Singapore Press Holdings launched two education portals yesterday which provide learning activities that supplement articles from The Straits Times and the media group's other publications.
NewsEd by The Straits Times and ZBSchools.sg by the Chinese Media Group, launched under the new SPH Education initiative, were unveiled at the SPH Education Symposium at the Suntec convention centre - the first bilingual symposium catering to teachers and students alike.
Speaking at the symposium, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, and Education Janil Puthucheary said that there is now a greater need for the education sector to help the young process the wide array of information available online.
"We need to develop a new skill in our education space of dealing with this information, in curating it adequately, for them to make sense of it, as they go from primary to secondary school," he said.
"The type of resources that are being launched today are clearly important in helping our children access news, to help our children understand contemporary issues."
NewsEd aims to give students a way to engage with news from The Straits Times while learning English and a framework identified by the Ministry of Education (MOE) that highlights values such as civic literacy, critical thinking and communication.
It features learning activities, and students can respond to assignments in real time using text, videos and photos. It is accessible from desktop browsers as well as Apple and Android mobile devices.
Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez, who is also editor-in-chief of SPH's English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, said that the portal can help educators shape interesting programmes for their students.
"There is no better way to generate discussion, arouse a natural curiosity and foster values than by discussing the events going on all around you," he said.
All secondary schools can try NewsEd for free until Dec 31 and current subscribers of ST's school publications IN or Little Red Dot can purchase NewsEd at exclusive rates.
Non-subscribers can subscribe to NewsEd at a special early-bird rate of $24 a year, if ordered before Dec 31. Sign-ups after Dec 31 will be at $40.
In both cases, a PDF version of ST and a digital version of IN can be added on for an additional $6.
ZBSchools.sg offers articles from Chinese student publications Thumbs Up, Thumbs Up Junior and zbComma. The platform caters to each individual's language ability by providing recommendations of suitable content.
The symposium yesterday also featured a panel of speakers, including Dr Janil; Mr Tan Chin Hwee, a member of SPH's board of directors and Trafigura Group chief executive for Asia-Pacific; Mr Pang Choon How, director of mother tongue languages at MOE; and Ms Lee Huay Leng, head of SPH's Chinese Media Group.