SINGAPORE: A total of 7,103 Ministry of Education (MOE) officers were promoted this year, with some recognised for their contributions at a promotion and appointment ceremony on Thursday.
They comprise 6,650 education officers including teachers and principals, 272 allied educators such as counsellors, as well as 181 executive and administrative staff.
Mrs Gopala Krishnan was one of the officers who were honoured at the ceremony.
Students in her class get to view and discuss online videos related to historical topics. The 50-year-old also encourages them to ask questions to further their understanding.
“They are also very open to questions,” said Mrs Gopala, lead teacher at Yishun Town Secondary School.
“So when they are questioning and asking me questions, I realise I can understand their thought process and that allows me to create that bond with them, and the students learn better because they are more engaged in the lesson.
“So when I use videos or sources in my History and Social Studies lessons, the students are usually given questions to trigger their thinking.”
Thursday’s ceremony also recognised teachers who teach other teachers.
Dr Fadilah Isnin guides teachers on implementing resources to help students learn the Malay Language.
The 53-year-old principal master teacher at the Malay Language Centre of Singapore is also involved in developing these resources, such as toolkits featuring reading cards that students can carry with them for reference.
“We found out that when students enter Primary One, there are quite a number of them who don't have the basic reading skills,” said Dr Fadilah.
“Probably some of them did not have a pre-school education and come from the low-income families. I took (the) initiative to develop these resources and also tried them out in schools."
On top of enhancing literary skills, Mr Richard Lim Chew Hiong believes that helping students build character will help them to succeed in life.
The 55-year-old takes an active role in implementing character education programmes in schools.
Through activities like storytelling, students get to find out more about positive values such as perseverance and integrity.
"When they see that it is not something abstract, but something that is real, that it has actually happened, that it can happen, I think they'll take it much better than if we just told them that this is an important value and they need to learn it,” said Mr Lim, who is the principal of Si Ling Primary School.
“They will always ask why and how are they going to learn it. But through stories, through real life experiences, they can see that it is real and it is beneficial for them."
Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, the guest-of-honour at the ceremony, urged teachers to remain committed to their profession.
“The essence of teaching remains the same -- to lead, care and inspire,” he said.
“We need caring and reflective teachers who are committed to their craft, eager to push the frontiers of learning. Our teachers and education partners are committed to working together to continue to inspire our students to be the best that they can be.”
Besides principals and teachers, other members of the education industry were also recognised, including counsellors as well as administrative staff who provide specialised support to address students' needs. - CNA/ec
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