HDB resale prices fall 1.3% in Q4

In the latest flash estimates released by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) yesterday, the Resale Price Index (RPI) fell 1.3 per cent to 202.1 for the final quarter of last year. Previously, it had fallen 0.9 per cent from a record high of 206.6 in the second quarter of last year.

The 1.3 per cent fall was the RPI’s sharpest decline since the second quarter of 2005, when the index fell 4.8 per cent to 101.6 due to anti-cash-back measures aimed at stopping buyers and sellers from inflating prices to facilitate higher loans.

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Syllabus on character, citizenship education launched

This is part of the new Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) syllabus that was introduced yesterday. Parents will also have an active role to play as key chapters will have “family time” activities, where students are encouraged to share what they have learnt in school with their parents.

The CCE, which was launched by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat at Rivervale Primary, will be introduced this year in stages in Pri 1 and 2 and secondary schools, before being extending to Pri 3 to Pri 6 next year.

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A year of maturation for S’pore

This year has been an eventful year of maturation for Singapore. The first half of the year began with the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) losing its second consecutive by-election in 12 months.

The introduction of the Population White Paper in February caused a national furore, and the ripple effects continue to make themselves felt.

A short but intense episode of extreme haze in the middle of the year came as a shock and served as a reminder of the country’s vulnerability to the actions of proximate neighbouring countries. We had further shocks in terms of knocks to the country’s reputation for integrity when several senior public officials were charged in court for corruption.

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Should leaders focus on results or people?

A lot of ink has been spilled on people’s opinions of what makes a great leader. As a scientist, I like to turn to the data.

In 2009, Mr James Zenger published a fascinating survey of 60,000 employees that sought to identify how different leadership characteristics combine to affect perceptions of whether a boss is a “great” leader. Two characteristics he examined were “results focus” and “social skills”.

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Taiwan government's efforts pay off in pre-schools

The Taiwan government started intervening in early childhood learning more than two decades ago. One of its first moves was to set up pre-schools within public primary schools. Other efforts include providing funding for inclusive education and tapping academics to act as mentors for pre-school teachers.

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