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The Straits Times

This category contains 259 posts

Confronting Singapore’s Subpar Care Of Its Elderly

From a policy perspective – and with the intent of helping all elderly Singaporeans age gracefully and successfully, notwithstanding the varied and non-dichotomised definitions of success – the questions which follow the excellent piece about help given to the elderly and the poor (ST, Apr. 7) revolve around the evolving needs of an ageing but underprepared population, the responsibilities of the government and non-profit organisation, as well as the effectiveness of existing programmes and services. More importantly, drawing from the perspectives of those who require help, the caregivers who provide the help, and the organisations which facilitate these interactions, and turning to best practices within and beyond the country, what policy changes are needed to improve the Singaporean ageing experience? Continue reading

SAP Schools: Employ Better Evidence Of Multicultural Integration

Notwithstanding the broader historical discourse surrounding the Special Assistance Plan (SAP) and the implications of developing bilingual and elite Chinese students, better and more diverse evidence is needed to determine the extent to which SAP schools such as Hwa Chong Institution have been effective in giving “students the opportunity to mix with peers of different races and backgrounds through various activities” (ST, Mar. 22) and in promoting multicultural integration. Put otherwise, instead of pointing to a joint overseas community involvement programme trip with ITE College West, for instance, the school ought to be interested in: The first-hand perceptions and learning experience of the Hwa Chong and ITE students, whether they continue to make friends and maintain friendships with others of different cultures, as well as the overall suite of programmes and the number of students who participate and benefit. Continue reading

Reduce Individual Caregiver Burdens; Strengthen Communities For Caregiving

The new Caregiver Support Action plan, which seeks so strengthen government support for senior caregiving (ST, Feb. 21), sidesteps two important, related, and fundamental challenges to caregiving in Singapore: First, the persistent over-reliance on individual caregivers – either family members or foreign domestic workers – whose experiences are also not necessarily well-understood, to care for loved ones:, and second, the urgent need to strengthen communities and institutions for caregiving, emphasising not only the self-reliance of individual- or family-based systems but also the further professionalisation of the sector and improvements for productivity gains. Continue reading

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