SINGAPORE: Some parents have voiced frustration over learning centres' arrangements for students after the suspension of centre-based classes was announced on Tuesday (Mar 24). The suspension, which aims to reduce the mixing of students from different schools, is among new measures rolled out to ensure safe distancing, as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise. READ: COVID-19: Schools to conduct home-based learning once a week from April READ: COVID-19 temporary measures - Gatherings outside of school and work limited to 10 people, entertainment venues to close With classes now put on hold until the end of April, many centres have turned to home-based learning, with lessons mostly delivered online. The arrangements vary - some send out pre-recorded videos, while others arrange for students to sign in to video conferencing platforms like ClassDo or Zoom. But some parents feel shortchanged, and petitions against the centres’ practices have sprung up. A … [Read more...] about COVID-19: Parents voice frustration over learning centres’ arrangements amid suspension of classes
Need to know for new parents
MANILA: Christine holds her baby as she breastfeeds him in a quiet park near the Port of Manila. She has covered his small head with a piece of cloth to shield him from the burning sun. His eyes may be closed but the boy knows his mother is there. He grabs her with his tiny hands as she cradles him in her arms. The baby is two months old, delicate and defenceless. His father died before he was born and his mother has become his sole protection, his only source of love and security. But he has no idea she wants to sell him as soon as she can. Christine has decided her baby boy is worth US$200 and whoever can afford the price is welcome to adopt him. READ: Babies for sale - An investigation into the Philippines’ adoption trade “I could use the money to start a business and sell something. At least something valuable could come out of what I’m about to do with my baby,” said the 29-year-old mother from one of Manila’s slums. In the wretched community she comes from, … [Read more...] about ‘It’s not that I want to sell my kid. I just need money’: The Philippine mothers who sell their babies
SINGAPORE: He was in private practice as a general practitioner when a patient told him something that changed his life. A non-governmental organisation was looking for a doctor to help Afghan refugees in Quetta, an area in Pakistan along the border with war-ravaged Afghanistan. Up to that point, Wee Teck Young’s life in Singapore was, in his words, “very typical”. And he had been looking for such an opportunity. “I think everyone has the desire to help others,” he says. What sealed the deal, however, was the photo his patient left with him: Of an Afghan refugee and his daughter. “She was beautiful,” he recalls. “It wasn’t too difficult for me to decide that I wanted to explore this.” The bachelor gave up his job and moved to Quetta in 2002, and then Afghanistan itself, where he has now lived for well over a decade. Since then, he acknowledges, his life has been far from typical. The 50-year-old, who prefers to be known as Hakim, or healer in the Afghan dialect Dari, … [Read more...] about Singaporean doctor finds joy — and a new world view — helping Afghan refugees
JAKARTA: There are times in life when things go wrong and you want someone to listen to your sorrows and give you a hug. That is what 23-year-old Indonesian Akbar Sahbana believes but not everyone has a friend or family member who is willing to be a good listener. To solve the problem, Mr Sahbana founded Indocuddle, a service for people to confide themselves to a trusted listener who can also give hugs. “I come from a broken home, my mother separated from my father when I was in primary school,” Mr Sahbana told CNA. “There were times when I really wanted to meet my father, to talk to him and get a hug from him, but I haven’t seen him again since I was in third or fourth grade,” he said. READ: Handshake? No thanks - COVID-19 changes global habits From his experience working as a marketing officer at an education centre for children with special needs in Cikarang on the outskirts of Jakarta, Mr Sahbana became more aware of mental health issues, emotion management and … [Read more...] about Need a hug from a good listener? New service to be launched in Indonesia sparks debate
Sally never expected to find herself back in her parents’ house. But at 30 years old, she was living with them, in the bedroom her sisters shared growing up, in Queens, New York, trying to figure out what to do next and why her plan had fallen apart. Sally was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the United States with her parents and two younger sisters when she was three. Her parents married in their midtwenties, and Sally thought she would get married around the same age. She’d fallen in love with her college boyfriend, at Stony Brook University on Long Island, and they had gotten engaged. At the time, Sally wanted to live in Paris. She had dreamed of doing so since her first trip there as a teenager, when she’d been immediately entranced by the city. She learned French and had traveled there two more times, once with her fiancé. But her fiancé never wanted to live anywhere other than New York. Sally thought he might change his mind, and in the meantime, they’d have … [Read more...] about Why Are Millennials So Worried About Moving Back In With Their Parents?