Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Application of funds for running AEMs (advanced elective modules)

1. Once the school has secured a partnership with a polytechnic to offer an AEM, schools should seek approval and funding for running AEMs through their respective Cluster Superintendents.

2. The approved grant for running AEMS will be downloaded to the following account:
SOF-Advanced Elective Module Grant (32308000)

3. The funds downloaded could be viewed from either the Journal initiated by HQ report or the YTD Consolidated report in IFAAS and are added to the SOF pool of available funds while the budget is added to the SOF Contingency Budget.

4. Before making payment to the Polytechnics, the school will need to transfer This will be done by the school’s Budget Officer. the budget from the SOF Contingency and assign an Approving Officer to the SOF-Advanced Elective Module Expense account (34817000).

Accounting procedures

5. The payment to the Polytechnics and the course fees collected should be charged / credited to the following accounts.

Application for Offering AEMs and Funding (For Compliance)

1. Schools will submit their proposals for offering AEMs and funding needs (using the template at Annex E) to their respective Cluster Superintendents. Schools Division will download the funds for approved applications according to the following schedule.

2. Applications received after the submission deadline will be processed in the next cycle. Schools will be informed of the outcome of their applications for funding of the AEMs 10 weeks after the submission deadline as stated in the above table.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fish Digestions Help Keep The Oceans Healthy

We know that the pH of the oceans is kept buffered at a near constant level. pH is among the top parameters in any water system as it controls many physical, chemical and biological mechanisms. The main contributing buffer in the oceans is the carbonate-bicarbonate system.

Again, we have lots to learn. For example, how is carbonate cycled? It was previously believed that microscopic plankton stores carbonate as calcium carbonate. Based on this report, as much as 15% of calcium carbonate pass through bony fishes' digestive systems before being passed out as waste. These fished have hence become significant participants in the carbonate cycle.

via Wild Asia > News and Events by (katrin) on 1/15/09

London (Reuters): The digestive systems of fish play a vital role in maintaining the health of the oceans and moderating climate change, researchers said on Thursday. Computer models showed how bony fish produced a large portion of the inorganic carbon that helps maintain the oceans' acidity balance and was vital for marine life, they said. T ...

Local water treatment plant

Figures (L-R): Traditional sand filter; New membrane filters; looking down at a water treatment plant (Bukit Timah area). A typical water treatment plant is not designed to remove the myriad of synthetic contaminants in raw water.

Synthetic chemicals on tap

Everthing is connected.

This article reports on the presence of various synthetic chemicals (cosmetics, pesticides, pharmaceuticals etc.) in drinking water and raw water. Not surprisingly, the current techniques used in water treatment are incapable of removing many synthetic chemicals from raw water so these chemicals invariably go into tap water.

More importantly, where do these chemicals come from? "Out of sight, out of mind" is not longer applicable nowadays. Within a watershed, whatever we dump into water bodies (or even on the ground) will travel around quite a bit but eventually they will end up downstream as raw water for treatment into domestic supply.

In Singapore, perhaps we should start to pay attention to what we dump into soil or water as there is a high chance all sorts of nasty stuff will end up in our reservoirs. Remember, our water treatment systems are not foolproof. And many of these chemicals are not even routinely tested for in tap water.