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Empowering Educators to Steward Change and Shifting Mindsets through Strong Partnerships

Published Date: 07 March 2022 04:00 PM

News Press Releases

Continued Efforts to Support Teachers' Professional Development and Well-Being

Teachers are the core of our education system. The Ministry of Education (MOE) recognises that in order for teachers to fulfil the mission of education, they must be given opportunities to learn, grow, and recharge.

MOE will continue to expose teachers to diverse experiences beyond the classroom, so that they can broaden their perspectives and benefit from personal and professional growth. This way, teachers bring fresh insights back to enrich their lessons, and make learning even more relevant and authentic for their students.

(Update) Progress on Teacher Work Attachment-Plus

  • First introduced in 2003, the Teacher Work Attachment (TWA) programme aimed to provide teachers with professional learning opportunities through short-term attachments in the people, public or private sectors.
  • In his 2021 Teachers' Day Message, Minister Chan Chun Sing announced that MOE will be putting in place structured processes for teachers to gain exposure beyond their current roles and build complementary skills through attachment opportunities.
  • To date, MOE has secured over 250 work attachment opportunities under the enhanced TWA-Plus programme from across the public and private sectors, ranging from industries such as the creative arts to sustainability enterprises. MOE appreciates the keen participation of industry partners who believe in developing our educators and enabling them to nurture the next generation to their fullest potential. We will continue to expand the range of attachment opportunities to support teachers' professional learning and fulfilment.
  • Beyond the attachment opportunities under TWA-Plus, MOE will work with various public and external agencies to organise themed dialogue sessions, so that teachers can continually learn from industry professionals and keep abreast of updates across various industries beyond the classroom.

(Update) Strengthening support for teachers' well-being

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has placed exceptional demands on our teachers over the past two years. Despite the disruptions stemming from COVID-19, our teachers have been steadfast in keeping learning going. MOE will continue to ensure that teachers' well-being is taken care of and explore ways to enhance support for our educators.
  • Schools continue to have the flexibility in pacing the implementation of MOE HQ initiatives and pilots including deferring some of these if it helps to better manage teachers' workload. For example, Full Subject-Based Banding will be rolled out to secondary schools by 2024 in phases, based on schools' readiness to come on board.
  • To strengthen peer support for teachers' well-being, MOE introduced the Wellness Ambassador initiative in September 2021. Officers who are nominated will receive training to provide basic peer support to fellow colleagues who approach them. Wellness Ambassadors provide a listening ear to their colleagues and direct their peers to relevant avenues for further help, where necessary. In turn, these Wellness Ambassadors are further supported from MOE HQ, and through periodic check-ins by School Leaders and MOE HQ. Thus far, around 80 schools have nominated and trained Wellness Ambassadors within their schools. The initiative will continue to be rolled out progressively this year, with a target for every school to be equipped with at least two Wellness Ambassadors by the end of the year.
  • This year, staff well-being committees in schools will place more emphasis on mental well-being in their staff well-being activities and will be supported with resources such as a toolkit with suggested activities and programmes as well as a feature on mental wellness from MOE HQ. These efforts complement the existing mental well-being provisions offered by MOE HQ such as teachers having the access to free in-house counselling services (iCARE) and the longstanding OLive (Opportunities for Lives to be Ignited with Vitality and Exuberance) workshops on self-care and holistic well-being. Teachers who may wish to speak to someone outside of MOE for professional counselling can access the free 24/7 Whole-of-Government support counselling hotline.

Strong Partnerships with the Community and Stakeholders

The mission of nurturing the next generation requires strong support and partnership with parents and the wider community. This partnership approach is especially crucial as we promote a whole-of-society movement towards learning for life. By working together, we can engender mindset and cultural shifts on issues ranging from overemphasis in academic grades, broadening definitions and pathways of success, to youth mental well-being and resilience.

(Update) Cultivating strong partnerships with parents and community

  • MOE is strengthening its efforts to ensure our parents are guided and feel confident in their parenting journey and can be supportive partners in their children's holistic development. We are doing this by reaching out and supporting parents directly; working through our Parent Support Groups; and through partnerships and community efforts.
    1. Working through our PSGs: We are working with our Parent Support Groups to connect with and support our parent communities better, especially in the area of their children's mental well-being. 25 frontrunner PSGs are leading the charge through various ways such as sharing resources, directing fellow parents to community helplines, and organising sessions to share parenting tips and advice on identifying signs of stress and ways to seek help.

      To support all PSGs, MOE recently launched a Mental Well-being Resource Guide with guidelines and tips on how to be peer and resource supporters to other parents. The Mental Well-being Resource Guide is also complemented by an online PSG Repository that provides most up-to-date resources that PSGs can refer to for their ongoing efforts for mental well-being.
    2. Partnerships and community efforts: Given that students' mental well-being is closely related to definitions of success in society and the associated pressures that may stem from such definitions, the COMmunity and Parents in Support of Schools (COMPASS) council has also embarked on efforts to support parents.
      1. COMPASS has been organising a series of Facebook Live dialogues for parents to create awareness of more varied pathways and to broaden the definitions of success in society. Parents have the opportunities to hear from a range of leaders across various industries and to stay informed on how success is being redefined today.
      2. COMPASS has also embarked on capability-building efforts for PSGs focused on supporting parents in building good relationships with their children and enhancing their children's overall mental well-being. To equip PSGs with the knowledge and tools to support their parent community, PSG Leaders across 14 schools were involved in the "Let Us Chat!", training workshops in 2021 to equip PSG Leaders to support their own parent communities in schools.
      3. Recognising the impact of social media and online behaviour on the mental well-being of students, COMPASS is planning efforts to encourage a culture of cyber kindness in parents and children through the creation of a set of cyber kindness best practices. This involves partnership with the Singapore Kindness Movement to provide parents with resources to raise parents' awareness and understanding of cyber wellness and kindness and how they can support their children in it.
      4. To better support our students' mental well-being concerns in schools, our counsellors tap on community mental health professionals such as the Response, Early intervention and Assessment in Community mental Health (REACH) programme and Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT). Our schools and IHLs also work closely with community partners and social service agencies to support students and their families in a holistic manner to promote youth mental well-being.
    3. Supporting parents directly: To provide parents with easy and convenient access to useful parenting resources, MOE has recently launched the Parenting Resource Repository on Parents Gateway, which includes parenting resources with articles and tips on topics such as cyberwellness, mental health, strengthening parent-child relationships and education pathways. The Repository will continue to be enhanced with new features to provide timely and relevant resources to parents. The repository is the latest addition to MOE's parent engagement efforts such as FB live sessions, Parenting IG, Transition Webinars and Parent Kits to reach out, share resources and provide tips and advice to parents to support the holistic development of their children.
  • In line with the spirit of SG Together, MOE drives two SG Together Alliances for Action to bring together Singaporeans across People, Private and Public sectors to co-create solutions and work towards a caring and inclusive society.
    1. Established in October 2018, the Uplifting Pupils in Life and Inspiring Families Taskforce (UPLIFT) is an inter-agency team led by the MOE that aims to strengthen the partnership between schools and community partners to enhance upstream wraparound support for disadvantaged students. By strengthening inter-agency case coordination, UPLIFT leverages community efforts and resources more systematically to address multi-faceted issues faced by disadvantaged students. To date, over 50 organisations – including public agencies, Self-Help Groups (SHGs), Social Service Agencies (SSAs), corporates and volunteer groups – have come forward to work with UPLIFT to build a network of care and support.

      UPLIFT will continue to step up its efforts to facilitate sustainable school-community partnerships by building on existing partnerships and bringing in new community partners to support disadvantaged students, in areas such as strengthening their social-emotional development and broadening their skillsets.
    2. MOE, together with MSF and MOH, support the Youth Mental well-being Network (YMWBN), which was set up in February 2020 to co-create solutions to improve youth mental well-being. Since its formation, more than 1,500 individuals comprising youths, parents, caregivers, mental health and social sector professionals have joined the Network and developed more than 20 ground-up projects. Examples of projects that MOE is supporting include:
      1. Makan Already is an initiative led by a group of parents who have started a ground-up platform on social media for fellow parents to learn more about supporting their children's mental and emotional well-being. They aim to provide resources and a welcoming space for parents to support one another in tackling concerns relating to their children's mental well-being.
      2. Project It'll Be Alright was started by a group of Singaporean youths who launched an e-book in Dec 2021, featuring a compilation of 40 stories of hope and resilience, curated from over 200 submissions from youth of diverse backgrounds. The stories present the lived experience of some of our youths and how they have managed the stressors in their lives.
  • MOE will continue to support our teachers in their personal and professional growth and provide them with resources to ensure their well-being. MOE will also continue to synergise efforts with community partners to strengthen outreach and support for our students' mental well-being.