Students suffering from domestic abuse

Published Date: 01 August 2017 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Christopher de Souza, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) what more can be done to ensure that teachers and fellow students are able to identify and handle cases of students suffering from domestic abuse.

Response

1. Schools have systems that facilitate the early identification of students suffering from domestic violence or abuse. Teachers are equipped to look out for signs of distress in students and refer them to the school counsellor or other professional support where necessary.

2. Students learn how to recognise sexual abuse and harassment, acquire skills to protect themselves, and understand the laws that protect them during the Form Teacher Guidance Period lessons in primary schools and Sexuality Education lessons. Students also learn that everyone has the right to safety and protection and to seek help from trusted adults, such as teachers and school counsellors.

3. To further build trust and strengthen positive teacher-student relationships, some schools have deployed the same Form or Co-Form Teachers to a class for at least two consecutive years to help provide stability and a constant adult figure to students. Providing teacher-student interaction time also helps to ensure personalized attention on individual students.

4. Some students may still escape the school’s attention if they are unwilling to share their problems or are able to mask their problems well. Older students can help to keep a lookout for their friends as young people invariably turn to their peers for support and understanding. Training and resources are provided to help students cultivate good values and positive mindsets; advocate for student well-being, learn coping skills, encourage help-seeking behaviour and watch out for one another in school.

5. MOE works closely with MSF which has introduced better screening tools and training for professionals, such as teachers and school counsellors. The tools enable them to detect concerns over a child's welfare or signs of abuse and depending on the seriousness, either connect the families with community-based help, or escalate the case to MSF for intervention. All current School Counsellors and Student Welfare Officers have already been trained. The training for teachers have started and is expected to be completed by end 2018.

Share this article: