SINGAPORE: Three teachers have received the Outstanding Youth in Education Award (OYEA) for stretching their students’ potential via innovative approaches.
The award recognises young teachers for their enthusiasm, energy and active involvement in the development of youth.
The recipients are Elmi Zulkarnain Osman, 34, from Pasir Ris Primary School; Pham Hong Lien Phyllis Gabrielle, 31, from Clementi Town Secondary School; and Donny Lee Wee Siong, 33, from Northbrooks Secondary School.
Apart from their teaching duties, the winners also introduced programmes to nurture all—rounded individuals.
These include using digital comics to teach poetry and creative writing, conducting photojournalism projects to enhance learning, and collaborating with agencies, such as Yishun North Neighbourhood Police Centre, to engage at—risk students.
The winners were selected from 505 nominations.
Starting this year, the age criterion for OYEA has been revised upwards from 30 to 35 years old and younger.
This is to align to the National Youth Council’s definition of youth.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Law, Ms Sim Ann, gave out the awards at the National Institute of Education Teachers’ Investiture Ceremony.
She thanked teachers for their good work, which has contributed to high regard for the profession.
A survey commissioned by the Ministry of Education in 2010 showed that teaching is one of the most respected professions in terms of contribution to society.
Teachers ranked second, after doctors.
Ms Sim Ann also reminded teachers to uphold the good standing and ethos of the profession.
She said: "You are in a privileged position of influence when you start to undertake your teaching duties. This is because you interact with your students for the better part of the day and have ample opportunity to shape their values and character. It is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly."
2,133 new teachers will join the ranks of the 32,000—strong teaching fraternity in Singapore.
According to the Ministry of Education, it has achieved the target of having a teaching force of 33,000 by 2015.
But this will not affect its recruitment efforts as it has to take into account resignations, retirement and other vacancies in schools.
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