Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Can giftedness be trained?

Parents are paying $200 per session for classes that promise to coach your child to pass selection tests for the gifted education programme.

Would you spend $200 per session for classes that promise to "train" your child to enter the gifted education programme (GEP)?

Some parents have no qualms of forking out the cash, just to give their child the perceived academic edge.

Enquiries by Wanbao to at least seven enrichment agencies that cater to gifted students found that classes cost at least several times more than the usual rate for tuition.

Classes at Doctor Peh Associates cost $2,000 for 10 lessons, while fees top $850 for four 90-minute classes at Aristocare centre.

The centres justify their high fees by the quality of tutors that they hire. They say tutors are either Bachelor's- or Master's-degree holders who have taught at schools for gifted students before.

Hence, they guarantee parents a "very high" success rate of getting their kids into the gifted education programme. Aristocare claims that 80 percent of its graduates managed to enter the gifted education programme.

Places in the GEP are limited, as only one percent of primary three students are streamed into the gifted education class each year.

Therefore, while the gifted 'training' classes are expensive, parents do not mind spending the money in their quest for the best education for their children.

More to offer

These coaching classes are usually conducted on a one-to-one basis, or in a small group of four to five.

The centres are known to take in students ranging from Primary 1 to Primary 3.

According to the principal of Morris Allen Study Centre in Singapore, Mr Morris Allen, these coaching classes have more to offer than normal tuition classes.

Besides help with academic subjects, students are also taught other skills usually not included in the syllabus, such as time-management.

Only high-IQ students can be admitted

Enrichment centres for gifted students that Wanbao spoke to say they only take in students with high IQ.

At Doctor Peh Associates, primary school students who wish to enrol in classes have to score at least 90 marks in their English and Mathematics tests. They take in kindergarten kids as well, but they have to have an IQ of above 130.

At Mind Stretcher, students have to pass two tests before being admitted. Aristocare also has a similar requirement.

However, some parents say if kids are able to pass the tests, then they are already brilliant students. So credit should not be given to the enrichment centres if they do get selected into the GEP.

6000 students have graduated from gifted education programme

Since the gifted education programme (GEP) began in 1984, 6,000 students have graduated from the programme, reported Wanbao.

The GEP caters to intellectually gifted and talented students, with the aim to help them to reach their maximum potential.

The curriculum focuses on developing students' higher-order thinking skills, as well as stimulate creative thought.

Currently, the GEP is offered at nine primary schools in Singapore. The GEP in secondary schools has been replaced by the "School-Based Gifted Education" programme.

This year's test to stream students into the programme will be held next month, on Oct 19 and 20.

One parent interviewed by Shin Min believes "giftedness" cannot be trained. Ms Lee, who has a 8-year-old daughter, says: "Teachers at the centre are those who used to teach at schools offering GEP. Hence, knowing the type of questions that will be asked and the kind of answers to be expected, they can tailor their lessons to help students answer these type of questions."

"It is not about training your child to be gifted."

Edvantage | Tue Sep 28 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Top Student From China

Is Your Tutor Qualified ?

Is tuition really worth it ?

He pays tutor only $12 a month

More Schools added in Pri 6 Prelims 2010

added SCGS and MGS in the Parent Exchange Programs......

kindly log in to get access to the papers on-line ........

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tuition in Singapore

Pri 6 Prelim Papers 2010 :-Higher Chinese on-line Download

1)Nan Hua :-


3)CHIJ St Nicholas:-



6)Hokkien 5:-

7)Catholic High:-

Japan teacher reprimanded for murderous maths quiz

TOKYO, JAPAN - A Japanese primary school teacher has been reprimanded for giving his pupils a maths problem in which he asked how long it would take to kill 18 children at a rate of three murders a day.

The 45-year-old male teacher, whose name has been withheld, has apologised for giving the quiz to his pupils, aged seven and eight, at his public school in Okazaki, central Japan, education officials said Wednesday.

"I did it carelessly. I deeply reflect on my conduct," he was quoted as saying by the officials over the incident in May, which apparently led to a parent complaint to the school in July.

The teacher reportedly asked the children: "There are 18 kids. If we kill three per day, how many days it will take?"

The school board said it handed the teacher a "strict reprimand".

"It should not happen again," said Kumiko Atsumi, a board official. "We are very sorry. We are taking measures to prevent a repeat of similar cases."

News of the incident emerged as new education ministry statistics said cases of violence at Japanese schools rose for a fourth straight year to hit a record 60,913 cases for the year to March, with 165 student suicides. --AFP

Wed, Sep 15, 2010

No change to PSLE mother tongue weightage

No change to PSLE mother tongue weightage

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Education Minister Ng Eng Hen have reassured Singaporeans opposed to the move that the weightage of mother tongue in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) will not be lowered.

Bilingualism remains as important as ever, but what will change is how mother tongue languages are taught and examined, they said yesterday, in response to a recent outpouring of views on the subject.

Explaining, PM Lee said the underlying problem is that pupils today have such diverse backgrounds and aptitudes in Chinese, Malay and Tamil, and reducing the weighting for these subjects at the PSLE is not the best way of resolving the problem.

Clarissa Oon
Wed, May 12, 2010
The Straits Times

MTL review won't dilute standards

A review committee is examining various systems of teaching the subject. -myp

THE mother tongue language (MTL) review will not pander to some students who are unwilling to master their mother tongue because of declining interest, Education Minister Ng Eng Hen said in Parliament yesterday.

A review committee is examining various systems to glean important lessons from the teaching of the subject, and it does not make sense to "spend all that effort" just to lessen its importance, he explained.

Headed by director-general of education Ho Peng, the committee is "not out to dilute the standards", but to set "realistic standards", he said.

The MTL review committee is being set up because the language environment has changed drastically in the past 20 years, he said.

Children have less exposure to MTL today as they are spending increasingly more time using English.

Among Chinese and Indian families, 60 per cent now predominantly speak English at home. This figure is double that of two decades ago. Among Malay families, 35 per cent predominantly use English.

Mr Baey Yam Keng, MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, sought clarification that the review would not pander to those students who are unwilling to put in effort to master their mother tongue.

Mr Baey was among seven MPs who fired away questions during the 40-minute debate.

"There is a concern that every time we review, that standards will drop. But I think when we aim for proficiency, we have guidelines to use," Dr Ng said in reply to Ms Lee Bee Wah, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC.

She asked if there would be a further lowering in the standard of MTL, especially that for the Chinese language.

"Some obviously will feel that we ought to (have) higher (standards), some lower. But, educationally, standards are not set arbitrarily," said Dr Ng. "You can make an exam so difficult that everybody fails, but you have to set realistic standards."

He cited Beijing's Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, a proficiency system the committee is studying, as one that has transparent markers, such as being able to converse with a native speaker and read the newspaper.

Opposition MP Low Thia Khiang quizzed Dr Ng about pegging MTL teaching and assessment standards to a changing language environment, which will be "weaker generation after generation".

"Will we one day realise that perhaps the only realistic standard then would be to require the student to be able to write his own name in Chinese?" Mr Low said.

Dr Ng replied that while Singapore's best and brightest should be as good as native speakers in China and Taiwan, he was not keen on a homogenous system that ignored the changing landscape.

Ministry of Education professionals are in discussions with their counterparts in China and other countries that offer Chinese as a mother tongue language to set appropriate standards, he said.

The review will set the blueprint for MTL teaching for the next 10 to 15 years, he said. By the end of the year, the committee will have come up with a revised curriculum for the lower-primary level.

It will show, with exam formats and textbooks, examples of how the curriculum would look at each level.

Wed, May 19, 2010
my paper

By Rachel Chan

RELIEF FOR STUDENTS: 10-year series out in July

After almost six months, publisher Michelle Yoo might finally stop receiving frantic phone calls.

Her firm, Singapore Asian Publications, has received more than 50 calls daily from parents, teachers and students since the start of the year.

They wanted to know why they could not buy copies of the sought-after 10-year series, which compiles questions from past O- and A-level exams into books by subject.

The series was pulled because of a copyright issue.

For more than 40 years, the series, affectionately called TYS, has been relied upon by many students to beef up their confidence and exam smarts.

Dunman High student Lee Kang Lin, 18, said: 'The TYS gives us a very good gauge of what we will eventually face in the Cambridge exam. Whenever we approach our seniors for help, they always refer us to the TYS.'

There is good news now. The Ministry of Education (MOE) told The Sunday Times in an e-mail on Friday that the copyright issue had been resolved, and that the series will be back in July.

The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) and the copyright holder, the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), reached an agreement on Friday.

For the past few months, students have been making do with preliminary exam papers from various schools, or scrambling to get copies of the TYS bought previously by others.

When told the good news, Kang Lin, however, said the release of the TYS in July may be 'too late'.

'I'm not relying much on the TYS as my school has been giving me exam papers from other schools, which now make up the bulk of my studying material,' said the student.

Still, she will buy the TYS for the mathematics and economics papers, 'to gauge exam standards'.

Local publishers, who have to tender for the right to produce the TYS, are also glad that the wait is over.

'If we are awarded the tender, the pressure for us then is to produce the TYS as quickly as possible since we have only about four months before the written exams begin,' said Ms Yoo.

Every year, the TYS is updated with the latest exam papers.

Assistant to the executive director of Shing Lee Publishers, Ms Adeline Ng, agreed that it is 'a bit too late'.

Typically, the peak period for TYS sales is the first half of the year.

Shing Lee said the number of copies it sold last year ranged from a few thousand to 20,000, depending on the subjects.

Maths and science are bestsellers while others like principles of accounts and food and nutrition are less popular due to a smaller pool of exam candidates.

Popular Book Company sold more than 100,000 copies of the TYS last year. It made up about 4 per cent of its total sales.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.
Tue, May 26, 2009
The Straits Times
By Estelle Low and Kimberley Lim

Former JC students selling school notes online

Take note if you are a junior college student in need of extra help to ace the exams.

You can go online and find former junior college students willing to pass on their school notes - but for a fee.

Related link:
» 'Students sell work that's not theirs'

Take the case of one seller who calls herself TripleAceTuition on 'Quote your price. Will sell to the highest bidder,' she said in her post.

Similarly, a quick search on the Internet for A-level notes will yield links to various websites, ranging from the forums at Singapore Press Holdings portal Stomp to a Facebook group.

The notes most in demand are for general paper, economics, geography, chemistry, physics and mathematics.

Two ring files of notes can cost $30 to $100, depending on the subject and the volume of content.

In a practice which is believed to have started in 2007, online sellers are quick to call attention to the pedigree of their notes.

'Hwa Chong Institution and Raffles Junior College notes are hot,' said a seller who wanted to be known only as Christopher.

'The response from potential buyers is almost immediate. Within one or two days, I can get four to five replies,' added the 18-year-old, who advertises on Stomp. He has just finished his A levels at Hwa Chong.

Materials on offer include lecture notes, school exam papers and worked solutions provided by teachers.

After negotiation, money is transferred to the seller's bank account before the notes are mailed, or cash is paid upon meeting in person.

But is it an infringement of copyright laws, given that the notes are the efforts of school teachers?

Checks by The Sunday Times reveal that most of the sellers seem to be unaware of, or disregard, the restrictions.

Their view is that they are no longer students of the school and do not expect any repercussions.

Also, they feel the exchange of notes is similar to getting them from friends in other JCs or buying them from the school bookshops.

Furthermore, most transactions are done through private messaging online or SMS. Hence, the identity of the seller is kept anonymous.

Under Singapore law, people who commit copyright offences can be fined up to $100,000 and jailed up to five years, or both.

However, a check with the vice-principals of Victoria Junior College and National Junior College shows that they are unaware of such ventures.

But there is at least one case of action being taken abroad to curb the practice.

In April last year, a professor from the University of Florida sued an online site, Einstein's Notes, which paid students to upload their lecture notes.

The lawyers for both sides have yet to arrive at an agreement.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.
By Debby Kwong

Tue, Dec 15, 2009
The Straits Times

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pri 6 Prelim Papers 2010 :-Science on-line Download

1)ACS :-

2)Catholic high:- (New)

3)Henry Park:-

4)Hokkien 5:-

5)Maha Bodhi:-

6)Nan Hua:- (New)




10)St Nicholas:-

11)Pei Chun :- (New)

12)MGS:- (New)

13)SCGS:- (New)

stay tuned for more schools.........coming in next week.......

Pri 6 Prelim Papers 2010 :-Maths on-line Download

1)ACS :-

2)Catholic high:-

3)Henry Park:-

4)Hokkien 5:-

5)Maha Bodhi:-

6)Nan Hua:-




10)St Nicholas:-

11)MGS:- (New)

12)SCGS:- (New)

stay tuned for more schools.........coming in next week.......

Pri 6 Prelim Papers 2010 :-Chinese on-line Download

1)ACS :-

2)Catholic high:- (New)

3)Henry Park:- (New)

4)Hokkien 5:-

5)Maha Bodhi:-

6)Nan Hua:-




10)St Nicholas:-

11)Pei Chun :-

12)MGS:- (New)

13)SCGS:- (New)

stay tuned for more schools.........coming in next week.......

Pri 6 Prelim Papers 2010 :-English on-line Download

1)ACS :-

2)Catholic high:-

3)Henry Park:-

4)Hokkien 5:-

5)Maha Bodhi:-

6)Nan Hua:-




10)St Nicholas:-

11)MGS:- (New)

12)SCGS:- (New)

stay tuned for more schools.........coming in next week.......

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pre-order Pri 6 Prelim papers 2010

Get the last mins preparation for the up coming PSLE Examination on the Oct ....
Fill in our pre-order forms and we will be in-touch with you ..thanks...

1)CHIJ ST Nichols
4)Catholic High
5)Nan Hua
6)Henry Park
7)Hokkien 5

Any of this six schools.... or sms 90690147 thanks...