assist in this by forming routine structures for thinking, having a period of time in every class to allow the students to conduct their own thinking into their learning.

Students should be allowed to question their way of thinking, such that they can better understand why they are thinking in such a way. Students should not be forced into thinking in one specific manner, so that they can think in their own different ways for learning and not restricted to just one way of thinking. Educators should definitely allow students to think strictly on their own, to solve problems with their own thinking, not giving them a certain way to think. This can greatly help in the deepening of students' thinking about everything as they will be able to get creative with their own ways of thinking.

Education News by xinyan&meixuan


Summary: A move to make all schools include cleaning activities by the end of the year could bring long-term benefits to both students and the community, according to education experts and sociologists. The scheme will help build character, cultivate a sense of ownership and spill over to the home environment. Last Thursday, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that students in primary and secondary schools here, as well as those in junior colleges, will have to spend at least a few minutes each day cleaning classrooms, canteens and corridors. The aim, according to the ministry, is to help them cultivate good habits for life. Schools are given the flexibility to decide on what these daily activities should be and when they take place.

Opinion: We feel that the move is good as it cultivates a habit of cleaning from young. Students get to learn to be responsible and take care of their classroom and public areas. This allows them to be more mindful and think for others in places other than home.It will also benefit them in the future as when they see litter outside they would not hesitate to pick them up, showing a sense of responsibility and care for the environment. With this, Singapore will then not be in the danger of becoming filled with rubbish and instead continue becoming a clean and green country.
In the past, there would be tissue paper and food packets on the floor in common spaces like the canteen, and now pupils are now more conscious about picking up litter and the common spaces in the school are much cleaner, with evidence from principal Constance. Such hands on work can also allow students to be more proactive in the future, allowing them to impart values and develop their holistic character. 

Education news by Amalyn and Adon


  Sexist bullying can affect girl's subject choices and make it harder for them to believe they can achieve. Girls are faced with multiple pressures, such as being brainy, feminine, attractive, etc. In our increasingly image-obsessed society, it is not surprising that girls feel under pressure to maintain idealised personas but what they look like is only one very small part of who they are.

  I feel that it is morally wrong to prototype a girl to be feminine only when she is not brainy, or at least acts not to be one. There is nothing wrong for a girl to be smart and express her own opinions in class, as everyone deserves the freedom and right to speak up, whether in class, in their workplace or even in front of the entire world. Some boys might say that brainy girls are not feminine just so that those girls will try not to share their answers, and this allows the boys to have more opportunities than the girls to shine in class, by getting rid of some competition. However, this is very disrespectful towards the girls as it is saying all girls are not supposed to be smarter than boys, and that the boys are looking down on the girls. I feel the girls should not be affected by whatever those sexist boys say, and they should focus their attention on studying instead. They need not feel ashamed to share their views, and there is no need to be fazed by whatever the boys say. In fact currently all around the world, women are starting to have more power and say. They hare able to get better jobs and some of them even show their faces in the political stage, no longer just men. This proves that girls in school    should not feel inferior, as they everyone, no matter what gender, all have equal chances to be better.

Education News by Jolene and Shaoyi

Summary: Normal teachers do not usually ask for the students feedback, however McComb is challenging himself to do a better job by tailoring how he teaches individuals. As a way of fostering strong relationships and student voices, McComb asks his students for specific feedback about how he is serving them as a teacher.
Opinion: I think his method of getting feedback from the students is an effective way to improve his teaching styles. Not every teachers teaching methods can cater to every students needs and abilities. With such a feedback system, teachers can better understand what they should work on in order to allow students to get the most out of every lesson.

RR Tourism by Nguwar

I agree that tourism brings damage to a country's culture and environment which affects the local people negatively. 

Firstly, threatens and damages the country's biodiversity and environment. As mentioned in the article, in the Philippines, when coastal areas are converted into beach resorts, mangrove areas and corals that serve as fish sanctuaries are damaged. Also, carbon emissions and air pollution significantly increase as more air and land-based vehicles are needed to transport tourists from one destination to another. As a result, the biodiversity and environment is threatened due to the land conversion and pollution from transportation is aggravated. Singapore's environment is also affected by mass tourism. Urban lifestyle habits in Singapore such as excessive consumption and wastes are inevitable. In Singapore's hotel industry, an estimated 60,000 tonnes of solid waste is generated a year with less than 10 per cent of the waste is being recycled. With large quantities of waste produced and Singapore's poor waste management and inadequate recycling in the hotel industry, it results in environmental degradation. Therefore, this proves that tourism brings damage to the environment which affects the locals negatively. 

RR Tourism by Mei Xuan

I agree with the writer that mass tourism threatens to destroy a country's culture and environment and affect the local people.

Firstly, tourism affects a country's environment by destroying animal's habitats and increaing carbon emissions and air pollution. The writer states that "When coastal areas are converted to beach resorts, mangrove areas and corals that serve as fish sanctuaries are damaged or even completely removed." This shows that when the governent's need for land to accommodate mass tourism increases, they would then cut down forests and use the area to build what they need. This would affect the environment by destroying animal's habitats and increasing air pollution. When a forest, which serves as a home for many forest animals, is cut down, the many forest animals that rely on it would not ba able to survive. When too many animals of a particular species cannot survive with the removal of the forest, the species would be endangered, and if the condition goes on, the species might be extinct. This would affect the food chain which will untimately affect the local people. The writer states that "Carbon emissions and air pollution also significantly increase, as more air and land-base vehicles are needed to transport tourists from one destination to another." This shows that as more tourist residences are built by cutting down forests, the carbon emissions would increase significantly due to the loss of trees which helps to reduce carbon emissions. With the increase of carbon emissions, global warming will hasten. With increased tourism, since there are more vehicles on the road, the amount of air pollution will increase. In Singapore, we have lost 90% of our forests, 67% of our birds, about 40% of our mammals and less than 5% of our amphibians and reptiles. Out of our total amount of original mangroves, only less that 5% is left. 39% of all native coastal plants are extinct. A large proportion of the remaining species are endanger d and their habitats are threatened by urban development and land reclamation. Through all forms of harm to the government, tourism affects the environment in a negative way.

RR Tourism by Adon

I do not agree that mass tourism only affects and threaten to destroy a country's culture and environment. Tourism is a major contributor to many countries economy. In the passage, the writer states that tourism in Philippines is an ubiquitous sector in Philippine's economy. In 2012 alone, tourism contributed to 6.0% to the country's Gross Domestic Product. It also creates 4 million jobs, which is 11.1% of the country's total employment. Tourism has a huge part in Philippines economy, and also provides a huge number of jobs, whether for locals or for foreigners. Hence, tourism is important for Philippines as without it, Philippines might have an economic crisis, and many people would be jobless. In singapore, we also depend heavily on tourism. As we are a tourist country, many people would visit singapore yearly and we gain a lot of revenue from this. We also have many tourist attractions in Singapore, hence, many jobs are made available so tourism indirectly supports the lifes of many.

RR Tourism by Kian Boon

I agree with the author's view as Tourism can greatly impact the country's environmental state and cultural history, from events for tourism such as the clearing of land for infrastructure growth, sometimes even clearing historical buildings in the process.

Firstly, tourism can leave a great impact on the country's biodiversity. The writer states that resort developments are often allowed by NGOs or citizen groups, even as they cause great harm and suffering to the environment in the process of doing so. In addition, due to the popularity of beach resorts, many mangrove areas and corals that serve as important habitats for fish and marine life get destroyed in the process, further damaging the ecosystem. The increase in air and land vehicles from tourism also lead to air pollution, damaging the air quality of the country. In singapore, the problem of clearing land is more noticeable, as singapore has a much smaller land space, thus it would be harder to conserve land space while trying to boost the country's economy. Singapore also has air pollution problems, but they are currently trying to implement measures to fix it and reduce the number of cars on the road, such as the ERP. This shows that the effects of trying to increase the revenue on tourism are very detrimental to a country's ecosystem, even though the countries are trying to implement measures to try and stop this destruction, land still has to be cleared to make way for the production of revenue. Thus, I agree with the author that tourism threatens to destroy a country's environment.

RR Tourism by WeiNing

          I agree with the writer's point of view as the country's environment suffers from negative impact such as the adverse impact of tourism on biodiversity. 

          Tourism leaves many traces on a country's environment; trash from tourism is significantly increasing over the years and this has caused a lot more land pollution for the country. The writer states that when coastal areas are converted into beach resorts, mangrove area and corals that serve as fish sanctuaries are damaged or even completely removed. Carbon emissions and air pollution also significantly increase as more air and land-based vehicles are needed to transport tourists from one destination to another. In comparison, Singapore has a high chance of more air pollution from all all carbon emissions from planes and land transport. Littering would be more as well, as tourists will have the mindset of "This is not my country". Another evidence would be the depletion of water resources in Singapore due to tourism. Wasting of water resources in the hotels like having bathtubs, laundry services and housekeeping services like frequent change of towels ad bed linen will contibute to shortage of ater in future, This further proves my view that the country's environment suffers negatively,including in Singapore, from tourism. 

RR Tourism by Jize

I agree with the writer that mass tourism threatens to destroy a country's culture and environment, along with affecting the local people.

Mass tourism threatens the biodiversity of a country and can affect the environment of the country. More infrastructures would have to be built for tourism purposes, developing more hotels, entertainment centres and restaurants. Land will be needed for the construction of these facilities, resulting in forests being cleared and natural habitat conversions. With forests and natural habitats being cleared and converted for tourism purposes, not only will flora be affected, animals will too be affected with them losing their natural habitats in the process, as stated in the passage, biodiversity is endangered with resort developments, causing mangrove areas and corals being destroyed, which would mean the decrease of mangroves as well as fishes, due to the corals serving as fish sanctuaries. More transport would also have to be used to cater to the large amount of tourists. Like in the case of Singapore, 17 million people visited Singapore in 2015. More public transport are deployed on the road, including 750 new buses, resulting in there bing more carbon emissions, affecting the environment.

RR Tourism by Rong Yan

I agree with the writer that mass tourism threatens to destroy a country's culture and environment and affect the local people.

I agree that tourism threatens the biodiversity of the country. The country would have to build more infrastructures for tourism and that could result in the environment suffering, endangering the biodiversity of the country. According to the writer, some NGOs and citizen groups contend that resort developments are often allowed, even as they further endanger the biodiversity they promote in their advertising and the environment can suffer as well. When coastal areas are converted into beach resorts, mangrove areas and corals that serve as fish sanctuaries are damaged or even completely removed. Development in Sinagpore has significantly contributed to its forest loss, natural habitat coversion which affects the biodiversity. Sinagpore lost 90 percent of its forest, 67 percent of its birds, about 40 percent of its mammals and 5 percent of its amphibians and reptiles. Of the original mangroves, less than 5% is left. 39% of all native coastal plants are extinct due to developments like building more buildings made. The biodiversity is threatened due to developmnets made to the country, therefore I ahree that tourism threatens the biodiversity of the country.  

RR Tourism by Yeoh Zi Jun

  I agree that tourism threatens a country because it has an detrimental impact on biodiversity and it affects the environment of Singapore.

Tourism will threaten the environment because there would be more carbon emissions and The writer stated in the passage that one of the major concerns is the adverse impact of tourism on biodiversity. The environment can suffer as well. When coastal areas are converted into beach resorts, mangrove areas and corals that serve as fish sanctuaries are damaged or even completely removed. This is harmful for the environment as it may lead to extinctions in animal species. In Singapore, most of the natural environment and biodiversity have been lost due to rapid development in the past thirty years. Singapore is ranked the highest in relative environment damage. Due to the fact that Singapore is small, the land distributed for tourism is very small. To make way for more tourism, trees and other living things may be killed in the process. This it is harmful for the environment. Singapore already has very limited water supply. To make way for tourism, water bodies such as reservoirs may be removed. This is harmful for the environment as we would have lesser water. Other animals and plants that are dependent on the water supply will be affected as well and they may die.

RR Tourism by Amalyn

I agree that mass tourism threatens to destroy a country as it may cause the country to lose its cultural identity and may cause an adverse impact on biodiversity.

Mass tourism causes a country to lose its cultural identity. Due to the modernized western market, many countries try to change their tourist attractions to appeal to western tourists. As they change, their culture is slowly being erased, causing them to lose their cultural indentity. This in turn makes the country over-commercialized, making it a mere replica of its former self. The writer states that "historic buildings are getting demolished to make way for hotels aiming- among other things- to provide accomodation to visitors of "Historic Manila". " This sentence is ironic as the tourists are coming to Manila to be immersed into their historic culture and history, yet they are tearing down their own identity in hopes that with more commercialized areas, more tourists would come. In Singapore, such things also do occur. Historic buildings such as the old National Library, the National Theatre and the Sentosa Monorail. Without our historic artefacts, we will lose our identity, in turn destroying our country.

RR Tourism by Xin Yan

I disagree with the writer that mass tourism threatens to destroy a country's culture and environment and affect the local people.

Tourism brings about modernization and economic prosperity to Singapore. This is due to the increase in money earned from other countries in exchange for goods and services by international travellers coming in to the country to trade. They pay a higher price for goods and souvenirs, thus contributing greatly to visitor spendings when more tourists visit. As the number of tourist visiting gradually increase, more roads and hotels must be built to encompass the increase in human population of Singapore, hence modernizing the country. The writer states that Philippine tourism has become an ubiquitous sector in the Philippine economy. During the past five years, earnings from visitor spending have continually increased. In 2012 alone, it contributed 60% to the country's Gross Domestic Product. In Singapore's context, Singapore is constantly evolvi​ng to stay compelling and remain relevant as a tourist destination. New developments like the Integrated Resorts and events like the world’s first Formula One night race have been added to the tourism landscape, along with perennial favourites such as Sentosa and the Night Safari, making Singapore one of the top leisure destinations in Asia. This shows that the developments in Singapore allows it to quickly emerge as one of the top destinations for tourism, while tourism also continues to support its development in return. This brings locals more job opportunities, economic wealth to many companies and likewise, allow Singapore to continuously develop itself. Therefore, tourism does not threaten a country and its locals, but in turn brings monetary profits to the country through visitor spendings, and modernization through development. 

RR Tourism by Shaoyi

I agree with the writer that mass tourism threatens to destroy a country's culture and environment and affect the local people. 

Firstly, tourism has an adverse impact on biodiversity. As stated in the passage, many natural environments will have to give way to hotels, resorts and theme parks. There will also be air pollution from the carbon emissions that vehicles produce while transporting tourists. When natural environments are cleared, many different species of plants will be cleared, along with the animals living there. The air pollution will also affect the health of the animals (including humans) and plants living in the country. In Singapore, the transportation networks essential for tourists has also affected our biodiversity adversely. By the end of 2015, there were over 750 more new buses on the road. These new buses will cause more carbon emissions into the environment and affect our biodiversity. Large amounts of carbon dioxide gases in the air is not only harmful to animals, which also includes humans, but also plants. Hence, natural environments giving way to mass tourism and increase in transportation networks for mass tourism has an adverse impact on biodiversity that threatens to destroy a country's environment and affect the local people. 

RR Tourism by Zhuo Yun

I agree with the writer that tourism threatens to destroy a country's culture and environment and affect the local people.

Mass tourism causes a country to lose its social identity. On account of the modernized western business area, various countries endeavor to change their excursion spots to identify with western guests. As they change, their lifestyle is progressively being killed, making them lose their social identity. This along these lines makes the country over-promoted, making it an insignificant duplicate of its past self. The writer states that "historic buildings are getting demolished to make way for hotels aiming- among other things- to provide accommodation to visitors of "Historic Manila". This sentence is surprising as the voyagers are coming to Manila to be immersed into their critical society and history, yet they are tearing down their own identity with the desire that with more advanced domains, more tourists would come. In Singapore, such things in like manner do happen. Imperative structures, for instance, the old National Library, the National Theater, and the Sentosa Monorail. Without our prominent doodads, we will lose our identity, in this manner pulverizing our country.

RR Tourism by Jolene

I disagree with the writer's view that tourism threatens to destroy a country's culture and environment and affects the locals. 

Tourism brings about great economic wealth to a country. The writer states that tourism has come a long way in Philippines from 2000 to 2015, contributing 5.9% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country and the industry has since created more than four million jobs for the locals, accounting for approximately 11.1% of the country's total employment. Philippines is heavily dependent on tourism for economic prosperity and this is evident from the large numbers of jobs it provides for the people as well as the large percentage of contribution towards the country GDP. Singapore is, too, one such country that counts on tourism for economic developments. Singapore is a tourist hotspot due to its diverse culture and geographical location. In Singapore, many facilities are being developed to meet the needs of tourists across all ages. Such facility include the Universal Studios and Marina Bay Sands. As the number of commercialized facilities increase, the number of jobs made available for the locals increases proportionately too. Much effort is being taken to make tourism Singapore's main pillar of economic wealth, therefore tourism does not threaten both Singapore and its people, but instead, allows us to benefit from it economically, in terms of the job employment opportunities in the industry and the high revenues that can be collected from it. 

Valentine's Day Shaomin&Zeyu

I agree with the writer than puppy love is no longer taboo in China.  As stated in the article, parents are more willing to let their children be in a relationship. Their reason is because being in a relationship might not be a bad thing. This is contrary to previous believes of being in relationships too early being categorised as taboo, in which parents will be called up by the school when their children are in a relationship. Some examples of benefits from being in a relationship is the ability to have a listening ear, or maybe that might be able to help you in your studies. Despite that, those benefits can also be derived from having a good friend.

Valentine's Day: Erika&Audrey

Summary: Research shows that making love during teenage years may hinder their relationship with future partners as having a passionate and fulfilling first relationship may result in a boring and disappointing relationship with future partners during adulthood. However, contradicting study shows that some couples are able to last long despite seeking a well maintained relationship in their youthful  days.

Opinion:  One significant point that we agree on is that if you had a very passionate first relationship and allow that feeling to become your benchmark for a relationship dynamic, then it becomes inevitable that future, more adult partnerships will seem boring and a disappointment. As an expectation has been set, it will be difficult for one to not try to meet it. To find happiness with a future partner, they would have to lower their expectation and not try to replicate and compare with the first relationship. Also for future relationships to work, they should be calm and compose. 

Benchmark - a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared.
anthropologist -  people that practice anthropology, which is the study of humanity. 
inevitable - certain to happen; unavoidable 
Euphoria - a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness.
Puppy love - intense but relatively shallow romantic attachment, associated with adolescents.

Valentine's Day: Keefe and WeiNing

One significant point from the article is the writer’s view on having puppy love. The writer feels that puppy love should be avoided as the euphoria felt in the first relationship would set a benchmark for the following relationships, making it less enjoyable. However I feel strongly that this topic is highly subjective to one’s definition of love and happiness. I believe also that the happiness and excitement felt in a relationship is dependent on how willing both parties are to give in and compromise. The feeling from the puppy love will not set a benchmark such that the future relationships would be unenjoyable. Psychological topics I feel, are very subjective and it really is dependent on the participants so Ido not agree with the writer and in my opinion we should enjoy life as it is and not restrict ourselves from life’s stages.

Valentines Day :Chenxin&Nguwar&ZhuoYun

We disagree that parents and guardians should reprimand and educate children when they are involved in puppy love. In our opinion, puppy love is just a phase in a teenager's growing years, and is quite normal for teenagers to endorse in. However, puppy love is only acceptable to some extent. Although completely restricting puppy love may reduce the risk of misconduct, one may still be able to indulge in a relationship in discreet,which makes no difference with or without the approval. But in the end, it all comes down to the decisions that the individuals make. And if the  individual decides to indulge in a sexual relationship with his/her partner, it's their decision of going through the risk of under-aged pregnancy, and ultimately their choice despite how others may choose to react to.Puppy love was even supported by some parents who foresees the gender ratio going to be unbalanced, afraid that their child may be single for his/her life.

Valentine's Day:Jeremy and Zi jun

Summary of Article C:
  Loving at a young age can actually wreck people's life because of their inability to cope with emotional turmoil of their early relationship. Falling in love before the age of 17 has a significant impact on a child's vulnerability to depression and alcohol abuse.
  We feel that the point that the article is driving at is very true because at such a young age, we are not yet fully matured enough to be in a relationship because we are not able to handle heartbreaks well and this may lead to emotional distress. When that happens, our grades may drop significantly, causing even more distress as both parents and teachers have to step in and scold the kids. This may lead to depression and children may start hanging with the wrong crowd and pick up wrong habits like smoking or taking drugs illegally. Thier future would be ruined. Hence we feel that puppy love should not be allowed and we agree with the author.

Valentine's Day: Jize And Kianboon

Article A:
One significant point from this article that we both agree on is that a passionate first relationship can make those that follow seem unfulfilling. This could be due to the fact that once a person has had a passionate relationship, he/she would start to associate romance to the other party and divert his/her fullest attention to the person, and thus when they start another relationship, it could seem unfulfilling as they had already given their fullest commitment to their first relationship and the ones that follow may not seem committed enough. Thus, one should avoid teenage relationships and start a relationship only when they are sure that they have found their life long partner. 

Valentine's Day: Jayme & Rong Yan

Summary: Puppy love used to be a taboo in China as parents are afraid that early love would affect the children's studies and prospects negatively. Therefore, doctors emphasized on the need for meaning sexual education as children are maturing earlier sexually. Teachers would not involve themselves if their students are in a relationship, unless their grades are poor.

Opinion: We agree that the amount of homework the students have is overwhelming and that they should have emotional release because in our opinion, the students might be too stressed about their studies that they cannot focus and their results might drop instead of them acing puppy love causing their grades to drop. Puppy love might be able to let them feel more relaxed and less stressful and they may even be able to focus more and improve on their studies. 

Valentine's Day: Xinyan & Meixuan

Article B:
We agree that it is good if one treats one's crush as one's role model. This is because when one has a crush, that person will tend to try to show his or her best side to his or her crush. This will then somehow force the person to improve himself or herself so that he or she will get noticed by his or her crush. This way, even though the feelings may not be mutual, but one’s crush will always be one's role model and one's motivation to constantly improve. This will be a positive influence for them and they would try to impress their crush constantly, and try to become better than before. Their grades will improve that way, and they will not lose out on study. Having a crush is thus a good factor for students when it pushes them to do better.

2015 news: Shaoyi and Jolene


Summary: NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. The lead scientist of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program at the agency’s headquarters in Washington said that it seemed the more Mars is being explored, the more we can learn how life could be supported and where there are resources to support life in the future.

Opinion: This is an interesting article that deserves to be on the headlines as humans have been searching for life in outer space for many years. Now that they have found water on Mars, they are more hopeful to finding life and possibly travelling there after a few more years. Water is essential for humans and all other living things to survive. Finding water on Mars is a great breakthrough for us humans.S

Valentine's Day: Jolene and Shaoyi

Summary (Article C): Whether the attachment is real or to a much-kissed poster on a bedroom wall, falling head over heels before the age of 17 has a significant effect on a child's vulnerability to both depression and alcohol abuse. 

Opinion: One significant point that we agree on is that romance increases a girl's risk of developing symptoms of depression by up to a third. According the article, girls are more vulnerable to romances, and this might be a critical reason why some girls are found to be overly committed in a teenage romance. In the teenage years, many girls and boys do not seem to have a mature mindset and thinking. With girls being too engaged in a relationship would result in them feeling heartbroken in the end when both parties are unable to make wise decisions and sustain the relationship. Thus the feeling of being heart broken might land girls in a state of depression.

Valentine's Day : Xinyi & Sileng

              Socialogist said that the euphoria experienced by youths during a first love can make it more difficult to find happiness with a future partner. A passionate first relation can make those following seems  unfulfilling. Adults who take a calm, steady approach to finding love and do not try to replicate teenage excitement tend to be happier in later life. The solution is clear: if you can protect yourself from intense passion in your first relationship, you will be happier in your later relationships. Thus puppy love should be avoided.

          I agree with the writer that puppy love should be avoided. Firstly, teenagers are not mature enough to have a relationship as it will not last. It is different from adults having a relationship as adults have gone through more things than teenagers. Teenagers relationship is not the type that could last long as they don't think about the future, their relationship doesn't start with the mindset of living together for life. Furthermore, if they get hurt by their relationship at such a young age, they will be afraid to get into another relationship in the future. They will not appreciate love as much as they do if they have a relationship at a older age. 

Vocabulary : euphoria- happiness
                      Replicate- copy, repeat

Valentine's day : Adon and Amalyn

We both agree that young teenagers are unable to cope with the emotional turmoil of early relationships, therefore making it not suitable for them to start relationships at an early age. Having a relationship requires time, sacrifices, commitments and they must be able to handle the ups and downs. In our opinion, a teenager is not mature enough to understand the commitments that come with having a relationship, much lest keep their commitments. Should they suddenly break up during a relationship, they may not be able to cope with the stress either and this could lead to serious depression, something that is definitely not good for a young teenager.
We also think that teenagers should focus more on academics rather than relationships. At such a young age, relationships are very hard to maintain, so there is no point having one. These relationships may also affect your academics, blocking your pathway to success.

2015 News: Hongyi and Matthew

Link: Ghost Sec, Anonymous hacks Islamic State website

Summary: A French hacker group by the name of Anonymous has declared war against the infamous extremist group, ISIS. They announced the declaration of war after the terrorist attacks in Paris, which left 129 dead and 300 more wounded. Experts have said that cyberattacks can have a tremendous impact.

Opinion: It is definitely a blessing that people are doing their part to fight against ISIS, interfering in the terror group's plan from doing more harm to people across the globe. From this article, we can clearly see the impact of technology in our lives. Traditional wars in the past only involved the use of weaponry and manpower, however what we witness from this article tells us a completely different story. Wars are now declared and brought online. What we see from the Ghost Sec's declaration of war on ISIS following the Paris attacks tells us that the virtual has also become a battlefield for some, as attacks by Ghost Sec members are starting to unfold, aimed to take down any website distributing any propaganda of the ISIS and funding the terror group.

By now, we might be harboring thoughts that the Ghost Sec are a praiseworthy group, having thwarted the IS's plans several times. In fact, a UK security minister even praised the work of the online hackers on 24 November. However, should we actually be in favour of what they are doing? Hackers have roamed the web for years, and their acts have essentially been deemed as a taboo for most web users. Their capabilities are extensive, enough to invade privacies of many individuals and eradicate their online presence. Are their actions morally correct? Are their actions honorable? These questions should be left pondering in your minds after reading this article. 

2015 News : Royston and George

English News Article Review
Charlie Hebdo Shooting 

In the past year, many tragic events have happened over the course of last year. 
But in my opinion, the Charlie Hebdo attacks a year ago deserve the front cover of the TIME magazine because firstly, it's a major event that deserve our attention and secondly, there are many takeaways and learning points from the shocking event. 
What happened was that Charlie Hebdo publishes a slightly insulting and offensive cartoon about Prophet Muhammad, though not over the top ; and fans appreciate their dark sense of humor and their satirical wits. In vengeance, the extremists come at their throat, killing 12 people in the bloody process.
  From this event, we can see that terrorism is getting increasingly rampant and this is not something that we can ignore or shrug off easily. It would be very complacent and na├»ve to think that we can still do whatever we like or want,just because we have the freedom of speech without considering about the consequences.  The main point that i wish to convey is that before we express ourselves, consider the consequences carefully. We need to step into the opposite's party perspective and view the matter. Freedom of speech is allowed, and welcome, but we do have to keep in mind that the audience is extremely huge, and not just limited to your intended one. In this case, it goes into dangerous territory as it portrays a bad image of the god that the extremists worship. And it unlike normal Islamics, the extremists have a view so twisted and wrong where non believers of their one true God will be executed. So when we do things, we need to be extremely careful, and sensitive topics such as Islam in the recent terrorist rampant world should be avoided. 
  By any way I do not mean that this incident's fault lied all in Charlie Hebdo and neither do i mean we need to cower under terrorism . On the contrary, we need to stand up against terrorism. Why are terrorists getting more and more arrogant recently? This is because, like their name suggests, they have successfully instilled terror and fear into all of us. Why do we need to be scared then , may i ask ? Fear is nothing more than the mentality of the weak. Unity however, is our strongest weapon and as long as we are unafraid, vigilant, and unified, nothing can come between us and break us apart.  We must fight back.