Nov 1, 2010
Economics made easy with LTA examples
THEY might be too young to drive yet but some junior college students will soon know more about Electronic Road Pricing than many motorists currently on the road.
They owe this to a video package on transport policies that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) worked with the Ministry of Education to produce for teachers to use in economics lessons.
The package has four discs for students to view, a disc for teachers to use in planning lessons and a booklet with a summary and questions to raise in discussions.
Through these videos, students learn about the different operators that make up the transport system here, passenger fares, traffic congestion and the Republic's overall masterplan for transportation.
The screenings are tied in with economic concepts that have been lined up in the syllabus for students to assimilate.
For example, the videos help illustrate that the local taxi industry, where many companies compete, operates as an oligopoly, whereas the bus industry, with two players, is a duopoly.
So far, the package has been distributed to 20 junior colleges and Millennia Institute, as well as integrated programme schools that offer economics at A-level.
LTA's group director for corporate communications, Mrs Tammie Loke, said: 'The more they understand about policymaking and economic trade-offs in managing urban transport, the better equipped they will be to manage the system and its use.'
She added that the response had been encouraging and teachers had found the videos easy to use.
Teachers interviewed said this was probably the first time that a government authority had gone out of its way to make such materials relevant to students.
Said Madam Tan Dai Hwee, 35, a senior teacher at Anderson Junior College: 'Students find it difficult to make the connection with textbook examples.
'When we use examples like traffic jams, students start to see why economics is actually very relevant to their lives.'