Saturday 1 November 2014

Smart cities of the future - Ki Eunyu

Summary: Cities has become one of the rising topics in the world. More and more people come to live in cities as they provide many opportunities for people. Cities are main areas for developments such as business, social integration and innovation. Cities also face challenges and many smarts ways have been suggested to solve such issues. Cities are responsible for development of the whole country and thus must be sustainable, smart and inclusive to create jobs and improve quality of life.

Opinion: I think that cities are very important to a nation. Almost every city in the world is densely populated. Most activity in the country happen in the city. The government should continue to work hard for development of cities and create innovative ways to solve problems faced by cities.

Friday 26 September 2014

Exploitation Of Resources By: Sherman Teo

The world, it seems, is obsessed with what we take out. Historically it was just basic minerals and stones which, used for practical purposes, had very little impact on the planet. This trend has continued and now our world economy is centered on mass scale extraction of natural resources and minerals such as crude oil, gold, platinum, coal and various other natural gases, not to mention the ocean’s resources. Throughout the planet, mineral rich locations have been scraped dry, forced into war and destroyed as the environment is left in ruin whilst the ‘organizations of extraction’ seek elsewhere to mine, fight and get rich off the worlds natural resources. The lunacy of what we are doing to our planet will only be evident in generations to come. Not only is our economy dependent on a resource (crude oil) that is detrimental to our environment and running out but we have also created an economy that is centered around natural resources (gold and diamonds). Water too is a key element which is slowly being depleted, wasted and treated as an endless resource. So much of this precious resource is used to water large gardens, cool power stations as opposed to being reserved for human livelihoods. The suggestion that the next great wars will be fought over water is not unrealistic. Already in parts of Africa and on the Nile, downstream communities are opposing the overuse of natural water for upstream communities wishing to extend their crop growth and farms.

In my opinion, I think that Singapore is a developed country which is also spending large amount of resources and money on fossil fuels. We are using up a large amount of it to supply our houses with electricity and ensure that we are able to work our digital technology. However, little do we know the fact that this is destroying us as we too are destroying the environment. Many of the important resources around us have been taken for granted and that should not be the case as some of these are limited. With that in mind, we should conserve more, rather than to use up all of these which would tremendously affect our world.

Earth 'going downhill' as consumption rises, report says By JunTian

 Summary: From high above the earth, an astronaut launched the latest report card on the health of the planet which once again paints an alarming image of over-consumption and exploitation. From space, forest fires, air pollution, erosion can all be see. The report is clear that we're still going downhill, that our ecological footprint, the pressure we put on the earth's resources, continues to rise so we're now using 50% more resources that the earth can replenish and biodiversity continues to decline. The main feature of the Living Planet Report is the Living Planet Index which tracks the health of the world's ecosystems by monitoring 9,000 populations of more than 2,600 species.
It shows a near 30% drop in biodiversity since 1970, and an even faster decline in the tropics of 60%. However, the index for temperate regions rose 31%, as some species showed signs of recovery after huge biodiversity losses the previous century.

Opinion: I feel that it is extremely worrying that our resources are being used up so quickly. The fact that the adverse impact it has brought can even be observed straight from space shows how bad the situation is. Luckily, leaders all over the world are beginning to realize the importance of conservation and many have pledge to do more regarding our environment. For example, Denmark has  has pledged to double the nation's windpower and to wean itself off fossil fuels by 2050.I feel that other countries should follow its footsteps and start cutting down on over usage of non renewable sources. On the other hand, countries should use renewable sources like solar power, hydropower, etc. Although it might be expensive, it will definitely benefit both the country and the whole world in the long run.

Sunday 21 September 2014

Time is right for global focus on forests land right by ZhiGang

 Summary: Global fish stocks are exploited or depleted to an extent that without urgent measures we may be the last generation to catch food from the oceans. Research has shown that around 85% of global fish stocks are over-exploited, depleted, fully exploited or in recovery from exploitation. Also, large areas of seabed in the Mediterranean and North Sea now resemble a desert. The seas have been expunged of fish using increasingly efficient methods such as bottom trawling.

Opinion: In my opinion, I feel that Man are destroying the Earth using their bare hands. Many feel that it is all right to continue exploiting the Earth resources without knowing the outcome of what they did. Like for example, India burn down the forests just to use them for farming purposes. The aftermath of this area becomes barren after farming and farmers just continue to burn down more forests for farming. This resulted in massive deforestation and hurting the environment.

Friday 19 September 2014

Creativity and critical thinking in our education -Ryan

Summary: the government believe that all students can think well and be creative, and thus provide opportunities for student to develop. A way that have student to display their creativity is through their English composition. The development of creativity can start at a young age such as pre- school or primary education through play based learning. For secondary school and junior college, project-based learning should be use to allow student  to connect with communities which is an effective way to promote thinking. Henderson secondary is an example of a school that believe that it's student can think well and be creative.

Opinion: Schools should use their fund to provide student with opportunities to think well and be creative. If the school doesn't have enough fund, school should at least try and make use of resources at hand to provide opportunities.

Creativity and critical thinking in our classrooms by JunTian

Summary: Good thinkers are able to exercise sound reasoning and reflective thinking to make good decisions underpinned by values such as respect. They ought to be able to generate novel ideas. In the face of challenges, they are unafraid to manage complexities and ambiguities. All teachers must believe that all students can think well and be creative, and thus provide our students with opportunities to develop their critical and inventive thinking. Critical and inventive thinking should be developed from a young age.This brings me to the second principle for developing thinking, which is, good thinking should be deliberately developed within the context of subject disciplines and the total curriculum. This means that we need to teach students how to think critically and inventively in different subject disciplines. We need to model and guide students through the thinking process, using questioning so as to make the thinking explicit and visible in the learning. Most importantly, schools and classroom culture must consistently support and develop students’ thinking

Opinion: In order to cultivate students with critical thinking and creativity, I feel that the responsibility of teachers is the biggest. Teachers have to frequently ask students questions and encourage them to answer in different and special methods. This fosters creativity and allows student to get used and feel comfortable in answering questions.  Critical thinking and creativity is extremely important as it is definitely applicable to any jobs students wish to have in the future. Therefore schools and teachers should experiment ways to cultivate creativity and critical thinking in academic subjects so that students learn how to apply thing in the future.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Singapore wants creativity not cramming by ZhiGang

Summary: Singapore’s schools have become global role models, with consistently high results in international tests but now the government is trying to cultivate creativity in the students as well. So instead of the traditional images of high-pressure Asian schools, they are trying new ways to learning for students like how students of Rosyth School went on a learning journey in a park with the aim to incorporate science topics and values such as caring for the environment compared to classroom learning.

Opinion: In my opinion, I feel that education should not just focus mainly on academics. Education consists of many aspects. Therefore, I agree with how the government is trying to inculcate new things into students for students will be equipped with new skills from the Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs), Values In Action (VIAs) that is provided by the school. This in turn helps to boosts a student’s characters besides the part on academics. This will in turn help the students in their life ahead.

Thursday 4 September 2014


Summary: Mr Lee introduced the Pioneer Generation package to thank all our pioneers who have sacrificed to build Singapore and they have overcame difficult and dangerous situations to build a sovereign, independent country. They transformed Singapore from Third World to First and they always looked to the future and strove to give their children better lives than themselves. He also mentioned the importance of education so that we can keep improving Singapore. He also emphasized the quality of education in Singapore regardless whether it is Universities, ITE or Polytechnics,  all of them producing quality students.

Opinion: I feel that it is really very meaningful to implement the Pioneer Generation package as our pioneers have done so much for the progress of Singapore and contributed more than we ever could. Therefore, introducing the Pioneer Generation Package can allow our pioneers to have more medical benefits which they definitely deserve after all they have done for our country. I also agree with PM Lee that every school is a good school. No matter where they are at, students should do their best and achieve the best that they can in order to do their teachers proud. They will also be able to contribute better to society in the future. Hence it is very important that all students study hard.

Saturday 30 August 2014

PM Lee's National Day Message 2014 by Ki Eunyu

PM Lee's National Day Message 2014

Summary: PM Lee mentioned that Singapore has been progressing. This was due to the efforts of the pioneers who brought Singapore up from third country to the first. More schemes have been made to help them. More schemes are made for the life after retirement. He also mentioned that everyone has opportunity to succeed in Singapore's system. Education is very important. Along with education, social values to not to judge a person by education qualifications is important. The bonds between Singaporeans must be strong. Singapore will continue to progress on with all the people working together.

Opinion: I felt that although I am not Singaporean, this speech was meaningful as it showed how system in Singapore continues to progress with new ideas and plans. I felt that it was good for Singapore to recognise talents not just based on academics. This way Signapore will be able to progress on more as different areas are getting developed well. 

Friday 29 August 2014

A Grim Future for Tropical Forests by ZhiGang

Summary: Tropical forests harbor more than half of the world’s species found on land. A new study reveals that continued deforestation and logging, coupled with the effects of global warming, will devastate these precious tropical environments with the plants and animals that live there by the end of the century. Clear-cutting forested land destroys the environment totally, wiping out the homes and food sources for the animals that lived there. The effects of logging and climate change are more subtle, but still poignant.

Opinion: In my opinion, I feel that Man are irresponsible. They have been cutting down trees in the forests has destroyed the environment totally. They say that they want to save the environment, save the planet, but these actions are terrible. Like Indonesia have been burning down forests for agriculture. Perhaps they want to make a living, but as they grow crops, these lands become infertile, barren and becomes impossible for reforestation. Even worse, this results in the haze of neighboring countries.

Singapore reaches out to Indonesian travellers with new campaign by ZhiGang

Summary: The new campaign has been launched in Jakarta by the Singapore Tourism Board and like its predecessors, it is focused on tailoring and delivering experiences that are based on a deeper understanding of consumer means in key visitor-source markets. Many Indonesians travel abroad for differentiated lifestyle needs such as shopping, entertainment, attractions and dining. A majority are free and independent travelers who are familiar with nearby city destinations and are particularly drawn to new experiences. 

Opinion: In my opinion, I feel proud of Singapore as my country. I am happy with the management of the country by the government. To improve her economics, she reached out to countries to form a strong relationship with them and as well as to promote the country through tourism, jobs. This has brought in an overwhelming tourists, investors, foreign workers into Singapore because they understand that Singapore is a multi-racial society and country with a stable economic.

Overview: PM Lee's National Day Rally Speech by ZhiGang

Summary: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has highlighted the need for economic growth and a cultural change to help all Singaporeans achieve their potential. Mr Lee outlined how Singaporeans can attain success through different routes, regardless of their academic qualifications. To help the older generation of Singaporeans, Mr Lee also announced policy enhancement to the national savings scheme. Overall, Mr Lee urged Singaporeans to be the pioneers of their own generation in the next 50 years and beyond.

Opinion: In my opinion, I feel that it is important for a government to be properly managed. Many years, there have been debate over the possession of paper qualification in Singapore. After this rally, this shows that the government has taken into the consideration of its people and to build a society whereby everyone have the chance to have a job of their choice despite their education level. Since Singapore has a competitive education system, this would benefit the weaker students.

Thursday 28 August 2014

Singapore Tourism Board targets focal points in India By Carlenko Wang

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is giving 'segment marketing' a big thrust in India, so as to attract more visitors from the country. Out of an estimated 7 million people from across the globe, who visited Singapore during January, about 3.4% were from India. India, especially South India has become a growing market for Singapore, which has become a country with well developed infrastructure. The focus is only limited by imagination policy, pointed out by the STB. Overall, STB has pegged a modest growth rate of 6-8 per cent for visitors from India during the current year, as against over 12 per cent growth in the past.STB also said that as we expand the base, it will be unrealistic to expect to maintain double-digit growth.
In my opinion, I think that the STB is going to the correct direction of exploiting the visitor resources from India so as to further Singapore’ tourism income .Singapore is a renowned tourism country .However, the tourism income has fallen since the development of tourism other countries. In order to maintain our superiority, such policy is essential.

Ignore IQ Tests: Your Level of Intelligence Is Not Fixed for Life By Carlenko Wang

The New Scientist has raised a view of gradual decline in IQs in developed countries .The IQ Test ,designed by French psychologist in 1900s ,was to help distinguish between individual intellectual abilities .However ,the test result is thought to be fixed through one’s life ,further limiting people’s potential by setting barrier to be confident . Scores makes intelligence look relatively constant, whereas in fact we are all becoming more intelligent across and within our lifetimes. This particular use of IQ tests has caused one leader in the field of intelligence research, Robert Sternberg, to refer to IQ testing as “negative psychology” in a 2008 article.

In my opinion ,the IQs test has both drawbacks and advantages .It helps one to realize one’ intellectual abilities by pointing out the level of his intelligence .In some extent ,such function indeed helps some people to understand their abilities and to be pragmatic . However, our intelligence is not fixed. On the contrary, it grows with the age .As such, it is expected that people will set barrier to be better themselves, telling themselves that their failures are supposed to be like that. The drastically limit people’s potential ,making people stop to keep improving themselves .In a nutshell ,IQ test is a coin with two sides ,which should be implemented properly.

National Day PM Lee Speech By: Carlenko Wang

The Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has emphasized the need of economic growth as well as a cultural change to help Singaporeans achieve their potential in the National Day Rally . Mr. Lee sketched how Singaporeans can attain success through different routes, regardless of their academic qualification. He also announced the policy enhancements to the national saving scheme. The scheme is to commemorate the pioneer generation’ contributions to the development of Singapore. He said they wrote the opening chapters of the Singapore Story. Mr. Lee pointed out that Singapore's physical transformation has been remarkable. One ambitious future transformation being planned is at the Jurong Lake District, which will bring together the Jurong Lake Park, and the Chinese and Japanese Gardens.
In my opinion, the National Day Rally is rich in information and raised different ideas of how to be a successful Singaporean. Regardless of one’s paper qualification, one can develop himself and put himself to his limits through different careers. Since last 49 years, some critics argue that one can never have a bright future in an academically-driven society in Singapore. This Rally has rebutted these views by showing off different case of being successful through other alternatives, apart from academic aspect. I believe it is a drastic progress as Singapore has become a land of success to many people. We need to keep up with the international economy pace so as to attain more and more progresses. 

Saturday 23 August 2014

National Day PM Lee Speech By: Sherman Teo

The government is putting more and more effort into Singapore's education system in Polytechnics and ITE. These school have top class facilities for both students and educators alike. He mentioned that the education system in Singapore does not just revolve around the fact that we have to get degrees from universities to get good jobs. He had shown many people who had successful careers even without a degree. Many of them had clinched a top earning job despite their achievements in the academics. This then allowed the Prime Minister to state the point that we should work for a achievement or goal job which we would like rather than working in a condition which we do not like.
In my opinion, I believe that what the Prime Minister had stated is true because there are many people who do not have top qualifications but they can also make a very large contribution. This is mainly because the person has the desire and passion for the job. With desire and passion together with hard work, we will be able to achieve anything and everything. Academics may sometimes not be everything to our future jobs but rather, our passion determines what happens and what we pursue.

Friday 22 August 2014

Singaporeans' satisfaction with public transport drops by ZhiGang

Summary: Singaporean’s overall satisfaction with the public transport system has dipped. The Land Transport Authority said that the dips in satisfaction level may be a reflection of increased ridership. Despite the low satisfaction of Singaporeans, more people are making public transport their choice mode. Surprisingly, more care-owning households are using public transport for daily commute, compared to four years ago. The government aims to achieve a peak period public transport mode share of 70 percent in 2020 and 75 percent by 2030.

Opinion: In my opinion, I feel that Singaporeans are a complain lot. They complain about everything that the government does and nothing seems to satisfy them at all. Parents usually complained about how education system is stressful in Singapore. The government tried to fulfill the needs of the parents by removing the banding of secondary school in Singapore. Yet, Singaporeans have yet to compliment the government and instead complain about what the government have done. Singaporeans are never satisfied with the government. 

Thursday 21 August 2014

COE premiums for cars rise by Carlenko Wang

Certificate of Entitlement premiums for cars has recently raised in the latest bidding exercise. Premiums for big car has increased drastically which rose 6.3 percent while that of open category rose 5.5 percent. Although the premium has raised because of the strong demands for COE and the popularity of new models, buyers are more care about the entitlement to own a car. High COE premiums and the high demand for cars suggests that the Government’ has put efforts to encourage Singaporeans to shift from private to public transport, which does not has the desired effect

In my opinion, indeed we should praise the government’s efforts to let citizens to shift from private transport to public transport so as to promote Singapore’s traffic conditions. However, the government should explore more alternatives to educate citizens the importance of maintaining good traffics and the benefits of taking public transport. This will be more effective than aimlessly raising the premiums of COE as it changes people’s understandings of transport.  

Sunday 10 August 2014

Progress comes with making mistakes By Sherman Teo

Making progress means taking risks and making brilliant blunders. Thomas Edison is reputed to have said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” This statement sums up a fundamental — but often misunderstood — truth about scientific inquiry. The mistakes that are integral to scientific progress are not those that result from haste, sloppiness or inexperience. Rather, they are the mistakes that arise from thoughtful, meticulous experimentation based on bold ideas — the kind of ideas that can lead to major breakthroughs. One may wonder whether today’s highly competitive, funding-starved scientific atmosphere, in which publications and citations have become a primary criterion for success, can accommodate such mistakes. The simple answer is yes. Indeed, they are as important as ever — and not only in academia. In fact, the entire scientific method is based on the notion that discovering what does not work is vital to learning what does. Any scientific theory must be falsifiable — that is, based on existing observations or experimental results. For a theory to be considered scientific, it must yield specific predictions of future observations or experimental results. If those observations or results contradict the predictions, the theory is discarded, or at least must be modified.

In my opinion, many of the risks that we take today will lead to mistakes however, these mistakes are the steps which we require to reach our goals. Many of our inventions nowadays were also due to the accidents and the making of mistakes by the scientists. People believe that mistakes are bad and the result of extremely lazy work however, they may sometimes lead to unexpected things with a better result as compared previously.

Friday 8 August 2014

Little India riot: The dog that did not bark-Ryan

Summary: In the aftermath of the Little India riot, the focus and dominant narrative, unsurprisingly, have been on law and order issues.The Government is also emphatic that the riot did not signal local-foreign resentment. Since in Singapore, foreign labour consist of about 40 percent of our population. So we should do improvement to their living condition and environment to prevent such things from happening as such incident happen was because of no one taking care of such thing with care.

Opinion:  In my opinion, I believe that such thing would not happen again if such problem are taken care of. Since it had happened we should not take it as a lesson learn and should not because of this break the racial harmony in Singapore.

Retirement is a journey, not a destination by Carlenko Wang

Increasing life expectancy and low birth rate lead Singapore to tackle with a shrinking and aging population and workforce. The government has taken steps to relief the situation; however citizens should cooperate as well. The retired elderly still work so as to have income for their elderly lives. Planning early ensures a better retirement.  The most common pitfalls people make in planning for retirement and future needs is not saving enough; starting too late; and underestimating the effects of inflation.

In my opinion, there is no doubt that we need to take actions to deal with the issues that aging population has brought us with .Not only our government need to be wise to coordinate the social resources, we also need to prepare for our retirement fund .However, these steps are only temporary for the existing issues .The most effective way is to increase the birth rate in Singapore. As long as enough workforce due to high birth rate contributes to the economic development ,our economy will be strong enough to support the social resources required such as retirement funds ,thus completely solve the current problem of social resources shortage.

Saturday 2 August 2014

Is Singapore soil fertile for creativity?

Singapore’s pursuit for innovation within organizations has been blocked by the structure of the organization ,the mindset of its leader or within the culture itself. The expectation of creativity is an obstacle. Such obstacles are not confined to Asian but also oversea companies. Aversion to failure can also be the barrier for innovation. Yet, despite the factors that seem to weigh against innovation in Asia and Singapore, there is evidence to suggest things may be moving in a different direction. It may be just a matter of putting in place processes that will encourage a greater spirit of creativity, thus fuelling innovation.
In my opinion: To cultivate an innovative culture, we need to re-engineer our educational system. It takes at least ten to fifteen years to develop a nation of innovative thinkers and actors. What the government should do is to introduce a Subject from Primary School up on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and assess and select talented students to be upgraded to a Secondary-level " School of Innovation and Global Entrepreneurship" with the help of private sector business leaders' active involvements.The 30 000 Teachers Workforce is not cut out to perform should functions. 

Sunday 27 July 2014

can GM food can help africa? by demi tay

summary : If there is one place on earth where farmers have it hard, it is sub-Saharan Africa.
Some 80 children live here, many of them are orphans and budgets are extremely tight.The school is struggling to cope. Staff are worried that, soon, they will be unable to feed the kids.The diet could hardly be more basic. At breakfast time the kids tuck into porridge made of maize flour.When you see children picking away at the arid, red, African soil with the most rudimentary tools, it is clear that African agriculture can use all the help it can getThe trouble is that the price of the maize has gone up three fold in a year.Most people are farmers, but not for profit - to survive. Africa is the one continent that cannot feed itself.It is a field trial. The plants have been genetically modified to withstand a deadly fungal infection which kills plants and destroys yields.
The promise of a home-grown African solution drives the scientists here.
in my opinion, i feel that gm food can greatly help african.This is because gm food are insect resistance and would not die off easily.This can increase the farmers crop yield to a larger extent.Due to this increase in the productivity i can allow them to sell the crops and make money and feed on the crops to survive.This can definitely help afica. However gm food require a large amount of fertilizer which is expensive.Therefore i feel that other country should help out by providing some financial assistance to african.If other country are willingly to help out i am sure that starvation and malnutrition would be greatly reduce in African.

singapore education PISA test by demi tay

summary: Singapore’s 15-year-olds excel in thinking flexibly and creatively to solve complex and unfamiliar problems.according to the 2012 PISA findings, our students are innovative, are able to handle uncertainty, and dare to experiment with alternative solutions.The strong performance of our students reflects our curricular emphasis and our schools’ efforts in developing problem solving skills in our students.The results of PISA 2012 show that Singapore has one of the deepest and widest talent pools of students who have the ability to apply thinking skills effectively to solve problems.PISA study shows that our students perform very well in both the knowledge acquisition processes (exploring and understanding, representing and formulating) and the knowledge utilisation processes 

i feel happy that our country has excel in the pisa test.This shown that our students are able to solve problems and not just memorize and don't know how to apply.However,i feel that singapore education can be further improved.firstly, MOE should give more test that test on the skills rather on content work.This can better allow our students to learn how to apply knowledge to a greater length.secondly, i feel that MOE should allow learning to take place outside of classroom.This can allow students to understand better and absorbed better.

Saturday 26 July 2014

UN urges action to protect forests' genetic diversity By: Sherman Teo

Forest species are coming under increasing pressure from human activities and climate change, and face the risk of extinction, the UN warns. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published a global action plan to improve management of the world's forest genetic resources. Building on data from 86 national reports, the FAO document covers 8,000 woody species (trees, shrubs, palms and bamboo) that are among the most utilised by humans. It found that a third of these species, about 2,400, were actively managed specifically for their products and/or services. It suggests their great potential to support agriculture, forestry and environmental sustainability, as well as food and nutrition security, if better evaluated and developed. Forests provide food, goods and services which are essential to the survival and well-being of all humanity. The report constitutes a major step in building the information and knowledge based required for action towards better conservation and better management of the planet's precious forest genetic resources.

In my opinion, I believe that more and more people are starting to use up many of the earth resources especially trees. These forests are being deforested by people for other usage such as building of furniture and making of houses. Such use of wood not only harms the forest creatures but it also harms the environment as there will be more carbon dioxide emissions. With rising carbon dioxide emissions, we are then contributing more to global warming rather than trying to stop global warming.

Friday 25 July 2014

Is Singapore the worst environmental offender?

Summary: A study by NUS which ranked Singapore as the worst environmental offender among 179 countries. Study shown that Singapore modernisation had taken a terrible toll on its natural environment. The study is a little unfair as it's base on total land area which Singapore have a limited area. While Singapore fared poorly in terms of proportional environmental impact, it is too small to figure in terms of global or absolute environmental impact. For that, the 10 worst countries are: Brazil, the United States, China, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, India, Russia, Australia and Peru. Singapore has taken environmental issue seriously since it's independence.

Opinion:  study should be done a little more fairly such that smaller country like Singapore wouldn't be at an unfair situation and that it's an equally fair for the others country. Singapore also is making efforts on tackling environmental problems such as reducing Singapore's carbon emission amount.

Singapore’s environmental issues in 2013 by JunTian

Summary: Singapore's priority and challenge will be in inculcating more socially gracious attitudes among Singaporeans and also methods to cope with a potential sea—level rise. National water agency PUB has also been making preparations for rainy days and the monsoon season, such as widening drainage and installing closed—circuit cameras (CCTVs). Singapore aims to be "water independent" by ramping up land catchment areas and building more Newater plants. Singapore’s first water agreement with Malaysia expired in 2010 and the second one is due to expire in 2061. In addition, the ministry and its statutory boards will take a tougher stand on littering. The Home Affairs Ministry will be installing CCTVs in almost every block for for surveillance, and the National Environment Agency (NEA) will ride on this technology to catch high—rise litterbugs. As penalties increase, 2013 will also see stepped up enforcement, including giving citizens the power to take action against those who litter.
NEA will start a course next year, which will be very similar to the same course NEA officers go through, before they’re issued with warrant cards to take action if need be, when a minority of people litter, or act irresponsibly in our environment.

Opinion: I feel that everyone have a role to play when it comes to our environment, especially Singaporeans. Singapore is reputed for being a Garden City, and every citizen have the responsibility to keep it this way. Therefore, I feel that the NEA new initiative of allowing citizens to step up and stop others from littering is very good. Also, more should be done to teach people about conserving water so that we will not have to produce so much water.

Thursday 24 July 2014

21st Century Competencies by Ki Eunyu

21st Century Competencies

The world is changing fast and students must be ready to meet challenges they are going to face in the future. Ministry of Education (MOE) aims to give students a holistic education to prepare the students. Their focus is on the 21st century competencies. The core of 21st century competency is values. MOE believes that values shape a person in every way. Next is Social and Emotional competencies such as self awareness, self management and social management. This is followed by the competencies needed in the world we live in. These include Communication, Collaboration and Information Skills. MOE does this through various ways. For example, Co curricular activities where students are required to deal with real life open situations, Character and Citizenship education which teach students how to apply their values and character. Teachers are also trained to develop the 21st century competencies in the students by learning learning strategies through the Teacher Education 21 framework. Teachers should help students in their thinking process. Nowadays, there is an increase in self directed and collaborative learning among students. Schools also work closely with community to ensure that students are able to see and develop skills needed for them in the future.

I personally feel that 21st century competencies are very important. Nowadays, people are graded highly on their problem solving skills and creativity rather than just memorisation. With the 21st century competencies, students will be ready to face challenges in life and they will be developed in all ways, from communication skills to values. This will definitely help the students in this fast changing globalised world as they will be able to face any problems that comes in their way with application of these skills.

Wednesday 23 July 2014

SG Education PISA test By Carlenko Wang

Based on the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) computer-based assessment of Problem Solving, organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Outperformance of Singapore’s 15-year olds suggesting that Singaporean students have the ability to deal with uncertainty and explore alternative solutions through experiments. These characteristics ensure that our students keep highly valued competencies in the globalised , information-rich economy increasingly as well as develop our society. Singapore’s education system has at times been criticised for encouraging rote learning at the expense of developing creative skills. The PISA 2012 assessment of problem solving skills proves those critics wrong. Moreover, this approvals our efforts in giving students not just a good literacy and numeracy foundation, but also in equipping them with the skills to solve problems in real-world contexts.
In my opinions, our long struggle for education of fostering student’s creativity and content education is not in vain. The results of the test of Singaporean students of performing well when competed with elites from all parts of the world inspired us that we should keep up in the increasingly competitive globalised world .On the other hand ,we should not stay at our laurels .Instead, we should take other alternative methods so as to terminate our education’s loopholes.

Learning for life, the Finnish way By Carlenko Wang

Unlike Singapore, most developed countries with good education systems do not have private tuition at large .Character develop programmes are treated as a choice as to whether students want to be part of them. Their understanding of exams is not about memorising but to test understanding and ability to apply knowledge. The fact that Finland education does not have major exams every few years, Finnish educators can tailor lessons according to pupils’ pace of learning, allocating time for field trips and frequent group activities.
In my opinions, other countries’ education system may not apply to the scenario that Singapore facing today. After all, the only way to keep the survival of economy Singapore is to use talented elites to develop the country. Singapore does not have rich natural resources, thus deciding that our education system is unique .I believe that we should keep our major way of improving students—examination as well as find better alternatives to enhance Singapore’s education.

Saturday 19 July 2014

Baby Technology By: Sherman Teo

Baby with smartphones Babies may feel more comfortable about new technologies than their parents. The makers of one wearable - currently taking pre-orders from US customers - are offering exactly that scenario. The Mimo Baby Monitor is an all-in-one baby-grow suit with a slot on its front to which a data-collecting plastic turtle plugs in. Mimo Baby Monitor Mimo's "smart baby monitor" gathers data via a sensor-equipped plug-in turtle. It takes similar readings to Owlet's product, beaming the results to concerned parents via Bluetooth and wi-fi. And there are some who are concerned such manufacturers are playing on parental paranoia. This can lead to some expensive purchasing mistakes, she adds. From a paediatric perspective, there appears to be pros and cons to integrating technology with parenting and infants. It has helped raise money for projects, including Smart Diapers - a nappy that aims to warn of developing urinary tract infections, despite warnings from Dr Laurent and others that the system might lead parents to make unnecessary trips to their doctor.

In my opinion, I believe that baby tech can be good however, it may also harm the babies due to the lack of testing on some of these devices. Such lack of testing will then cause the baby harm instead of their original purpose which is to make the baby's life easier and their parent's life difficult. Sometimes such technology also do not give us accurate results because they are not extremely advanced. however, some of these technology have helped out the parents by finding out and displaying the baby's vital systems and whether the baby is ok to their parents.

Baby tech: Will new gadgets result in paranoid parents by ZhiGang


In response to the needs of first-time parents, many new gadgets are advancing which benefits both the baby and the parent. With these new gadgets, parents would not be so worried about their baby because they will be able to detect anything wrong immediately with the notification on their smartphone. These have provided ease for parents, usually first-time parent for they do not know when their children will fall sick. These gadgets ensures the safety of the kids which is attractive to parents.


In my opinion, I feel that these gadgets may somewhat be beneficial for parents but have parents ever thought before the consequences of these gadgets. These gadgets are made to earn loads off parents and these somehow provide ‘help’ to parents. These gadgets actually are useless for they made us over-rely on these technologies to do simple things that we in nature are able to do. These gadgets made us dependent on them and probably something we cannot live without.