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Inaugural Chinese Language Elective Programme Best Improvement Award

Nine students from across five Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP) centres will receive the inaugural Best Improvement Award. The award will be presented by Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Communications and Information, at the CLEP 25th Anniversary Luncheon on Saturday, 23 May 2015. The list of award recipients can be found in Annex A.

The “Best Improvement Award”, introduced by the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning and sponsored by the Chinese Language and Culture Fund, will be presented to students who are Singapore Citizens and show remarkable improvement in Chinese Language subjects, contribute actively to the CLEP and exemplify good character. Each year, the award will be presented to students from the Pre-U 1 and Pre-U 2 levels in all CLEP centres. Awardees will each receive a cash award of $500.

The Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP)

The Chinese Language Elective Programme was introduced by the Ministry of Education in 1990 to nurture students who have an aptitude for the Chinese Language so that they can attain a high level of proficiency and enhance their understanding of Chinese Literature. The programme also aims to allow academically able students to become effectively bilingual so as to better serve the needs of our nation. There are currently 5 CLEP centres – Dunman High School, Hwa Chong Institution (College), Jurong Junior College, Nanyang Junior College and Temasek Junior College.

The Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL)

The Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL), formed in January 2005, aims to garner the support of the community to support the learning of Chinese Language (CL) and to facilitate a continuing process of collaboration between schools, community organisations and the media to create an environment for promoting the use of CL beyond schools. Since its formation, CPCLL has actively organised engaging and interactive activities to enthuse students and develop in them an abiding interest in CL and Chinese culture.

Start of the 2015 Direct Admission Exercises

Students interested in applying for direct admission to secondary schools, junior colleges (JC) and polytechnics may start to do so from this month.

The Direct Admission Exercises1 promote holistic education by recognising a more diverse range of talents, achievements and personal qualities. Schools and polytechnics are given the flexibility to admit students based on these qualities, using a transparent and meritocratic process.

Direct School Admission-Secondary (DSA-Sec) Exercise

This year, 126 schools will participate in the 2015 DSA-Sec Exercise for admission to Secondary One in 2016. All participating schools and the schools’ distinctive programmes2 are listed in Annex A and Annex B respectively.

Interested students should go to the relevant school’s website to obtain more information on the school’s application period (which will vary from school to school) and corresponding procedures. All students participating in the DSA-Sec Exercise are still required to take the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). Those who take up DSA Confirmed Offers are guaranteed a place in the school provided that their PSLE results meet the minimum requirement for a course [Express/ Normal (Academic)/ Normal (Technical)] offered by the school.

Students who accept a DSA Confirmed Offer and are successfully allocated to a school via the DSA-Sec Exercise will not be able to participate in the Secondary One Posting Exercise. They will also not be allowed to transfer to another school after the release of PSLE results. They are expected to honour the commitment to the posted DSA school for the duration of the programme admitted to. Details of the exercise are listed in Annex C.

Direct School Admission-Junior College (DSA-JC) and Direct Polytechnic Admission (DPA) Exercise

The 21 institutions participating in the DSA-JC Exercise this year are listed in Annex D.

The DPA Exercise allows students who are interested in and have the aptitude for applied learning to seek admission to the polytechnics. The polytechnics will take into account students’ abilities, talents and interests in the specific courses that they have applied for. For example, a student’s passion and talent in digital media could be considered when he/she applies for a place in a Diploma in Digital Media Design through the DPA. All five polytechnics are participating in the DPA Exercise and they are listed in Annex E.

Successful applicants under the DSA-JC and DPA Exercises will be offered a place before taking their GCE O-Level examination. However, they must still meet the baseline GCE O-Level examination criteria for admission to their specific school or polytechnic. Details of the DSA-JC and DPA Exercises can be found in Annex F.

Students who have been successfully allocated a place via the DSA-JC Exercise or DPA Exercise will not be able to participate in the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE) or the Joint Polytechnic Special Admissions Exercise (JPSAE). They will also not be allowed to transfer to another school or another course after the release of the GCE O-Level examination results. They are expected to honour the commitment to the respective schools or polytechnic courses.

Further Information

Students interested in participating in the DSA-Sec, DSA-JC or DPA Exercises should visit the websites of the participating institutions for more details. They are advised to do so before the start of the respective exercises.

Students can also visit the following MOE websites for information:

DSA-Sec Exercise website

DSA-JC Exercise website

DPA Exercise website

For any queries on the Direct Admission Exercise, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions online at:

DSA-Sec Exercise

DSA-JC Exercise

DPA Exercise

  1. These include the Direct School Admission-Secondary (DSA-Sec) Exercise, Direct School Admission-Junior College (DSA-JC) Exercise and the Direct Polytechnic Admission (DPA) Exercise.
  2. ‘Distinctive programmes’ include the Applied Learning Programme (ALP) and Learning for Life Programme (LLP), which were announced at the MOE Workplan Seminar in September 2013.

Celebrating 50 Years of Classroom Memories

The Ministry of Education (MOE) is organising an SG50 exhibition titled “Good Morning ‘Cher: Our Schools, Our Teachers, Our Stories” from July to August 2015. Minister for Education, Mr Heng Swee Keat, will launch the exhibition at Changi City Point on 11 July 2015. The exhibition, a key MOE SG50 commemorative event, will then travel to the west, north and southern parts of Singapore to reach out to more Singaporeans.

The exhibition will take visitors on a journey, drawing a link between the past and present, as well as inspire hopes for the future. Filled with interesting school memorabilia, artefacts, photographs, stories and interactive elements, the exhibition showcases Singapore’s education journey over the last 50 years. Visitors will have a chance to relive some of their most nostalgic memories of their school days.

The exhibition is a reflection of and an appreciation of the efforts of our pioneering educators. It is also a tribute to our teachers today. Visitors are also encouraged to pen their thoughts for the future, on what they hope our schools would be like in 2065.

The exhibition is centred around five main themes (Annex A):

  • Bringing Out the Best in Every Child;
  • Getting the Foundations Right;
  • Creating a Common Experience;
  • Bringing Up the Whole Child; and
  • Creating Hope and Opportunity.

Mr Heng Swee Keat said, “This exhibition is a tribute to our teachers and school leaders – their dedication and resourcefulness shaped generations of students over the last 50 years. I am sure this exhibition will evoke Singaporeans’ fond memories of their good old school days, and inspire all of us to continue to bring out the best in every child.”

Highlights of the Exhibition

Schools in the locality will also be showcasing their innovative programmes at the exhibition. Visitors can participate in various hands-on activities demonstrated by our students. These include using QR codes to learn about animals, learning to weave ‘ketupat’ and practising Chinese calligraphy. Please refer to Annex B for more details on the schools’ exhibits.

Visitors can also look forward to a photography display, “Our Schools, Our Stories”. Students from over 100 schools across the country took part in the project to share a slice of their school life – from shots of morning flag-raising, to recess in the tuckshops and classroom moments with teachers, classmates and friends. The project showcases the variegated landscape of schools and school experiences across the country.

Visitors will also be treated to several interactive elements at the exhibition such as booths where they can search for their school songs. Visitors who complete the activity card stand a chance to redeem a limited edition goodie bag. The goodie bags are while stocks last.

Exhibition Details

Admission to the exhibition is free. The details are as follows:

Venue Date Guest-of-Honour Time
Changi City Point
Basement Atrium
10 to 12 July 11 July:
Ms Sim Ann
Minister for Education
12pm to 9pm
Basement 1 Event Hall
24 to 26 July 25 July:
Ms Sim An
Minister of State, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Communications and Information
Ang Mo Kio Hub
Basement 1 Exhibition Hall
14 to 16 August 15 August:
Mr Hawazi Daip
Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Manpower
Suntec City Mall
West Atrium
28 to 30 August 28 August:
Ms Indranee Rajah
Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Education

Celebrating Students’ Holistic Achievements Through the Special Awards

122 students received this year’s Special Awards from Ms Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs at the 2015 Special Awards Presentation Ceremony today.

The annual Special Awards recognise students’ achievements in both the academic and non-academic spheres. There are 9 categories of Awards as follows:

The Prime Minister’s Book Prize (PMBP)

Established in 1974, the Prime Minister’s Book Prize, is an annual award for bilingualism given at the Primary, Secondary and Pre-University levels. This year, 37 students received the Prime Minister’s Book Prize - 12 from the Primary school category, 14 from the Secondary school category and 11 from the Pre-University category. The names of the awardees are provided in Annex A.

The Lee Hsien Loong Award for Outstanding Bicultural Students (LHL-OBS)

The LHL-OBS was set up in 2009 to recognise top students in the Bicultural Studies Programme (Chinese) (BSP(C)) and the top student in the Regional Studies Programme (RSP). The award underpins the strategic importance of developing a core group of students who are conversant in Chinese or Malay, and are able to engage Asian neighbours as well as relate to the world. This year, 3 students from the BSP(C) and 1 student from the RSP received the LHL-OBS. This is the second year in which the award is presented to the most outstanding RSP student. The names of the awardees are listed in Annex B.

The Lee Kuan Yew Award for Mathematics and Science (LKY- M & S)

The Award was presented for the first time in 1992. The awards are given under 3 categories - Secondary, Pre-University and Polytechnic. 39 students received the award this year - 15 from the Secondary school category, 9 from the Pre-University category and 15 from the Polytechnic category. The names of the awardees are in Annex C.

The Lee Kuan Yew Award for Outstanding Normal Course Students (LKY-ONC Award)

The Award was presented for the first time in 2004. This year, 5 awards were presented to top Normal (Academic) course students and 4 awards to the top Normal (Technical) students, based on their GCE ‘O’ level and ‘N’ level examination results respectively. The awardees are listed in Annex D.

The Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship to Encourage Upgrading (LKY-STEP Award)

The LKY-STEP Award was presented for the first time in 2001. This award was made possible by founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew who donated the proceeds from the sales of autographed editions of Volume Two of his memoirs to the Ministry of Education in October 2000. The scholarship is to encourage upgrading and life-long learning. The award is presented to outstanding Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnic graduates who have performed well academically and attained good co-curricular activity records. This year, 15 LKY-STEP awards were presented to ITE graduates pursuing full-time studies at the polytechnics, and 10 LKY-STEP awards were presented to polytechnic graduates pursuing full-time undergraduate studies at the local universities. The names of the awardees are in Annex E.

The Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Book Prize (SHOAS Book Prize)

The Book Prize was made possible by founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who donated the honorarium he had received from the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation in February 2009. This award was presented for the first time in 2009 and aims to recognise the Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship to Encourage Upgrading (LKY-STEP Award) recipients who have achieved the most outstanding academic results at ITE. This year, 6 students received the award. The names of the awardees are in Annex F.

The Lee Kuan Yew Award for All-Round Excellence (LKY-ARE)

The Award is a national level award for achievement in education that was presented since 2005. It recognises well-rounded students who have excelled in both academic and non-academic domains, and who exemplify positive character development, strong leadership qualities and commitment to service to the community. The award is presented at the end of the secondary school education.

This year, 8 students were presented the Award. The names of the awardees are in Annex G.

The Lee Hsien Loong Award for Outstanding All-Round Achievement (LHL-OAA)

The LHL-OAA is funded by an endowment donated by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2009. The award is to recognise the outstanding academic and non-academic achievements of post-secondary students, particularly those who have made outstanding contributions to the community and demonstrated the spirit of innovation and enterprise. There are four awards to be given out each year, with 1 student from each of the following four groups - ITE, Polytechnics, Junior Colleges / Millennia Institute and Autonomous Universities. The names of the awardees are in Annex H.

The Lee Hsien Loong Award for Special Achievement (LHL-ASA)

The LHL-ASA is funded by an endowment donated by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The LHL-ASA was presented for the first time in 2009, and is given to 1 outstanding student each from NorthLight School and Assumption Pathway School, who has done well and progressed to ITE. The award recognises students who have exemplified positive character development and a positive attitude towards learning and self-improvement. The recipients must have also shown strong leadership qualities and commitment to serve the community. The names of the awardees are in Annex I.

About the Special Awards

All these awards were made possible by private donations from founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. In total, about 2,300 awards have been given out to date.

The Lee Kuan Yew Awards are funded through the interest proceeds from the Lee Kuan Yew Donation account of the Education Fund, which include honorariums from his past speaking engagements and proceeds from his book sales, as well as donations from well-wishers who have contributed specifically towards this cause. The Lee Kuan Yew Awards are special awards given out annually to outstanding students in schools, the ITE, and the polytechnics, in recognition of their achievements in academic and non-academic spheres.

The Lee Hsien Loong Awards are funded from donations made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong since 2008 to set up an endowment fund. The Lee Hsien Loong Awards are special awards to recognise outstanding students in Northlight School and Assumption Pathway School who did well and progressed to ITE, outstanding all-rounders with contribution to community, top bicultural students, as well as schools which provide all-round development for Normal course students.

Young Geographers Clinched Awards at the 12th International Geography Olympiad

The Ministry of Education (MOE) congratulates the Singapore team for their performance at the 12th International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) held in Tver, Russia, from 10 to 18 August 2015. This is the fifth year that Singapore is taking part in the competition.

The Singapore team obtained 3 Silver medals and 1 Bronze medal. The Silver medalists are Mr Wan Jia Cheng, Mr Yao Jiayun and Mr Toh Yu Ze from Raffles Institution. The Bronze medalist is Mr Caleb Goh Teng Hian from the School of the Arts (SOTA). This is also the first time that a student from SOTA is representing Singapore in iGeo.

As part of the competition, students had to prepare a poster related to the topic, “Imagine Your Place in the Future”, contextualized to their home country. The Singapore team’s poster idea on Sustainable Public Housing was to integrate recreational, commercial and green spaces in the public housing. Their presentation came in 1st amongst 41 countries, receiving the most votes from the iGeo community. Voters were drawn to the well-thought-out strategies in the proposed Sustainable Public Housing, and the high quality visual and oral presentation by the team.

This year’s team attributes their interest in Geography to the relevance of Geography skills and application of their knowledge to real-world context. Yu Ze has always been interested in the human condition, such as the challenges faced by urban populations, as well as issues related to Climate Change. Jiayun feels empowered by the global perspectives that Geography equips him with, to understand issues in Climate Change. Additionally, Caleb discovered his passion for urban planning and Jia Cheng developed an appreciation of the physical world. Despite their varied interests, all are drawn to Geography because the discipline helps them frame their understanding of these issues in a holistic way.

The Singapore delegation was led by Mdm Tan Li Ling and Ms Erin Ng, Curriculum Planning Officers from MOE.

A Joint Effort

The International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) brings together outstanding 16 to 19 year old Geography students from around the world, challenging and stimulating their minds in the spirit of competition. iGeo is organised annually by the International Geographical Union (IGU). The IGU was established in 1922 and represents the interests of geographers from 104 countries including Singapore. The IGU facilitates the participation of geographers in the global community of scientists through its affiliation to the International Council for Science (ICSU) and International Social Science Council (ISSC).

Our students’ participation in the International Geography Olympiad is a joint effort between MOE and the following organisations:

  • Department of Geography, National University of Singapore;
  • National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University; and
  • Geography Teachers’ Association of Singapore.

Members of the Singapore team were selected from participants of the National University of Singapore Geography Challenge 2014 and National Geography Talent Development Programme (TDP). The TDP is designed to nurture students’ passion in Geography and deepen their knowledge of the subject. The TDP is supported by the abovementioned organisations.

To do well in iGeo, students are required to have a good mastery of a wide range of physical and human geography topics. They also need to apply geographical knowledge and skills to solve problems in unfamiliar contexts. The iGeo tests consist of a written response test, a multimedia component and a fieldwork component. For the fieldwork test this year, students had to recommend strategies to address issues within Tver, by considering the economic, social and demographic characteristics of the place. In this component, they also had to conduct a population survey to establish the number of households in the area, identify abandoned and occupied buildings, before sketching the town land use from a vantage point.