Educating youths on hate-based violence to avoid radicalisation

Published Date: 10 May 2021 09:00 PM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Darryl David, Ang Mo Kio GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education what is presently being done in schools to educate youths about hate-based violence and how to avoid the pitfalls of radicalisation.

Response

1. In schools, the importance of social cohesion and racial harmony are taught in the curriculum. In Social Studies and Secondary History, students learn about the negative impact of extreme ideas, prejudice and stereotypes, and how these can be countered. In Character and Citizenship Education, students learn to develop empathy and respect for each other.

2.Through teacher-facilitated inquiry and discussions, students examine the roles played by individuals and groups in strengthening understanding and interactions between different racial and religious groups; and consider how they can play their part in promoting harmony. They also learn to recognise harmful content and discern information from different sources, including online media.

3.By 2022, all schools will establish a peer support structure, where students will support each other and be taught to speak up for their peers where necessary, when their peers experience racism and hate speech. These social bonds are one of the strongest counters against any exclusivist or extremist ideologies.

4. Through Co-Curricular Activities and other school experiences, students bond and interact with one another, regardless of background. Learning journeys to places of worship and heritage sites, and celebration of cultural festivals also help students to develop a stronger sensitivity on racial and religious issues.

5. Building on the foundation established in our schools, the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) have programmes and activities that promote cross-cultural and inter-religious understanding, and modules that foster critical thinking and equip students to be more discerning in what they read online. The IHLs work closely with students and staff to build a safe and positive campus environment, with a culture of mutual care and support.

6. Apart from efforts by schools and IHLs, parents and community groups also play a crucial role in guiding students to adopt socially desirable values and attitudes.

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