Educational news by Jayme&Rong Yan

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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Michelle Obama called for an end to "outdated laws and traditions" preventing millions of girls around the world from completing their education, in an impassioned speech Wednesday in Qatar.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.