The Big Story: Pre-schoolers to be taught body safety skills and to tell trusted adults about abuse

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Catch the latest news video reports on The Big Story, The Straits Times' weekday online news programme.

Pre-school teachers will be encouraged to teach their pupils - aged four to six - behaviours that promote self and group safety, including body safety awareness and to seek help from adults when they feel hurt or unsafe, the Ministry of Social and Family Development said on Friday (Jan 7).

This will be done through videos, songs and age-appropriate discussions.

Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Education Sun Xueling, who observed a body safety lesson on Friday, tells The Big Story about the programme's importance.

Separately, 296 patients in Singapore have qualified for government financial aid under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme as at December 31st, due to serious side effects related to Covid-19 vaccines.

A total of more than $1.2 million has been paid out or is in the process of being paid out to individuals.

In other headlines, Australia's home affairs minister says Novak Djokovic is not being held captive in Australia and is free to leave the country at any time.

This comes as the tennis star remains in a Melbourne hotel used to detain refugees and asylum seekers. He is expected to be there until at least next Monday when his case is scheduled to be heard in court.

Assistant sports editor Rohit Brijnath discusses how this ongoing saga will affect Djokovic physically and psychologically ahead of the Australian Open - if he is allowed to compete, that is.

Rohit also talks about how Djokovic's unvaccinated status might impact his ability to participate in other tournaments.

And in this week's Asian Insider segment, Malaysia correspondent Ram Anand shares more on the demand for answers in the aftermath of the country's deadly floods.

This comes ahead of a special session to be held by Malaysia's Parliament on January 20 to discuss the situation. Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has said that the agenda for the session will include recovery plans as well as disaster management.

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