Stepping up on holistic development and parental involvement in the Indian community

In the enhancements to Sinda Tutorials for Enhanced Performance's programme, or Step plus, pupils will learn skills in time management, nurturing cyber-wellness, goal-setting and healthy lifestyle habits in workshops taught by professionals.
In the enhancements to Sinda Tutorials for Enhanced Performance's programme, or Step plus, pupils will learn skills in time management, nurturing cyber-wellness, goal-setting and healthy lifestyle habits in workshops taught by professionals.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - More support will be given to the non-academic needs of pupils in new initiatives by the Singapore Indian Development Association (Sinda), which focus on a child's holistic development and greater parental involvement. In the enhancements to Sinda Tutorials for Enhanced Performance (Step)'s programme, or Step plus, pupils will learn skills in time management, nurturing cyber-wellness, goal-setting and healthy lifestyle habits in workshops taught by professionals.

Parents will also be engaged through motivational sessions and learn strategies to shape their children's whole-person development.

Mr Kumaran Barathan, chief executive of Sinda, said academic studies are no longer the only aspect pupils should excel in for their growth.

"Students need to be motivated, guided and inspired," he said. "We noticed that there is a missing element of having close dialogues with students to discover their issues. Step Plus allows teachers to identify these issues within the smaller sized classes and develop more confidence, and accommodate their teaching to suit different students' needs."

Since its introduction in 1992, Step has been conducted in 22 centres in schools islandwide for primary and secondary levels. To date, about 70,000 students have benefited from the programme and 145 parents have been involved in parental work.

Mrs Sharala Kumari, a mother of three, and a regular participant of Sinda's family programme, once paid $280 a month to have her Primary 2 daughter tutored in mathematics and English.

Now, she pays just $10 for each subject in Sinda's Step tutorials, and is looking forward to the new Step Plus offerings.

"My daughter really likes this programme as she can attend it with her friends and learn from a patient teacher," the 39-year-old said . "It was also really meaningful to attend the family programmes from Sinda, hearing from many speakers from India speak on parenting and learning how to manage children. I look forward to more of such courses for both my child and me in future Step programmes."

According to Sinda, Step Plus will have a pilot run in five Step centres in 2018 and be extended to all centres next year. Tuition fees are at $10 and $20 a month for primary and secondary levels respectively.

For more details, log on to http://www.sinda.org.sg