Classroom in Brazil

Better social mix of students in IP schools than non-IP ones? Challenging measures of “social mixing”

How social mixing in schools is defined and measured determines how student diversity is evaluated, and it is therefore worth challenging Education Minister Ong Ye Kung’s claim that “the social mix of students in Integrated Programme (IP) schools is actually better than that in non-IP schools” (ST, Dec. 27). The metric used by the Ministry of Education (MOE) is that “every 100 Secondary 1 students in a school should come from 20 or more primary schools”. A school with 300 secondary one students, as inferred, should have these students hailing from at least 60 different primary schools. Based on this too, MOE should be able to track the total number of primary schools represented in each secondary school’s secondary one cohort.

Piggy bank

Less millennial financial security? Recall bias and the comparability of findings

In comparing two groups of Singaporeans – 311 millennials aged between 19 and 35 and 200 individuals aged between 60 and 69 (born between 1950 and 1959, thus part of the Merdeka Generation) – the focus of the research was on perceptions of life as a young Singaporean. In other words, the millennials were asked to reflect on their current life in the country today, whereas those belonging to the Merdeka Generation were asked to reflect on their life as a millennial during the 1970s and 1980s.

A burning cigarette

Evaluating an HPB intervention to reduce youth smoking rates in Singapore

Last week, the headline of an article from a Malaysia-based website screamed: “How Singapore cut youth smoking with this one weird trick”. And given growing public policy interest in nudges – the behavioural-psychology idea that changes to seemingly small details can have major impacts on people’s behaviour – the finding that Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) was able to cut smoking rates at juvenile detention centres by 30 percentage points was impressive.