ELECTRONIC MARKING FOR EXAM SCRIPTS BEING STUDIED
The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) is studying the option of marking examination papers electronically, said Senior Minister of State for Education Janil Puthucheary.
"This would potentially reduce the risks, such as theft or misplacement associated with transporting hardcopy examination scripts," he said.
It was reported in February that A-level Chemistry answer scripts from 238 Singaporean students were stolen from a courier van transporting the papers to an examiner in Britain last year.
Mr Murali Pillai (Bukit Batok) asked whether it was feasible to scan or digitise examination scripts before sending them overseas for marking.
Mr Janil cautioned that such a move would have to be "carefully considered", given "the large volume of answer scripts and the number of subject papers offered each year".
350 ROADSIDE FIRES A YEAR, MOST CAUSED BY CIGARETTE BUTTS
There were about 350 roadside vegetation fires each year from 2014 to last year, with most of them caused by cigarette butts, said Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo.
She said that the Singapore Civil Defence Force leads an inter-agency taskforce to deal with such fires.
Among the measures taken are the clearing of dry leaves on roads, as these are susceptible to catching fire.
"But no amount of clearing will help, if some members of the public continue to illegally and irresponsibly discard cigarette butts," said Mrs Teo.
She added that these people can be charged under the Environmental Public Health Act for littering, or the Penal Code for fire-related offences if it can be proven that fires caused serious damage.
She was responding to Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar (Ang Mo Kio GRC) , who had asked for the number of small fires on expressways or roads in the past five years.
6,000 SALARY CLAIMS CONCLUDED BY MEDIATION CENTRE LAST YEAR
The Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM), which conducts mediation for salary-related claims, has concluded about 6,000 such cases in the first nine months since it was set up last year.
Out of these cases, 79 per cent were settled amicably through mediation, said Second Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo.
Nine per cent of them involved non-attendance by either the claimants or respondents, while 12 per cent were not settled and referred to the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT).
The TADM and ECT were opened in April last year.
She was responding to Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah, who had asked about the outcomes of the mediations by TADM and what options there are when either party refuses to attend mediation sessions.
Mrs Teo added: "To date, TADM and the tribunal have helped about 92 per cent of employees with valid salary claims recover their salary in full."
VULNERABLE PEOPLE SET FOR MORE PROTECTION
Seniors and people with disabilities who cannot care for themselves will get more protection under a proposed law introduced in Parliament yesterday.
The long-awaited Vulnerable Adults Bill, if passed, will allow the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to intervene and protect these vulnerable groups from abuse and neglect.
Its officials would then be able to enter private premises to assess a person's well-being. They can also temporarily relocate vulnerable adults to safe places such as shelters and disability homes. At present, they do not have such powers.
The proposed law also lets officials apply for protection orders in court to prevent abusers from causing further harm. - LIM MIN ZHANG