News a multifaceted resource for learning

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health Chee Hong Tat looking at a newsletter put together by students involved in a National Junior College (NJC) project. With him are (from left) The Straits Times Schools teaching spe
Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health Chee Hong Tat looking at a newsletter put together by students involved in a National Junior College (NJC) project. With him are (from left) The Straits Times Schools teaching specialist David Tay, editor Serene Luo and NJC teachers Lam Yuen Wai and Clare Low.ST PHOTO: ALVIN HO

Students at Madrasah Alsagoff Al-Arabiah use The Straits Times for the learning of not one but three languages - English, Malay, Arabic.

The articles from the NewsEd portal that the students use trigger learning. The students type their answers in any of the three languages or post responses to assignments in different formats such as video and audio.

These techniques were showcased during sharing sessions by teachers at the SPH Education Symposium held yesterday. They followed a panel session on using contemporary issues in education to develop future-ready skills and values.

The panel comprised Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health Chee Hong Tat, Singapore Press Holdings' deputy chief executive Anthony Tan, deputy director of mother tongue languages Siau Fong Fui of the Education Ministry's Curriculum Planning and Development Division 1, Helsinki International School's director of technology, Ms Anita Chen, and The Arts House programme manager Kong Yen Lin.

Said Mr Chee on preparing students for the future: "The concept of equipping our students with the skills of how to learn, how to unlearn, how to adapt to changes, I think that will be one important area, not so much the technical knowledge or skills alone."

A common theme in both the panel session and the teachers' sharing was that the news was an authentic resource to be used in multifaceted ways - to teach not just language, but also critical thinking, analysis and consideration of different perspectives - skills that would stand students in good stead for the future.

Other schools that shared how they used news in education included National Junior College and Lianhua Primary School. About 150 educators attended the bilingual symposium.

The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao organised this second edition of the symposium, at which panellists and presenters spoke in English or Mandarin, with simultaneous translation services provided. It was supported by the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, Mr Chee, who will relinquish his portfolios to join the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Trade and Industry next month, said he has been tasked to focus on the SkillsFuture movement and small and medium-sized enterprises at the respective ministries.

He said: "Leveraging my current role as adviser to U SME (the National Trades Union Congress' unit for SMEs), I hope to work closely with tripartite partners to build an environment that is both pro-business and pro-worker."

He will continue to assist Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on the review of the ElderShield scheme.


 • Additional reporting by Yuen Sin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2018, with the headline 'News a multifaceted resource for learning'. Print Edition | Subscribe