"Every parent an informed parent": ST launches Education Community

SINGAPORE - The Straits Times has launched a digital Education Community to give parents in Singapore the clearest, most accurate and the most up-to-date information on Singapore's school system.

The aim of the Education Community is to make "every parent an informed parent".

It was launched on Monday, May 12, 2014, a week after the inaugural Straits Times Education Forum held at the Singapore Management University.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat gave the keynote at the forum attended by more than 300 people.

The Education Community can be found on www.straitstimes.com, the award-winning website of Singapore's oldest and most-read newspaper. You can also go directly to it on stcommunities.sg/education and save it onto the home screen of your mobile device to read it on the go.

It is part of the ST Communities section on the website. The first Community - Entertainment - won gold in the Best in Social Media category at the 2013 Asian Digital Media Awards organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra).

The Education Community will contain latest news about education from The Straits Times' team of journalists. It will cover the whole spectrum of education, from pre-school to university levels and private education.

A key feature of the site is that it will allow parents, teachers and other education stakeholders to post their views and experiences alongside journalists.

Parents can also post or tweet their questions on education to ST's senior education correspondent Sandra Davie, for her column Ask Sandra in the Education Community. She will answer them or get the right people to answer them. Just e-mail sandra@sph.com.sg or tweet her @STasksandra or use the hashtag #STasksandra.

Straits Times Editor Warren Fernandez said: "Every parent wants the best for their child, and every one has a view on how to improve the education system. The ST Education Community will give everyone a platform to share their views on education. They will also be able to engage with Sandra Davie, who has covered education for ST for many years. She and our education team will seek out answers and share their views to help parents make the best decisions for their child."

Mr Ernest Luis, the ST Communities Editor, said: "I'm looking forward to seeing parents, students and educators linking with Sandra Davie and contributing posts on this hot topic to us. All they have to do is click our blue contribution bar above the site and every story, to send in their views, pictures, and video or audio links. It's easy to sign in with your social media account and have a creative but proper say on a credible award-winning platform."

Ms Davie said: "It's great that the school system has opened up many more routes and choices. But it has also left many parents and students anxious about making the right decision on education matters. The ST Education community will help parents navigate the education system by explaining to them the changes as well as the new schemes and help them make informed decisions."

She added that research overseas and locally has shown that the more parents are involved in their children's education, the better their children perform in school.

"Children with more involved parents enjoy school more. They are also more emotionally and socially well-adjusted and more able to handle stress. The ST Education Community will help parents be more informed and involved in their children's education," she said.